About Rachel Leininger Schweers, PhD

Dr. Schweers focuses her practice on patent litigation and prosecution with concentrations in the scientific fields of biotechnology, chemistry and pharmaceutical arts.

Skilled Patent Litigator With Deep Business, Scientific and Technical Knowhow

Clients rely on Rachel's passion for scientific innovation along with her depth of experience as a research and development scientist to navigate complex litigation matters. She brings to her matters a mix of practical and strategic experience from the scientific, business, and legal communities

Before rejoining Katten, Rachel worked with life science and healthcare start-ups establishing and building intellectual property portfolios for key biotech and medtech products. She served as co-founder and chief strategy officer for an oncology analytics organization focusing on data, informatics and associated business, regulatory, and legal issues. Rachel also worked as senior corporate counsel and vice president, intellectual property, for a large healthcare organization, managing and overseeing the intellectual property relationships across the organization. Prior to her business career, Rachel served as a law clerk to US District Judge Amy J. St. Eve in the Northern District of Illinois, who has since been appointed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Rachel's work as a patent attorney with Katten has focused on pharmaceutical patent litigation relating to the Hatch-Waxman Act, participating at trial, managing fact and expert discovery, and preparing opinions and Paragraph IV Notice letters. Rachel has also worked in unfair competition litigations related to pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. Before earning her law degree, Rachel worked as a patent agent assisting in the preparation of arguments and experts at trial and prepared and prosecuted patent applications for a number of clients, including applications for protein-protein interactions, DNA-protein binding assays, treatment of neurological disorders, stem cell technology, antifungal compounds, polymers biological disinfectants, genetic testing, skin treatments and cosmetics.

Rachel's scientific expertise stems from her earlier work as a research and development scientist at Independent Forensics, concentrating on designing DNA technologies including pharmacogenomics assays and forensic research tools. She gained experience in genetics and molecular biology during her post-doctoral fellowship at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital with Dr. Paul Ney, focusing on the role of pro-apoptotic proteins during erythroid differentiation using mouse models. As part of her doctoral studies at Rice University, Rachel worked with Dr. John S. Olson. Her dissertation research related to the electrostatic regulation of oxygen and carbon monoxide binding in the alpha and beta subunits of recombinant human hemoglobin. Rachel's doctoral and post-doctoral work has led to multiple publications in peer-reviewed technical journals, including Biochemistry, Journal of Biological Chemistry, and Blood.

Rachel has worked at Katten as a patent agent, summer associate and later as an associate prior to her clerkship. She rejoined the firm as counsel in 2022.

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Practice Focus

  • Hatch-Waxman
  • Patent litigation and prosecution
  • Life sciences litigation
  • Patent portfolio management


  • May 17, 2010
    Alkyl Isocyanides Serve as Transition State Analogues for Ligand Entry and Exit in Myoglobin | Biochemistry | Co-Author
  • March 2010
    Distal Histidine Stabilizes Bound O2 and Acts as a Gate for Ligand Entry in Both Subunits of Adult Human Hemoglobin* | Journal of Biological Chemistry, Volume 285, Issue 12 | Co-Author
  • January 1, 2010
    Role of His(E7) in Regulating Ligand Binding to the Subunits of Human HbA | Biophysical Journal, Volume 98, Issue 3, Supplement 1, 642A | Co-Author
  • January 2008
    NIX is required for programmed mitochondrial clearance during reticulocyte maturation | Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences | Co-Author
  • March 2007
    BNIP3L promotes mitochondrial destruction and ribosome clearance in maturing reticulocytes | Blood Cells Molecules and Diseases | Co-Author
  • January 1, 2006
    Role of erythropoietin receptor signaling in Friend virus-induced erythroblastosis and polycythemia | Blood, Volume 107, Issue 1 | Co-Author

Presentations and Events

  • June 2022
    BIO International Convention | Big Data/AI & Personalized Medicine
  • June 2021
    BIO International Convention Digital | Lessons from COVID on Innovation Collaboration and Enforcement
  • December 2020
    Intellectual Property Virtual Forum for Life Sciences | Out of Monumental Challenges Come Substantial IP Opportunities
  • June 2018
    ABA Section of International Law Life Sciences Conference | There's No Place Like Home: Jurisdiction in Life Sciences Litigation (Copenhagen, Denmark)
  • April 24, 2014
  • January 23–24, 2014
    Moderator | Looking Beyond Year 12 – How to Ensure Your Patent Strategies Are Adding Value Beyond the Statutory Period of Exclusivity