Melissa M. Hayworth

Washington, D.C. area
1900 Duke Street, Suite 600
Alexandria, VA 22314
D: 703.684.2522
Contact My Assistant
Lisa B. Kenney

Personal interactions with clients are important to Melissa, a partner in Merchant & Gould's Washington D.C. office. She loves working with scientists, other attorneys, and business leaders to help them achieve their intellectual property goals. Her background in science—a chemistry degree, plus experience as a corporate patent attorney and as a research chemist in the area of synthetic organic chemistry at Burroughs Wellcome—is the critical basis for understanding the language of the scientists with whom she works.

Melissa focuses her practice on organic and inorganic chemistry, pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals, food chemistry, polymer chemistry, petroleum chemistry, and biochemistry. She is experienced in patent preparation and prosecution and enjoys working with clients to develop creative strategies for patent portfolios.  Melissa has experience in all areas of U.S. and foreign patent prosecution.

She also has considerable experience on topics related to Hatch-Waxman and the associated Food and Drug Administration practice.  Melissa is skilled at conducting infringement, validity, freedom-to-operate and patentability investigations, and patent estate due diligence reviews.

Melissa further provides assistance with reviewing and drafting agreements and licenses.  Melissa particularly enjoys working closely with in-house personnel to provide requested legal assistance, as well as to anticipate any concerns and raise those preemptively for consideration. 

Melissa is an avid cyclist who frequently competes in triathlons and is interested in nutrition.


Duke University School of Law
J.D., with high honors, 1998

North Carolina State University
B.S. Chemistry, summa cum laude, 1994


District of Columbia Bar
Virginia State Bar
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Professional Affiliations

American Intellectual Property Law Association
American Chemical Society
Virginia Bar Association
Association of University Technology Managers

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