Vern Norviel

EIT Member
Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Vern Norviel is a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and a senior practitioner in the firm’s patents and innovations counseling practice. Vern has three decades of experience formulating successful strategies for life science companies and helping them develop 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.

During his career, Vern has authored or prosecuted dozens of patents that have been litigated in the U.S. and abroad, and has overseen intellectual property lawsuits throughout the world.

Vern previously served as a member of Wilson Sonsini’s board of directors and currently serves on the board of the Wilson Sonsini Foundation. In addition, he is a lecturer in biotechnology law at UC Berkeley School of Law and a member of the faculty for the Global Life Sciences/Healthcare Entrepreneurship Course at the University of California, San Francisco.