Tani Chen counsels clients in patent prosecution in a wide variety of areas, including biomolecular engineering, nanotechnology, tissue engineering, drug delivery, fuel cells, chemical processes and analytical devices. Tani has a particular focus on small businesses and university research, and has helped companies develop strong IP protection based on their business goals and potential threats from competitors. Tani particularly enjoys working with startup companies to help strengthen their competitive positions in the marketplace through patent prosecution, trade secret protection, diligence of competitor interests, identification of whitespace and potential barriers to entry, and the like.
Tani is also very active in the Boston innovation ecosystem, and has successfully mentored teams for the MIT 100K, the MIT Enterprise Forum and other business plan competitions, including more than a few that have made it to the finals rounds. In addition, Tani is a regular guest lecturer on patent basics at several area schools.
Prior to joining Wolf Greenfield, Tani was a Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital and Shriners Hospital for Children, focusing on engineering approaches for preserving biological materials under cryological and desiccant conditions. Tani’s doctoral work at MIT studied techniques for drug delivery across human skin using a pulsed, high-voltage electric field. Tani has also performed several research studies and design projects as a consultant for the Dow Chemical Company and the US Army at the Natick Research, Development and Engineering Laboratories.
"I was in my car driving home after a tough day. I was thinking about a tough licensing problem and asked Tani Chen to explain to me the value of a particular patent, and he really walked me through it step by step. He took me through the three stages of the technology and helped me understand the importance of each one from a business perspective. That he could explain that all to me while I was driving demonstrates that he could really simplify complex things in a way that I could understand."
Tani has repeatedly been named one of Massachusetts Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars” in the field of intellectual property law.
Tani has a patent in the area of controlling molecular transport under pulsed electric field conditions by adding certain chemicals during pulsing.
Tani was the lead author of two of the top 10 cited articles between 2000-2009 in the scientific journal Cryobiology.
Tani ran several weekly radio shows for a number of years on WMBR, MIT’s radio station, including shows directed to indie new age and C-pop (including Mandopop and Tai-pop) music. He also was involved in station management, and directed the training of new DJs at the station. A paper about some of his on-air work was published in the Skeptical Inquirer.
Tani also created a board wargame on the history of China, entitled China: The Middle Kingdom, now published by Decision Games. He also published an article on Chinese military history in the journal Strategy & Tactics.
Tani volunteers as a coach for the MIT Lincoln Laboratory’s robotic outreach program, which sponsors teams of grade school students for the FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) competition. In 2017, his team won the first place trophy in Computer Programming at the Massachusetts state FLL tournament.