Keith D. MacMillan serves as Director – Patent Counsel in the Intellectual Property Group of Merck & Co., Inc.  His practice includes strategic counseling, drafting patent applications and prosecuting them worldwide, developing patent portfolios and conducting freedom-to-operate analysis for drug molecules, and performing due diligence on potential acquisitions and in-licensing drug candidates. He recently served as Chair of Merck’s internal U.S. patent practice committee.

Keith’s patent law experience spans government, law firm and corporate settings.  He began his career as a patent examiner in the Chemical/Biotechnology Group of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, where he held several leadership roles, including those of Acting Supervisory Examiner and Patent Academy Instructor. After leaving government service, he served as an associate in the Washington, D.C. office of a leading global law firm.  He then served as in-house patent counsel for a small biopharmaceutical company on the West Coast before joining Schering-Plough Corp. as Senior Patent Counsel.  He joined Merck when it acquired Schering. Keith enjoys teaching and has been an invited guest lecturer and contributor to the subcommittees of several IP professional organizations.  Keith holds a J.D. from the National Law Center of The George Washington University and a B.A. (Dean’s Scholar) in chemistry from the University of Delaware.  He is licensed to practice before the USPTO. 

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