Benjamin Vaughan, Ph.D.

Technology Specialist
Registered Patent Agent

I partner with clients to collaboratively build and grow their new and existing patent portfolios in the chemical and pharmaceutical areas.

Dr. Benjamin Vaughan is a registered Patent Agent with a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry. His patent practice focuses on pharmaceutical and chemical arts, and he has specific expertise in industrial process chemistry and alternative energy technologies.

Ben’s practice is focused on patent preparation, prosecution, and lifecycle management for large and small companies, as well as University clients and independent inventors. He focuses his practice in four key areas:
  1. Pharmaceuticals and Biotech, including  pharmaceutical development, second generation filings (i.e., methods of treatment, formulations, salt and crystal forms, prodrugs, and combination therapies), and late-stage prosecution strategies to optimize patent term and protect against potential infringers/generic filers; 
  2. Alternative Therapeutics, including nutraceuticals, food products, and Cannabis;
  3. Polymers and Commodity Chemicals, including plastics, natural and artificial rubbers, hydrogels, agrochemicals, and catalysts and processes for their production; and
  4. Fuels and Alternative Energy, including petrochemicals, natural gas, petroleum derivatives, biofuels, sustainable aviation fuel, fuel cells, batteries, and methods/processes for their production, purification, and optimization.
Ben is a member of Foley Hoag's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.

Prior to joining the firm, Ben performed his doctoral research at the University of Virginia, where his research focused on the development of transition-metal catalysts for the conversion of natural gas and petrochemicals to higher-value commodity chemicals, such as plastics and liquid fuels. Ben’s undergraduate research at the University of Vermont focused on the synthesis and characterization of phosphorus- and silicon-containing polymers and oligomers using early-metal catalysts. He has also worked as a patent agent at another Boston law firm.


  • Suffolk University Law School, J.D., 2021
  • University of Virginia, Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry, 2017
  • University of Vermont, B.S. in Chemistry, 2012

Bar and Court Admissions

  • U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (Agency)


  • Developed and managed numerous patent portfolios for early-stage biotech and pharmaceutical companies. 
  • Coordinated and managed late-stage patent prosecution for more than 10 approved drug products for large national biotech company. 
  • Coordinated with University Technology Transfer offices to develop and manage patent portfolio for novel chemical compounds with potential pharmaceutical application.
  • Managed and prosecuted patent portfolio for nutraceutical start-up company.
  • Designed and managed patent portfolios for cannabis clients in the healthcare and veterinary therapeutics spaces.
  • Developed and managed patent strategy for catalytic carbon dioxide upgrading start-up company.
  • Coordinated with University Technology Transfer offices to develop and manage patent portfolio for polymer drug delivery systems and catalysts for polymer production.
  • Designed and managed patent portfolio for industrial process company relating to plastics, rubbers and agrochemicals. 
  • Ground up patent strategy development and portfolio management for sustainable aviation fuel production startup company. 


  • Jia, X.; Foley, A.M.; Liu, C.; Vaughan, B.A.; McKeown, B.A.; Zhang, S.; Gunnoe, T.B. “Styrene Production from Benzene and Ethylene Catalyzed by Palladium(II): Enhancement of Selectivity towards Styrene via Temperature Dependent Vinyl Ester Consumption,” Organometallics, 2019, 38, 3532. (*Manuscript featured on issue cover)
  • Webster-Gardiner, M.S.; Chen, J.; Vaughan, B.A.; McKeown, B.A.; Schinski, W.; Cundari, T.R.; Gunnoe, T.B. "Catalytic Synthesis of 'Super' Linear Vinyl and Alkyl Arenes Using an Easily Prepared Rh(I) Catalyst," J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2017, 139, 5474.
  • Vaughan, B.A.; Khani, S.K.; Kammert, J.D.; Webster-Gardiner, M.S.; McKeown, B.A.; Davis, R.J.; Cundari, T.R.; Gunnoe, T.B. "Mechanistic Studies of Single-Step Styrene Production Using a Rhodium(I) Catalyst," J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2017, 139, 1485.
  • Vaughan, B.A.; Webster-Gardiner, M.S.; Cundari, T.R.; Gunnoe, T.B. "A Rhodium Catalyst for Single-Step Styrene Production from Benzene and Ethylene," Science, 2015, 348, 421.

Honors & Involvement

  • Raven Award for Exceptional Service to the University of Virginia, April 2017
  • IPMI Bright Futures Award: Honorable Mention, International Precious Metals Institute, April 2016
  • American Chemical Society Division of Inorganic Chemistry Undergraduate Award, July 2012
  • Charles E. Braun Award, UVM Department of Chemistry, May 2012
  • APLE Award for Undergraduate Research, UVM College of Arts and Sciences, November 2011
  • Foley Hoag PRISM (LGBTQ+) Affinity Group Co-Chair: 2020-Present
  • Boston Patent Law Association, 2017 - Present
  • American Chemical Society, 2011 - Present

Speaking Engagements

  • "Obviousness, the CAFC, and Second Generation Filing Strategies – Developments in Pharmaceutical Patent Law Seminar," 256th American Chemical Society National Meeting (August 2018)
  • "Mechanistic Studies of Rhodium(I)-Catalyzed Oxidative Arene Vinylation," 253rd American Chemical Society National Meeting (April 2017)
  • "Development of a Rhodium(I) Catalyst for Single-Step Styrene Production," 251st American Chemical Society National Meeting (March 2016)
  • "Development of Pd(II) and Rh(I) Catalysts for the Oxidative Hydroarylation of Olefins," 247th American Chemical Society National Meeting (March 2014)
  • "Synthesis and Characterization of Novel Zinc Complexes and Reactivity towards Primary Phosphines," 243rd American Chemical Society National Meeting (March 2012)