Dale C. Hunt

Dale C. Hunt, Ph.D.

dhunt@hahnlaw.com 619.810.4325


Dr. Dale C. Hunt provides guidance and expertise on patents and intellectual property matters. Dale has extensive experience with patent protection, with a technical emphasis in life sciences (cellular biology, genetics, genomics, immunology, microbiology, molecular biology, pharmaceuticals, protein engineering, stem cells, transgenics and vaccines); environmental technology (alternative energy, carbon-emissions credits and exchanges, oil and gas technologies, solar energy, natural products and water purification systems); materials and manufacturing (filters and filtration systems, metal fibers and alloys); medical devices and procedures (nucleic acid diagnostics, sensors and instrumentation and surgical devices and methods); and plants (agriculture, plant genetics, plant patents and plant-variety protection). Dale also has experience with patent portfolio management and strategy advice, international intellectual property matters, right-to-practice and product-launch opinions, intellectual property due diligence, and licensing.

Dale also started the firm’s Cannabis IP practice to aid clients in establishing strong intellectual property protection for their legal marijuana strains, products and businesses. The approaches to such protection include U.S. plant patents and utility patents; state and common-law trademark strategies, protection, and enforcement; and federal trademark protection for federally legal allied products and services. His expertise also extends to other forms of protection for Cannabis businesses, including licensing of intellectual property, which can encompass protection of know-how and trade secrets related to cultivation and processing techniques; international plant breeders’ rights and related commercialization and enforcement strategies; as well as various other approaches that have been successful for his clients in the fruit and floral markets but which Cannabis companies have yet to attempt.

Having started as a botanist and plant geneticist, Dale continued his study of plant biology at the cellular and molecular level, completing a Ph.D. at UC San Diego. Dale then went on to UC Berkeley for law school.  In addition to his diverse patent practice as described above, he has worked his entire career helping clients protect and commercialize their proprietary plant varieties in the U.S. and over 20 foreign countries. Dale currently serves as a member of the board of the non-profit Open Cannabis Project and has spoken on IP protection at the Marijuana Business Convention in Washington, D.C.  He has also been interviewed for and quoted in numerous news articles and by national media outlets on the topic of marijuana and patenting.

Professional History

  • Partner, Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP, 2015-present
  • Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, 2008-15
  • Partner, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP, 2007-08
  • Partner, Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP, 2001-07; Associate, 1996-2000



University of California at Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law, J.D., 1996

Honors & Activities: Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor


University of California, San Diego, Ph.D., Biology, 1993

Honors & Activities: Doctoral research in plant molecular and cellular biology; NIH training grant in genetics; SCC research award/grant


Brigham Young University, M.S., Genetics, Minor in Statistics, 1988

Honors & Activities: Masters research in plant genetics and photosynthesis; BYU graduate student research grant


Brigham Young University, B.S., Botany, 1985

Honors & Activities: BYU Spencer W. Kimball Scholar; United States Presidential Scholar


Memberships & Affiliations

American Intellectual Property Law Association, Member


Association of University Technology Managers, Member


Licensing Executives Society, Member


Bar Association of San Francisco, Member


San Diego County Bar Association, Member

Bar Admissions

State of California


U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; U.S. Patent and Trademark Office