Legal Counsel and Director, Intellectual Property | BlueNalu, Inc. | San Diego, CA

BlueNalu, Inc.

BlueNalu, Inc. is a rapidly growing, San Diego-based company that is pioneering the production of seafood products derived directly from fish cells. Using proprietary cell biology techniques and engineering processes, BlueNalu’s platform technology will produce a wide array of value-added seafood products, that are healthy for people, humane for sea life, and sustainable for our planet. Our products will be great tasting, trusted, safe, and with reduced risk of mercury and environmental contaminants.

Position Description:

BlueNalu is seeking a Legal Counsel and Director, Intellectual Property that will report directly to the CTO and have primary responsibility for intellectual property management, and will also have additional responsibilities in other corporate matters requiring legal input. This person will be responsible for technical evaluation of IP assets, patent portfolio management, and scouting for new technologies to complement internal activities. This position will work in tandem with technology development teams in R&D and engineering as well as outside counsel to understand the competitive landscape and build a robust IP strategy and portfolio.

Successful candidates will join a high-performance and fast-paced team where everybody’s contribution is equally important. Candidates should be highly motivated, organized, proactive, and able to balance multiple projects.


  • Develop and maintain portfolio of intellectual property assets aligned with business strategy
  • Conduct prior art database searches to determine patentability and freedom to operate
  • Collaborate with internal R&D and engineering staff as well as outside counsel to draft invention disclosures, patent applications, respond to office actions, and advise legal counsel on technology issues
  • Serve as a primary liaison to outside counsel, and manage relationship that results in efficiency, accountability, and successful completion of goals at least possible costs
  • Negotiate, draft, and review agreements covering IP rights such as confidentiality agreements, licensing agreements, and research collaboration agreements
  • Provide written documentation of IP portfolio and strategy for routine review by management and investor presentations
  • Perform competitive assessment of technologies and companies and monitor key trends and announcements to stay informed
  • Benchmark short and longer-term technology initiatives against industry standards
  • Work closely with technical teams to understand technology needs and conduct primary and secondary research to identify potential solutions and align opportunities
  • Deliver competitive insights (technologies, ecosystems, partners) and intelligence briefs to support programs, projects and strategic partnerships
  • Develop senior management reports that highlight key trends in new technology areas, trends in technology ecosystems and for strategic, emerging technology platforms
  • Manage company trademarks and support global trademark strategy
  • Manage and/or support other legal matters at BlueNalu that require legal input, together with senior management and outside counsel as needed

Required skills:

The successful applicant will be detail-oriented, able to manage multiple commitments simultaneously, and must be able to set and meet stringent deadlines and issue concise and actionable recommendations and reports on IP, technologies, and technology trends and insights. The ability to communicate well and develop positive working relationships with both internal partners and colleagues in a team environment is essential, as is the ability to work independently to an assigned set of priorities and projects. The candidate must be able to effectively manage a diverse IP portfolio, review and negotiate agreements, keep current with IP law, and develop IP strategies to support business needs.

Additional skills are as follows:

  • Deep knowledge of USPTO, PCT and foreign office patent filing requirements
  • Demonstrated expertise in patent and trademark search programs and internet-based research
  • Extensive knowledge in cell biology, biomaterials, engineering, and food technology
  • Demonstrated ability to conceive, plan and execute projects
  • Manage personnel (either directly or indirectly) to achieve goals
  • Excellent technical writing skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Sense of humor

Qualifications & experience:

  • MS in Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Materials Science, Food Science, or equivalent field required. PhD preferred.
  • JD from an accredited law school
  • At least 5-7 years relevant legal experience required in appropriate industry fields that may include: nutritional/nutraceutical/food products, biology, engineering, materials science, etc.
  • Experienced in managing an IP portfolio and supporting patent prosecution functions

Materials and Equipment Directly Used

  • Microsoft Office Suite and other computer systems.

Working Environment / Physical Demands

The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Physical Demands:

  • Ability to lift 20 pounds

Work Environment:

  • Must understand vague and implicit instructions and react favorably in all work situations
  • Must be mentally adaptable and flexible in dealing with a variety of people
  • Emotional stability and personal maturity are important attributes in this position
  • Must be able to resolve problems, handle conflict and make decisions under pressure
  • Ability to give, to receive, and analyze information, formulate work plans and prepare written materials and articulate goals and action plans
  • Must understand people and be able to communicate effectively
  • Ability to work with and directly handle products containing Major US Allergens and sensitizing agents such as fish, soy, and shellfish

Additional Information

BlueNalu, Inc. provides an attractive compensation and benefits package.

All applicants must be authorized to work in the US, and willing and able to work a flexible work schedule to meet the needs of the Company. BlueNalu is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.

This is an excellent opportunity to join a small but quickly growing company where everybody’s contribution is equally important. BlueNalu is seeking team players that are driven, focused, creative, proactive and productive, with excellent written and verbal communication skills, and excellent interpersonal and organizational skills. We are also seeking team members that enjoy and thrive in the atmosphere of a very fast-paced entrepreneurial environment, have a good sense of humor, and are personally motivated to make a difference to humanity and our planet.

Additional information about BlueNalu and applying for this position can be found on our website at

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