Dr. John McDonald focuses his practice on planning and implementing international patent strategy for clients engaged in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and chemical industries. He represents early stage, private and publicly traded companies. He regularly conducts intellectual property due diligence studies for clients including freedom to operate, validity and patentability opinions.

Dr. McDonald joined the faculty of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at Emory University School of Medicine where he later became a tenured full professor. During his tenure at Emory, his research studies in peptide neuroendocrinology, neuroscience and endocrinology were funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation. He is currently an Emeritus Professor at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. McDonald also conducted research studies in pancreatic endocrinology at the Marine Biological Laboratories in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and in neurobiology at the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center in Atlanta.

Dr. McDonald is listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in 2018 and each of the nine years immediately preceding. He was named a 2015 "Atlanta Lawyer of the Year" in the area of Biotechnology Law by The Best Lawyers in America®. Dr. McDonald is recognized as a Georgia "Super Lawyer" in the area of Intellectual Property in 2017 and the six years immediately preceding by Super Lawyers magazine. He received the Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. McDonald also received the Basil O'Connor Scholar Research Award from the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation as well as the Annual Basmajian/Williams & Wilkins Award for outstanding research and teaching from the American Association of Anatomists. He is AV® rated by Martindale-Hubbell.*

*CV, BV, and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties, Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedure's standards and policies.

Professional & Community Activities

Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, National Science Foundation Interinstitutional Grant administered through Georgia State University, Former Member External Advisory Board and Former ProBono Counsel

The Endocrine Society, Emeritus Member

Georgia State University School of Law, Intellectual Property Society, Founder

State Bar of Georgia, Intellectual Property Section, Member


  • Georgia State University, College of Law, J.D. (1994)
  • University of Rochester, Ph.D. (1980)
  • University of Rochester, M.S. (1979)
  • Colgate University, B.A. (1974)
    magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

  • Georgia (1994)


  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (1998)

Who We Are

What fully engaged means to me:

Adding value to clients' inventions by expanding their scope of patent protection.

Suite 2800, 1100 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, GA, 30309-4528
t +1 404.745.2470
f +1 404.541.3297

John K. McDonald Ph.D.

Experience Highlights

Global patent strategy for Novelis Inc.
We manage the global IP portfolio for Novelis Inc., an $11.1 billion dollar company and the world’s largest rolled aluminum producer in terms of more
Global patent and trademark strategy for Porex Corporation
Advises Porex Corporation in developing and coordinating global patent strategy, preparing and prosecuting patent applications in the areas of more
Global License, Development and Commercialization agreement for Biotest AG
Assisted lead counsel in representing Biotest AG (Biotest), a German publicly traded biotechnology company, in signing a global License, more
Patent prosecution and counseling for Telesta Therapeutics Inc.
Represents Telesta Therapeutics Inc., a pharmaceutical manufacturer, on intellectual property issues including design and implementation of more