Leanne M. Rakers

Principal / St. Louis Metro Office

Clients around the world appreciate Leanne’s uniquely creative skills in identifying patentable technologies and drafting “outside the box” patent applications, particularly at a time when courts are limiting patent eligibility. Her clients say that she consistently delivers poignant legal counsel, workable solutions, and excellent work product delivered in a timely manner. In addition to obtaining patents, her practice includes IP portfolio strategy and management, freedom-to-practice opinions, and due-diligence assessments. Leanne also provides FDA regulatory counsel including patent-drug FDA advice, Patent Term Extension applications, and Orange Book assessments.

Leanne’s technical prowess is a rare blend that ranges from chemistry to biotechnology. As a leader in the firm’s Chemical and BioPharma Intellectual Property practice groups, her clients include large and small pharmaceutical, life science, chemical, biotechnology, biofuels, cosmetics, and food processing companies. More specifically, clients come to Leanne to protect a wide-range of innovations, including small molecule chemistry, biologics, anti-aging technology and formulations, therapeutic methods and formulations, organometallic chemistry, food science technologies, and recombinant DNA technologies. She vigorously works to obtain patents for clients and has won on appeal many times at the USPTO.

Leanne previously served as the Chair of Harness IP’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, where she worked to empower diverse attorneys and staff within the firm and attract a new generation of diverse attorneys to the field of IP law.



Prior to practicing law, Leanne studied cell cycle inhibitors and suppressors of cytokine signaling at Pennsylvania State University and GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals. She subsequently focused on recombinant protein expression at Sigma-Aldrich Corporation, and is a co-inventor of U.S. Patent No. 6,902,914 (Recombinant DNA Processes Using A dNTP Mixture Containing Modified Nucleotides).

An invited speaker in the U.S. and abroad, Leanne educates both clients and colleagues on the nuances of patent prosecution and enforcement strategies. Her passion for the America Invents Act (AIA) has spawned many presentations across the U.S., Europe and Japan.

awards & Distinctions

  • St. Louis Business Journal 40 Under 40 Class of 2016
  • Missouri Lawyers Weekly “Up and Coming Lawyer,” 2013


  • Harness IP Diversity & Inclusion Committee, Former Chair
  • Intellectual Property Owners Association, Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology Issues Committee, Women in IP Committee
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association



J.D., Washington University in St. Louis, 2005

B.S., Microbiology, cum laude, Pennsylvania State University, 2000

Bar & Court Admissions


U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office