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Frank Gao


Frank Gao has counseled corporate clients and individual inventors in a wide variety of patent matters, securing patents in such industries as chemical, mechanical, material science, and medical technologies. His specialty is patent drafting, prosecution and strategic development of high-value patent portfolios. More specifically, he had drafted patent applications related to polymers, surfactants, ceramics, single crystals, polycrystalline materials, physical vapor deposition (PVD), chemical vapor deposition (CVD), drilling cutters, polycrystalline diamonds (PCD), polycrystalline cubic boron nitride (PcBN), super hard materials, grinding wheels, surface etched diamond crystals, and various coatings, such as glass coating, CVD coatings, and PVD coatings.

Prior to joining McAndrews, Frank has worked as an in-house patent counsel.  Before the in-house counsel position, Frank worked as an associate at Shimokaji & Associates.  Before entering law school, Frank worked at Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) editorial division.  Frank analyzed and built database entries for patents in fields of pharmaceuticals, polymer, and material science.  Later on, Frank supervised associates working on various projects on building databases, reengineering entry input system.  Frank also worked at Princeton Biomolecules during graduate school at the Ohio State University.  Frank synthesized customized peptides via solid-state synthesis for pharmaceutical companies, research institutes, and universities.

During graduate school at the Ohio State University with Prof. RajanBabu, Frank prepared a series of novel Schiff bases as chiral ligands via multi-step synthesis and purified imine products by recrystallization as an alternative to chromatography.  During graduate school at Weizmann Institute of Science with Prof. Daniella Goldfarb, Frank made organometallic copper (II) and iron (III) complexes, maintained continuous wave and X-band Pulsed Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) equipment and supported construction of W‑band pulsed EPR, and constructed and optimized Pulsed EPR probes.  Frank also tested and optimized equipment and modeled Cu(II)(Histidine) in Zeolite Y using Cerius2 computer package.  At graduate school of Jilin University, China, Frank made and characterized aluminosilicates such as Zeolites A and Y, aluminophosphates such as ZnAPO-11, and ZnAPO-11 membranes synthesized by direct crystallization.  Frank also synthesized highly oriented Zeolite A membranes by self-assembly and hydrothermal methods.

Frank's other professional accomplishments include: Science demonstrator in Columbus City Schools through Wonders of Our World (WOW) 2006-2008,  The Interfaith Legal Clinic, Columbus, Ohio 2009, Columbus Intellectual Property Law Association Treasurer 2012‐2013, Secretary 2013-2014, Vice President 2014-2015,  Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Central Ohio (APABA‐CO) 2009-2014,  Board member for Central Ohio Chapter, National Hemophilia Foundation 2013‐2014.

Related Experience

  • In-house patent attorney, Sandvik Intellectual Property, AB
  • Associate at Shimokaji & Associates, PLC


  • R. Grommen, P. Manikanda, Y. Gao, T. Shane, J. Shane, R. Schoonheydt, B. Weckhuysen, and Daniella Goldfarb, Geometry and Framework Interactions of Zeolite-Encapsulated Copper (II) - Histidine Complexes. J. AM. CHEM. SOC. 122(46), pp. 11488-96 (2000).  View File.
  • Kai Zhang, Suresh Vagarali, and Frank Gao, REINFORCED THERMALLY STABLE POLYCRYSTALLINE DIAMOND CUTTER, U.S. Utility Patent filed March 28, 2014
  • Kai Zhang, Gary Flood, and Frank Gao, MODIFICATION OF DIAMOND FEEDS FOR IMPROVING POLYCRYSTALLINE DIAMOND CUTTER, U.S. Utility Patent filed February 28, 2014


  • Chinese (native)
  • English (excellent)
  • Japanese (conversational)

Areas of Practice


Bar Admissions / Registrations

  • Illinois
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office


  • Capital University Law School, J.D.
  • The Ohio State University, M.S., Organic Chemistry
  • Weizman Institute of Science, Research Assistant (Ph.D. Candidate) in Chemical Physics Department
  • Jilin Universtiy, M.S., Inorganic Chemistry; B.S., Organic Chemistry