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Director of Intellectual Property

About LanzaTech
LanzaTech is turning our global carbon crisis into a feedstock opportunity, with the potential to displace 30% of crude oil use today and reduce global CO2 emissions by 10%. LanzaTech’s carbon recycling technology is like retrofitting a brewery onto a steel mill’s emission source, and instead of using sugars and yeast to brew beer, bacteria ferments pollution into products! Imagine a day when you can power a plane by recycled carbon emissions and when your yoga pants or sneakers started life as pollution from a steel mill. This future is possible using LanzaTech technology, with the first 2 commercial units converting steel mill waste gases to fuels being built in China with Shougang and in Belgium with the world’s largest steel maker, ArcelorMittal. LanzaTech has an additional 3 commercial projects in the pipeline, in India, South Africa and California. LanzaTech has already produced synthetic jet fuel from recycled carbon emissions and has a partnership with Virgin Atlantic.

In March 2018, LanzaTech was recognized as the #1 Hottest company in the Advanced Bioeconomy for the third time by Biofuels Digest, the world’s most widely-read bioeconomy daily. The company was also inaugurated into the Cleantech100 Hall of Fame, having been listed in the top 100 cleantech companies over the last 7 years. In 2016, the company won the Young Global Leader Award for Circular Economy at the World Economic Forum, LanzaTech was also the top biofuels company in the 2016 CNBC Disruptor 50 Companies list. In 2015, LanzaTech was awarded the U.S. EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Award for Greener Synthetic Pathways. The company’s accomplishments were recognized through a number of prestigious awards in 2014, including the Guardian Sustainable Business Innovation Award for Carbon and Energy Management, Breakthrough Innovation Award at the Platts Global Metals Awards, and the Technical Development Award from the World Petroleum Council. In 2013, the company was named a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer.

About the role

We are looking for a highly motivated and capable intellectual property professional to join and lead the strategically important Intellectual Property team at LanzaTech. This director-level role will be responsible to the group’s General Counsel for all aspects of LanzaTech’s substantial and international intellectual property portfolio. The individual selected for this position will work closely with the General Counsel, C-suite executives and other members of the executive management team and liaise with LanzaTech’s science and engineering technical teams. They must develop an excellent knowledge of the group’s strategy and business model, and methods of creation of intellectual property, and facilitate the efficient capture and exploitation of innovations. This professional will have excellent academics, experience, and interpersonal skills, have a hands on approach, with an ability to communicate effectively at all levels and with team members across all disciplines, backgrounds and nationalities.

Key Duties

  • Develop and drive LanzaTech’s Global IP Strategy in line with the group's business strategy and goals
  • Work closely with LanzaTech’s science and engineering R&D teams to integrate science and engineering developments into LanzaTech’s IP strategy
  • Periodically review LanzaTech’s IP strategy with the Executive Team and update as necessary
  • Be responsible to the General Counsel for LanzaTech’s international IP portfolio, that includes patents, trade secrets and trademarks, using both in-house and outside resources (US counsel and foreign agents)
  • Manage the existing IP team, consisting of 3 other IP professionals, and interface effectively with the other members of the group’s legal department,
  • Interface with and advise the C-suite and executive management team regarding IP matters
  • Prepare and actively manage LanzaTech’s IP budget
  • Own and manage relationships with IP outside resources, globally
  • Be responsible for freedom to operate for all of LanzaTech’s existing and emerging technology offerings
  • Maintain and develop IP-related systems and infrastructure for the IP team and the IP portfolio
  • Work closely with LanzaTech’s science and engineering R&D teams to identify, develop, and protect inventions
  • Manage, and actively participate in, patent drafting, filing, and prosecution worldwide
  • Perform, coordinate, and advise on patentability, freedom to operate, invalidity and state-of-the-art searches, obtain legal opinions when necessary
  • Review data disclosure and publications requests from the business
  • Identify, coordinate and review competitor and competitive portfolios and patent publications, and collect and analyze competitor intelligence and industry developments, and advising on appropriate action
  • Provide IP support for business development activities, such as due diligence, business and research collaborations, in-licensing and out-licensing negotiations, and partnering
  • Assist with IP-related investor due diligence, and reviewing and negotiating agreements to support the group’s investment activities
  • Lead or assist, as appropriate, the negotiation and drafting of agreements with IP content
  • Review confidentiality, research, material transfer, and services agreements involving the use, transfer, ownership, or publication of IP
  • Champion IP matters across LanzaTech and develop and present materials as needed

Qualifications and Experience

  • At least 8 years of experience in IP, including extensive experience in patent prosecution and opinion work and strong experience with trade secrets and licensing, in an international setting
  • A strong working knowledge of post-grant proceedings, litigation, and trademarks internationally a benefit
  • Bachelors’ degree or higher in biotechnology, chemistry, chemical engineering or biochemical engineering
  • Registered to practice before the USPTO, or at least one patent office globally with strong complimentary US track record
  • Demonstrable role as a trusted business advisor to an early stage biotechnology company, either in-house or private practice
  • Excellent drafting and contract interpretation skills, and a hands-on approach to both
  • Strong verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills
  • Excellent knowledge and experience of patent systems worldwide

This position is open to candidates authorized to work in the United States on a full-time basis for any employer. LanzaTech is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status.

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