The responsibilities of the Director of Intellectual Property include performing and/or managing outside counsel to perform i) preparation and prosecution of global small molecule patent portfolio; ii) freedom to operate and patentability assessments; iii) review and negotiation of IP provisions in agreements; and providing IP support to a broad range of groups including R&D, Regulatory, Legal, Manufacturing, Alliance Management, Compliance, Commercial, Marketing, and Communications. Some trademark and copyright experience preferred but not required.

Essential Job Functions:

The Director of Intellectual Property for Avanir is responsible for performing and/or managing outside counsel to perform:

  • Preparation and prosecution of patent applications (U.S. and foreign patent offices)
  • Freedom to operate analyses and patentability assessments
  • Review and negotiation of IP provisions in agreements
  • Counseling colleagues across multiple departments regarding patent strategy and patent exclusivity
  • Providing support for in-licensing
  • Review of externally facing materials for patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret issues


  • Executive Director, Head of Intellectual Property & Government Affairs
  • Intellectual Property Specialist
  • Senior Director, Clinical Research
  • Director, Medical Information Medical Affairs
  • Executive Director, Advertising Promotion, & Labeling
  • Senior Director, Assistant General Counsel


  • Outside Counsel

This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee. Other duties, responsibilities and activities may change or be assigned at any time with or without notice.

Education/ Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree required, preferably in chemistry, biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics, physiology, microbiology, or related sciences
  • Advanced degree in chemistry, molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics, or related sciences preferred
  • Minimum 5 years of industry and/or law firm experience with a Juris Doctorate and admission before at least one State bar
  • Registered Before USPTO
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills
  • Ability to manage multiple complex issues
  • Positive attitude
  • Good analytical skills
  • High level of learning agility
  • Proficiency with MS Office (e.g., Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, etc.).

Physical Requirements:

This position primarily works in an office environment. It requires the ability to sit or stand for long periods of time and frequent walking. Daily use of a computer, phone, office equipment and other computing and digital devices is required. May be required to stand for extended periods when facilitating meetings or walking in the facilities. Some local travel may be necessary, so the ability to travel by plane, operate a motor vehicle and maintain a valid Driver’s license and/or effectively navigate public transportation is required. While performing the responsibilities of the job, the employee must be able to read and respond to interoffice communications as well as effectively participate in meetings. The employee is often required to sit and use their hands and fingers, to lift up to 20 lbs., pull, push, carry, handle or feel. The employee is required to carry, handle items, reach with arms and hands, to stoop, kneel, or crouch; talk or hear. Mental demands may require prolonged concentration, reading comprehension, understanding and interpretation of concepts, ideas and philosophies. The physical demands of the position described herein are essential functions of the job and employees must be able to successfully perform these tasks for extended periods. Reasonable accommodations may be made for those individuals with real or perceived disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job described unless such accommodations would cause Avanir an undue burden.

Work Environment:

While performing the responsibilities of the job, these work environment characteristics are representative of the environment the job holder will encounter. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable people with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job unless such accommodations would cause Avanir an undue burden. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally exposed to moving carts, mechanical equipment (copiers, computers, coffee machines) and vehicles. May be subject to smells and odors. The noise level in the work environment is usually quiet to moderate. The passage of employees through the work area is average and normal.

EEO Statement:

As an equal opportunity employer, Avanir Pharmaceuticals is committed to providing all applicants and employees with equal access to employment opportunities, regardless of sex, race, age, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, pregnancy, religion, genetic information, sexual orientation transgender status, gender identity, marital status, military or veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. All Avanir Pharmaceuticals employees, officers, principles, agents, and representatives are expressly prohibited from engaging in unlawful discrimination. Consistent with federal, state, and local requirements, Avanir Pharmaceuticals will reasonably accommodate any qualified individual with a disability if such accommodation would allow the individual to perform the essential functions or the job, unless doing so would create an undue hardship.

Avanir Pharmaceuticals shall abide by the requirements of 41 CFR-60-300.5(a) and 60-741.5(a). These regulations prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals on the basis of protected veteran status or disability, and require affirmative action by covered prime contractors and subcontractors to employ and advance in employment qualified protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.