Vern Norviel has been the Intellectual Property Counsel for Whole Biome since 2013 and sets the strategic direction for the patent portfolio. Vern is a Partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where he leads the patents and innovation counseling practice. Vern has three decades of experience in formulating successful strategies for life science companies and the development of their IP programs. He represents a wide variety of companies, as well as venture capital firms, in areas such as therapeutics, diagnostics, nanotechnology, genomics, proteomics, and personalized medicine. In fact, Vern’s interest in the field of personalized medicine prompted him to become the first attorney to have had his or her entire genome sequenced and made available in a public database.
Before joining the firm in 2003, Vern was the general counsel and corporate secretary of Perlegen Sciences, Inc., a start-up biotechnology company that scans the entire human genome for important therapeutic and diagnostic products. Previously, as senior vice president and general counsel, he was an early employee of Affymetrix, the biotechnology company that pioneered and developed DNA chip technology. He also had been a partner at Townsend and Townsend and Crew in Palo Alto.
Vern currently serves as a member of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati’s Executive Committee and on the board of the WSGR Foundation. In addition, he is a lecturer in biotechnology law at UC Berkeley School of Law. Vern received his B.A. from the University of Colorado, Boulder, his Masteres from the University of Santa Clara and his J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law.