Seth D. Levy

Seth Levy served as managing partner of the firm’s Los Angeles office from 2013-2018 and is co-chair of the firm’s Life Sciences practice. His practice focuses on intellectual property protection, strategy and disputes, particularly in life sciences and health care. He also handles a range of technology, clinical research and entertainment transactions and acts as outside general counsel to emerging growth companies.

What do you focus on?

My practice involves three main areas of focus, leveraging my background in biological engineering and experience in business transactions.

Intellectual Property Procurement and Strategy

I work with clients to strategize around domestic and international intellectual property protection and enforcement, with an emphasis on obtaining and enforcing patents. I have a range of experience in medical diagnostics, therapeutics and devices; stem cell technologies; and consumer and health care products.

Technology and Research Transactions

I work closely with academic and health care institutions to develop and support their technology transfer programs and also represent clients in other technology-driven transactions. I draft and negotiate license agreements, research and development agreements, clinical trial agreements, purchase agreements, consulting agreements and a range of other agreements to effectuate deals in the arenas of research, health care and commercial transactions.

Outside General Counsel

I act as outside general counsel to emerging growth companies, including those in the life sciences and media/entertainment industries. I assist these clients with strategies for financing and growing their businesses, negotiating various business and entertainment transactions and managing disputes that arise.

What do you see on the horizon?

I believe that health care providers will find increasing value in the intellectual property that underlies their business, both in the practice of medicine and in the management and delivery of services.


  • “Building an IP Strategy,” LA BioStart Legal Basics Program, August 2018
  • “Practicing Law in the Digital Age: The Ethics of Using Unsecure Technology,” Nixon Peabody Annual MCLE Seminar, Los Angeles, January 2018
  • “Advancing the University’s Mission Through the Monetization of Intellectual Property,” AUTM 2017 Eastern Region Meeting, Boston, MA, October 3, 2017
  • “Preparing Life Sciences Companies for Chinese Opportunities,” Office of Economic Development, Los Angeles, CA, July 18, 2017
  • “Building an IP Strategy,” LA BioStart Legal Basics Program, Los Angeles, CA, July 14, 2017
  • “Introduction to Tech Transfer,” LA Bioscience Hub, Los Angeles, CA, June 16, 2017
  • “Navigating Through the Fog: Launching a Startup While Avoiding the Reefs,” UCSB Office of Technology & Industry Alliances, Santa Barbara, May 11, 2017
  • “Legal Issues for Digital Health Companies,” Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Healthcare Accelerator, Los Angeles, CA, February 16, 2017
  • “Licensing IP from Universities,” Biocom Lunch & Learn at Lab Launch Inc., January 19, 2017
  • “US Patent Law Update,” The 2016 Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) Life Science Conference, Brighton, UK, November 15, 2016
  • “Legal Issues in Supporting a New Innovation Center,” Higher Education Real Estate Lawyers Conference (HEREL) Conference, September 16, 2016
  • “U.S. Trends in Technology Transfer,” Farrer & Co. Roundtable Session, October 2014
  • “Navigating the digital healthcare landscape,” Bristow’s Life Sciences Seminar Series, October 2014
  • “Biotech Claims Drafting,” The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys Seminar, October 2014
  • “Bullyproof: Current Issues Impacting Anti-Bullying Initiatives,” ABA Young Lawyers Division & Law Practice Division Joint Fall Conference, October 2013
  • “AIA, Myriad Genetics, and Other Current Issues in Patenting,” AUTM Western Region Meeting, September 30, 2013
  • “Patentable Subject Matter in the United States,” The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys Webinar, September 2013
  • “Legal Issues: Mayo v. Prometheus, Update on America Invents Act, and More,” AUTM Western Region Meeting, November 2012
  • “U.S. Patent Reform: An Update and Discussion of Its Impact on Technology Transfer,” AUTM Western Region Meeting, September 2011
  • “Improving the Odds,” AUTM Annual Meeting, February 2011
  • “Top Tips from Outside Counsel,” AUTM Western Region Meeting, October 2010
  • “Tech Transfer—Doing Business with Academic Institutions,” October 2010
  • “Seth Levy on Patent Procurement,” The Launch Hour, July 2010
  • “Federal Funding and Tax Exemption: compliance throughout the patent process and commercialization activities,” AUTM Western Region Meeting, July 2008
  • “Patent Issues for Life Sciences Lawyers,” AHLA Life Sciences Law Institute, May 2008


  • “Intellectual Property and Publication Issues in Clinical Trial Agreements,” American Health Lawyers Association Member Briefing, April 2013
  • “Patent Protection in Medicine and Biotechnology: An Overview,” Journal of Health and Life Sciences Law, June 2011
  • “License Lessons: Don’t overlook key elements in patent-related licensing agreements,” GC California, Nov./Dec. 2009
  • “Back to School: Licensing Patents from Academic Institutions,” GC California, November 2008
  • “Get Ready for Change,” GC California, June 2008

Representative Experience

  • Represented Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in prosecuting, licensing, and enforcing patent rights on methods of treating irritable bowel syndrome (“IBS”), a chronic condition affecting more than 15% of the general population. Cedars-Sinai doctors invented groundbreaking treatments for IBS, and the NP team helped Cedars-Sinai patent these discoveries and license them to Salix Pharmaceuticals, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bausch Health Companies Inc. After Actavis Laboratories FL, Inc. sought FDA approval to market a generic competitor drug, NP represented Cedars-Sinai in litigation with its licensees against the infringing generic competitor. That litigation recently was resolved under confidential terms that assure Cedars-Sinai’s patent rights will be protected through their expiration.

  • Representing various state and private universities, academic medical centers, research hospitals and early stage companies in domestic and international patent prosecution across a range of technologies in health and medicine.
  • Representing several academic medical centers and research hospitals in a variety of technology transfer matters, including technology evaluation and licensing, management of internal research funding, formation of spin-off companies, coordination of material transfer agreements, grant compliance, export control, institutional intellectual property policy development, and faculty education.
  • Representing a not-for-profit cancer research and education foundation in structuring research and funding collaborations with multiple pharmaceutical companies, diagnostics companies, academic institutions and government organizations, both in the U.S. and overseas, to coordinate an international research effort that redefines clinical endpoints for the treatment of a particular form of cancer to ultimately find a cure.
  • Providing outside general counsel services to a university spin-out company with platform drug discovery technology.  Developed strategy for corporate restructuring in light of potential SBIR funding and negotiated the intellectual property license agreement between the company and the university.
  • Representing an emerging growth company with proprietary battery recycling technology in various intellectual property strategy and joint research and development matters.
  • Representing a children’s hospital in connection with international clinical trial agreements and collaborative research agreements based on FDA grant funding.
  • Representing a multinational corporation that uses multi-level marketing to sell fitness and wellness products in freedom-to-operate and patent counseling for exercise products and nutritional supplements.
  • Represented a state university system in renegotiating its license agreement with a successful spin-off company, which is developing antibody therapeutics, in order to address sublicensing issues in the company’s research and development arrangements with large pharmaceutical companies and to obtain late-stage equity.
  • In a transaction involving complex government rights and trade secret issues, represented a late-stage academic spin-off company with advanced battery technologies in selling a line of its business to a publicly-traded technology company in the oil and gas industry.
  • Represented a multi-state health system in licensing certain intellectual property relating to fibrotic disease and cancer to a publicly-traded biotechnology company.
  • Represented a start-up company in licensing technology useful for PET imaging from a national laboratory.  Represented the company in sublicensing the technology to a European strategic partner.
  • Represented a multi-state hospital and ancillary care system in negotiating a product testing agreement with one of its publicly-traded equipment suppliers, such that the system receives royalties based on the supplier’s sales of products that the system tests.
  • Represented the U.S. subsidiary of a global leader in electron beam sterilization in managing issues under a CRADA with a national laboratory, and then in licensing certain medial isotope technology from the national laboratory.
  • Represented a Bay Area health system in negotiating an investment and intellectual property licensing relationship with a start-up company developing technology useful for managing senior care.
  • Represented a financial services consulting firm in developing its intellectual property strategy and licensing its proprietary workshops, online education system and materials to large employers for financial education and assessment of their workforces.
  • Represented an academic medical center in negotiating license agreements for cardiac stress testing technology, therapeutics for gastrointestinal diseases, new formulations for existing antibiotics, and techniques for improving the accuracy of mass spectrometry equipment.
  • Providing outside general counsel services to a media and entertainment production company. Negotiated production, talent, development and other entertainment-related agreements with studios, networks and production partners. Provided prepublication review for episodic web series.
  • Negotiated a research and licensing arrangement among a multistate nonprofit health system, its spinoff company, and a large international pharmaceutical company to further research, develop, and commercialize certain cancer-related technology.
  • Represented a nonprofit health system in structuring a settlement and license agreement with a large biotechnology company, resulting in the withdrawal of an opposition by the company to a European patent owned by the health system and the licensing of the subject technology to the company for research and development purposes.
  • Represented a nonprofit regional health system in the Pacific Northwest in forming a venture focused on the research and development of medical isotope technology.
  • Represented a Korean university in establishing a research arrangement with a psychiatric facility associated with a private U.S. university, to conduct collaborative research in stem cell programming factors.
  • Represented a developer of battery recycling technology in the sale of intellectual property assets and cross-licensing of technology with an international secondary lead producer with operations in the U.S. and abroad.
  • Represented a privately held medical device company in selling its catheter tip placement business and technology to a large, publicly-traded medical equipment manufacturer.
  • Structured a joint venture and related series of license agreements pertaining to various stem cell technologies, including a license related to retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells and their use in the treatment of various eye disorders, resulting in one of the first human clinical trials of an hESC-based therapy.
  • Represented a manufacturer of next-generation, environmentally-friendly epoxy resin systems in negotiating an intellectual property license with a European manufacturer for use of a resin technology in sporting goods products.
  • Represented a large, multinational investment bank in conducting due diligence in connection with potential financing of ongoing patent litigation in the area of Internet sales.
  • Represented a developer of RNA-based drugs in structuring a research arrangement with a European charity focused on finding a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

LGBT pride: Weighing the state of equality in the law

Law360 | June 01, 2018

San Francisco office managing partner Tom Gaynor and Los Angeles intellectual property partner Seth Levy are quoted in this story on the strides LGBT attorneys have made in the legal industry.

Hop on the Justice Bus: Next stop? Citizenship

NPR | August 27, 2017

Los Angeles office managing partner Seth Levy, partner Justin Thompson and associate Jessica Walker are quoted in this article about the Los Angeles office’s pro bono work with OneJustice’s Justice Bus to help low-income immigrant Green Card holders seeking U.S. citizenship.

Overview: Big law gets smaller

American Lawyer | October 31, 2016

This article features a number of new law firm office spaces. Los Angeles office managing partner Seth Levy is quoted in this article talking about NP's new Los Angeles office and some of its unique features including the outdoor rooftop terrace.

Market Pressures Forcing Firms to Rethink Office Space

Daily Journal | September 30, 2016

Los Angeles office managing partner Seth Levy is quoted in this article on how law firms are reevaluating their real estate needs. Seth references our approach to no corner offices and more collaboration areas in our new space.

Transforming a Dinosaur: How the Legal Field is Embracing the Diversity Challenge

Huffington Post | September 01, 2016

Manager of diversity & inclusion Rekha Chiruvolu, Los Angeles office managing partner Seth Levy and Los Angeles public finance associate Jade Turner-Bond are quoted in this article that highlights Nixon Peabody’s efforts to create an inclusive workplace.

Grid110 - How a Group of Diverse Entrepreneurs are Shaping the Tech Ecosystem in Downtown LA

Huffington Post | April 19, 2016

Los Angeles office managing partner Seth Levy is quoted in this article about Grid110, a start-up fashion tech organization with which Nixon Peabody is very involved.


Seth D. Levy

Co-chair, Life Sciences Practice

Los Angeles

Phone: 213-629-6161

Fax: 877-644-1571

University of Southern California Law School, J.D.

Cornell University, B.S., Agricultural & Biological Engineering, cum laude


U.S. District Court, Central District of California

U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

District of Columbia

  • Recognized for exceptional standing in the legal community in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2018 for Life Sciences: Corporate/Commercial (California); he has also been recognized in Chambers in previous years
  • Ranked as a leading California lawyer for transactions and prosecution by IAM Patent 1000 (2014-2018)
  • Recognized as a “Super Lawyer” in Southern California Super Lawyers magazine every year since 2008
  • Recommended in The Legal 500 United States 2013 for Healthcare: Life Sciences
  • Featured in the Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Angelenos to Know in Intellectual Property Law” special supplement.
  • Named as one of the Daily Journal’s “25 Leading Biotech Lawyers in California,” 2011
  • Named as one of the Daily Journal’s “Top 20 Under 40” lawyers in California, 2011
  • Selected to “Southern California Rising Stars” in Intellectual Property, Law & Politics, 2008–2010, 2015
  • Named one of the “Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40,” National LGBT Bar Association, 2010
  • Inaugural recipient, Paul Davis Memorial Award for outstanding leadership in pro bono work, University of Southern California Law School, 2004
  • Jack Berman Award of Achievement, recognizing a young lawyer who has provided outstanding service to the legal profession and public, as well as dedication to issues of concern to new and young lawyers, California State Bar, 2005
  • Star of the Year award, 2002, 2006, and 2009; Star of the Quarter Award, 2004, 2005, and 2007; ABA Young Lawyers Division
  • Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services, four-time recipient, California State Bar
  • Executive Committee, Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation
  • Los Angeles Advisory Board, Biocom
  • Board of Directors, OneJustice
  • Past Chair, Life Sciences Practice Group, American Health Lawyers Association
  • Board of Directors, It Gets Better Project
  • Planning Committee, Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) Western Region Meeting, 2009–2014

To Live and Law in LA
Through lively discussion, interviews, and thought-provoking commentary with lawyers, clients, and community leaders, you’ll get the inside scoop on our work and our thoughts on all things LA.

Back to top