WHO WE ARE
Double Helix Law has decades of experience building strong patent portfolios for life science companies.
We are a team of life science patent professionals. Our team members have advanced degrees in the life sciences. We pride ourselves in being a non-traditional law firm that uses our decades of experience and deep scientific knowledge to help our clients solve their IP challenges.
We interact deeply with our clients to understand their complex technologies and business goals.
We build high-value patent portfolios from life sciences innovation.
We collaborate with our international associates to bring a global perspective to intellectual property protection.
We help our clients stay clear of their competitors' intellectual property.
Meet the Team
Manny Vacchiano, JD, Ph.D.
Founder and Managing Member
Dr. Vacchiano is a US patent attorney who brings a unique perspective to biotech patent law. Manny's 25-year career in life sciences patent law includes foundational training at top-tier law firms, and real-world experience building and using patent portfolios to help grow businesses at innovation-driven public biotech companies. He enjoys sharing his biotech patent knowledge with our DHL team and clients.
Manny's technical experience includes a Ph.D. in cell/molecular biology along with 10 years of life science research experience at a major university, a Fortune 100 life sciences company, and the National Institutes of Health. Outside patent law, Manny is a biotechnology entrepreneur and investor who founded and helps run a clinical trials information and stock research company. Outside of his professional and entrepreneurial endeavors, Manny likes to play hockey, and in more calming moments, write songs and play the acoustic guitar.
Michael Mand, JD, Ph.D.
Associate and Consultant
Dr. Mand is a US patent attorney and has worked with the DHL team since 2016. He leverages a deep scientific background and years of experience as a patent professional to acquire valuable IP protection for his clients. He performs all aspects of patent prosecution including landscaping and searching, drafting applications, and developing and implementing world-wide prosecution strategies. Michael’s client-focused approach ensures the best protection for a company’s IP while keeping within a budget. His scientific experience includes lab jobs at two R1 research universities before earning a PhD in cellular and molecular biology at the University of Texas at Austin. While not working, Michael enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, and playing soccer.
Suzan Potuznik, Ph.D.
Patent Agent Consultant
Suzan, a Patent Agent with a Ph.D. in chemistry, works with the DHL team on patent prosecution and patentability-technology searches focusing on fields related to biotechnology, including biochemistry, chemistry-formulations, and devices, including microfluidics. Suzan has over 20 years of experience in patent law and worked as a patent specialist in law firms, in-house, and as a consultant. Outside of patent law Suzan enjoys working with students teaching a chemistry course or two each year, volunteering at a nature reserve and hiking-backpacking in the local mountains.
Vaidyanathan Vasanth, Ph.D.
Technical Specialist Consultant
Vaidyanathan (Vasanth) is a Technical Specialist working with DHL on matters related to Life Sciences. Vasanth is involved in drafting, and prosecuting patent applications along with contributing to projects involving prior art and landscape search. Vasanth is a Registered Patent Agent in India. Prior to working with DHL, he worked for over 3 years at a Leading Law Firm in India as an Associate in the Life Sciences division. During his M.Sc. and Ph.D., Vasanth worked on projects investigating antibiotic drug resistance in nosocomial pathogens. Outside the office, Vasanth likes gardening, loves traveling and spending time with family and friends.
Michelle Kelly, Ph.D.
Technical Specialist Consultant
Michelle works as a Technical Specialist with DHL team members on life sciences patent drafting, patent prosecution, and patent searching and landscaping. Michelle's PhD and post-doc lab research focused on immunology, and included experience in vaccine development. In addition to her scientific experience, Michelle worked for over 7 years in the biotech group at a patent search firm, and also managed the patent team at a diagnostics start-up focused on EC biosensor technology. Outside of the office, Michelle is an avid tennis player, an amateur photographer, loves hiking and being outdoors, as well as spending time with family and friends.
Patent Paralegal Consultant
With more than 7 years of patent law industry experience, Judy Huerta is an accomplished Intellectual Property Paralegal. She is well versed in file creation and docket maintenance for matters from filing to patent issuance. She plays a vital role in our firm maintaining essential dates, data, and documents from IP offices around the world so our legal team can devote their time to our clients and practicing IP law. Prior to becoming a paralegal, Judy managed a veterinary practice where she was responsible for driving business results, developing associates, fostering an engaging team environment and ensuring that clients and patients had a positive experience. She enjoys spending time with family, long walks with her dogs and still dabbles in the veterinary world by assisting in a mobile pet care service.
Saumia Karat, MS
Patent Search Consultant
Saumia Karat, MS, is a part-time consultant who assists the team with administrative, paralegal, and patent search tasks. Saumia earned her master’s degree in biotechnology, focusing on in-silico studies using bioinformatics docking tools and in-vitro cytotoxic assays on cultured animal cells. Before moving to the US and joining DHL law firm in 2022, Saumia spent 9 years at home raising kids and taking care of family. The desire to restart a career in her subject matter gave her an opportunity in Intellectual property rights by achieving a Women Scientist -C Fellowship in IPR matters from the Department of Science and Technology (DST), India. The training program from CSIR-URDiP (Research Institute of IP and techno-commercial information services) helped her to acquire knowledge on basic Patent law & IPR matters, as well as patent search and analysis, where she worked on live projects. Outside of the office, Saumia enjoys arts & crafts, as well as spending time with family and friends.