Thanks to my experience with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, I am exceptionally well-versed in the nuances of the patent application process – I know the rules and procedures intimately and am familiar with what patent examiners will look for in an application. This gives me an ability to both effectively craft approaches to examinations and to anticipate potential issues and develop responses well in advance, a capability my clients value.
Chris Nichols is Of Counsel in the firm’s Baton Rouge office. An intellectual property and registered U.S. patent attorney, Chris serves clients across the full range of industries and technologies, with a special focus on the chemical industry and university research programs. A former patent examiner with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, Chris is particularly experienced in patent prosecution, preparation of patent applications, and strategic management of patent portfolios. Chris also has extensive experience with the selection and clearance of trademarks, obtaining domestic and foreign trademark registrations, and handling trademark opposition and cancellation proceedings before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering, which provides an invaluable technical foundation for his work.
Chris is also highly regarded for his exceptional attention to detail. Given both the typical complexity of the underlying technology in a patent, and the fact that a patent applicant has only one opportunity to submit his application, it’s essential to both present patent applications broadly, and with a great deal of detail. By taking the time to understand the subject matter in depth, Chris ensures that the applications he presents are as strong as possible, and thus have the greatest possible opportunity of being granted.
In addition to patent prosecution, a significant portion of Chris’s practice is devoted to strategic patent portfolio analysis. In this role, he advises clients on the opportunity (or lack thereof) presented by developing technology in a specific field, as well as which aspects of a technology or process will be patentable, and which will not.
His experience includes technologies connected with polymers, coatings, lithium and bromine chemistry, oil and gas, mechanical arts, computer-implemented arts, and medical devices. Prior to practicing law, Chris worked as a senior engineer with a major engineering and construction company where his duties included leading and managing process design projects for oil refineries, chemical plants, gas processing facilities, and power plants.