Practice Areas


Technology Areas


Admissions and Affiliations

United States Patent and Trademark Office




Federal Circuit Court of Appeals

U.S. Supreme Court

American Intellectual Property Law Association

American Intellectual Property Law Education Foundation

Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association



B.S. in Biology; Biological Sciences,  Loyola College Maryland, 1975

J.D., South Texas College of Law,  Order of the Lytae, 1993

Master's, PhD in Medicinal Sciences, University of Maryland, School of Medicine


Denise M. Kettelberger

Of Counsel

Direct phone: 612.767.2505

About Denise

Denise has deep experience in bioscience industries, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals agricultural biotech, hybrid and transgenic plants, as well as nuclease gene editing systems. She has specific expertise in IP procurement and enforcement strategies, IP portfolio management and review, IP analyses and opinions, strategies for addressing IP infringement and validity, as well as litigation support. Denise works with local inventors and companies as well as companies outside the United States.  She maintains a network of foreign associate colleagues, and encourages collaboration with foreign law firms.

Denise is a longtime member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, (AIPLA) serving the organization as Chair/Vice-Chair of multiple AIPLA committees, including the Emerging Technologies Committee, the Committee on Nominations, Patent Law Committee, the Special Committee on the FDA,  Public Appointments, Patentable Subject Matter Task Force, Special Committee on Section 101, Special Committee on Legislation, Amicus Committee, Food and Drug Committee, Professionalism and Ethics Committee, and represented AIPLA during negotiations on the Biotechnology Treaty at WIPO in Geneva, and represented the AIPLA at the US Bar/SIPO Liaison Counsel. She was a member of the PPAC for one year, finishing the term of a PPAC member who stepped down, and also represented the AIPLA at the US Bar/SIPO Liaison Counsel.

Denise engages with inventors to fully understand their goals and accomplishments, prior to drafting a patent application. She provokes the inventors to establish working examples of the invention, in a manner that would teach one skilled in the art how to make and use their inventions. In particular, she drafts patent applications after discussions with the inventors, to understand the importance of specific aspects of the invention, and how the claimed invention can be distinguished from the prior art. Particular attention during drafting is avoidance of rejections under 35 USC Section 101, Subject Matter Eligibility; Indefiniteness rejections under 35 USC Section 112; and Obviousness rejections under 35 USC Section 112. These particular rejections are most common, and can derail patent claims unless avoided during drafting of the specification and claims. She is a frequent speaker and writer on patent law issues, particularly Sections 101, 112, and 103, as well as Hatch-Waxman and Biosimilars topics.

Denise provided pro-bono work representing children in the foster care system during 1995-2013, and currently provides research and briefing services to the Advocates for Human Rights, whose mission is to assist immigrants in their quest for asylum. She is also a member of the “Guardian Angles”, a church-based organization that provides assistance to immigrants during their court case, as well as individuals as “note-takers” during asylum hearings.