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Stijn van Dongen

Stijn van Dongen

Associate partner & Dutch and European patent attorney
I love science, I love writing, and I love optimising results within a fixed rules set (rules also being known as laws, like patent law). Being a patent attorney is the perfect fit for me! I’ve been at NLO since 2014, and I enjoy all aspects of it.


  • Biotechnology
  • Chemistry
  • Gene therapy
  • Oligonucleotide

My main interest is in distilling the inventive spark from new inventions, protecting the concept in written patent applications. I also enjoy thinking alongside the inventors in designing new experiments or projects to strengthen the IP position. My 13-year academic career has given me hands-on experience in all corners of chemical biology – experience I still use every day.

I enjoy thinking alongside the inventors in designing new experiments or projects to strengthen the IP position.

I studied chemistry and life sciences in Nijmegen, and have done research at the ETH in Zürich, the ENS in Paris, and the Institut Curie cancer hospital in Paris. The reference to a rules set at the start of this profile was intentional: when I’m not working I enjoy games that generally have more rule books than board pieces.


  • Over 4 years of Postdoctoral research, for example in cell biology at ENS and Institut Curie in Paris
  • PhD research in Nijmegen (supramolecular chemical biology)
  • Finished my master’s degree at the ETH in Zürich (cum laude)
  • Studied Chemistry/Molecular Life Sciences in Nijmegen (NL)


  • Van Dongen, S. F. M., Swinkels, B. W. (2019), Pepper plants lead to hot decisions and patentable subject matter Intellectual Asset Management
  • Swinkels, B. W., Van Dongen, S. F. M. (2017), Can a plant rule supplant a plant decision? Intellectual Asset Management
  • “Nested claims before the EPO: pragmatic cosmetics or clarity-obstructing nuisance?” IAM int. rep. 14 Oct. 2015
  • Various scientific papers, the unifying theme being the use of chemistry to solve biological questions. Highlights are on protein-polymer interactions (Nature Chem., Angew. Chem.), chemical triggers and materials for cell motility (Adv. Mater., Chem. Sci., Meth. Cell Biol.), polymersome nanocapsules with cells and enzymes (Angew. Chem., Chem. Eur. J., Bioconjugate Chem.), and peptide surfactants for gene transfection (J. Controlled Release, Soft Matter).
  • My interest in communicating scientific concepts is reflected in the three presentation prizes I gathered during my academic career.