FLYNN IP LAW

FLYNN IP LAW

FLYNN IP LAW helps client companies obtain patents in the US & abroad and helps clients stay clear of the patent rights of others. Clients are treated with respect and ideally view the firm as a trusted external team member. Relationships matter.

Firm Overview

FIRM LOCATION
FLYNN IP LAW is located in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina, but patent attorneys can help clients from any state seek United States patent protection.

SAMPLES OF PATENT WORK
Those seeking a link to a broad cross-section of issued patents written by Kevin E. Flynn can paste this link into a browser. http://bit.ly/Patent_Examples

This link is provided so a person with an interest can see samples of work that Kevin E. Flynn has done and get a sense of the range of technologies previously handled by Kevin E. Flynn. This link should not be construed as an assertion that all patent applications have led to issued patents nor that every patent application filed on behalf of a new client will be assured of being issued as a granted patent.


SERVICES PROVIDED
--Coordinating Patent Searching.
--Drafting United States Patent Applications.
--Drafting United States Provisional Patent Applications.
--Filing Patent Cooperation Treaty Applications.
--Coordinating Efforts to Seek Patents Outside of the US.
--Filing United States Design Patent Applications.
--Accelerating United States Patent Applications.
--Supervising Freedom-to-Operate Searches.
--Preparing Freedom-to-Operate Opinions.
--Providing Design Around Guidance for Patent Claims.
--Monitoring Third-Party Applications.
--Advising Regarding Trade Secrets.
--Due Diligence Work.
--Assisting in Licensing Work.


TECHNOLOGIES
--Medical Devices.
--Surgical Methods & Tools.
--Internet of Things (IoT).
--Clean Energy.
--Consumer Goods.
--Instruments & Monitoring.
--Software.
--Essentially anything made better by an engineer.


SERVICES NOT HANDLED BY FLYNN IP LAW
In order to focus on providing the highest quality in what we do, we purposefully do not do a number of things. Things not handled by FLYNN IP LAW include:

xx Copyrights
xx Trademarks
xx Plant Patents (for new plant varieties)
xx Patent Litigation
xx General Business Legal Advice
xx Employment Disputes Regarding Inventions
xx Patents for Scientific Advances in Chemistry, Biology, or Physics. These are best handled by an patent attorney with a PhD in the relevant area of science.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Answers to various frequently asked questions may be found at http://www.flynniplaw.com/faqs.


RESOURCES FOR ENTREPRENEURS
Resources for entrepreneurs, particularly with respect to patent issues may be found at http://www.flynniplaw.com/resources/patent-resources and http://www.flynniplaw.com/resources/resources-for-entrepreneurs .


NOTICES & DISCLAIMERS
1) Flynn IP Law is a Professional Corporation incorporated in North Carolina as "The Law Offices of Kevin. E. Flynn, PLLC."
2) Kevin E. Flynn holds a registration as a Patent Attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This registration allows FLYNN IP LAW to assist clients from across the United States and from outside the United States in matters related to the efforts to seek a United States patent. Kevin E. Flynn is licensed in North Carolina as an attorney. For legal services beyond obtaining patents, he is limited to serving clients with a connection to North Carolina or situations falling within an applicable safe harbor. When appropriate, FLYNN IP LAW may work collaboratively with counsel in other states to add specialized skills with respect to patent issues to other legal matters such as contracts, licenses, or litigation matters. The term patent attorney is a designation by the United States government and not a certification of legal specialization of the North Carolina State Bar.
3) FLYNN IP LAW maintains this website to provide general information about the firm and the services provided by the firm. The materials on this site have been prepared for informational purposes and are not intended to be legal advice. Legal advice is provided to a client after the firm has agreed to engage with a client and is tailored to the specific facts, circumstances, and needs of the client. A website is not suited to provide client-specific advice. The website is intended to be informative, but is not updated to reflect every change to laws, regulations, and best practices.
5) This website provides a process whereby an interested party may start a communication exchange with FLYNN IP LAW that may lead to an engagement of FLYNN IP LAW as patent counsel. The initial email from a potential new client to FLYNN IP LAW should not contain anything proprietary or confidential as it is possible that FLYNN IP LAW is already working for an existing client that will be a competitor providing the same good or service as the potential new client hopes to provide. Until FLYNN IP LAW communicates to the potential new client a successful completion of the subject matter conflict check, nothing sent to FLYNN IP LAW is confidential or subject to attorney-client relationship.
6) All information on this website including links to materials external to this website is provided on an "as is" basis.
Main Office
Mailing Address
Mailing Address:
Post Office Box 4655
Chapel Hill  NC  27514
Phone
  • (919) 818-9147
Fax
  • (919) 869-1522
Websites

Fees

Free Initial Consultation?
Free Consultation to explain the relevant area of patent law and to provide a first estimate of the costs to proceed.
Patents
Firm with a specialty in helping young companies obtain initial patents and stay clear of the patents owned by others. The goal is to explain your options in a way that makes sense to people dealing with the patent system for the first time.
Kevin E. Flynn of FLYNN IP LAW has a goal to become a trusted external team member to help a team of inventors for the long haul. Relationships matter.

Part engineer, part lawyer, part advocate, and part coach, Kevin E. Flynn uses all these skills to be a patent attorney. Initially trained in both Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, he later obtained a Master's Degree in Industrial & Systems Engineering. After working as an engineer and earning a Professional Engineering license from the State of North Carolina, he went back to school and earned his law degree with honors from Duke Law School. After a few years in patent litigation, including time spent with Fish & Neave in New York City, he moved to helping companies protect their ideas and avoid legal problems.

With a broad engineering background, he works for clients across a broad range of technologies. He helps clients decide where to spend their money to get the most value while seeking patents in the United States and abroad. Then he works collaboratively with the clients to create patent applications that are partly required technical disclosure. Equally important, the patent applications are also partly a sales pitch to help convince a patent examiner that this application is special and merits grant of patent status. In addition to helping clients obtain protection, he works with clients to help them avoid trouble with patents owned by others.

After working at a corporate law firm that specialized in assisting start-up companies, Kevin E. Flynn is very comfortable working directly with CTOs and CEOs in companies that do not have in-house lawyers.

He is a frequent speaker and commentator on intellectual property issues, especially those issues of particular relevance to entrepreneurial companies. He has been named repeatedly to the legal Elite for the category of Intellectual Property/Patent attorneys.


FIRM LOCATION
FLYNN IP LAW is located in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina, but patent attorneys can help clients from any state seek United States patent protection.


SAMPLES OF PATENT WORK
Those seeking a link to a broad cross-section of issued patents written by Kevin E. Flynn can paste this link into a browser. http://bit.ly/Patent_Examples

This link is provided so a person with an interest can see samples of work that Kevin E. Flynn has done and get a sense of the range of technologies previously handled by Kevin E. Flynn. This link should not be construed as an assertion that all patent applications have led to issued patents nor that every patent application filed on behalf of a new client will be assured of being issued as a granted patent.


SERVICES PROVIDED
--Patent Searching.
--Drafting United States Patent Applications.
--Drafting United States Provisional Patent Applications.
--Filing Patent Cooperation Treaty Applications.
--Coordinating Efforts to Seek Patents Outside of the US.
--Filing United States Design Patent Applications.
--Accelerating United States Patent Applications.
--Supervising Freedom-to-Operate Searches.
--Preparing Freedom-to-Operate Opinions.
--Providing Design Around Guidance for Patent Claims.
--Monitoring Third-Party Applications.
--Advising Regarding Trade Secrets.
--Due Diligence Work.
--Assisting in Licensing Work.


TECHNOLOGIES
--Medical Devices.
--Surgical Methods & Tools.
--Internet of Things (IoT).
--Clean Energy.
--Consumer Goods.
--Instruments & Monitoring.
--Software.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Answers to various frequently asked questions may be found at http://www.flynniplaw.com/faqs.


RESOURCES FOR ENTREPRENEURS
Resources for entrepreneurs, particularly with respect to patent issues may be found at http://www.flynniplaw.com/resources/patent-resources and http://www.flynniplaw.com/resources/resources-for-entrepreneurs .


AWARDS
Since 1868, Martindale-Hubbell has been the directory where attorneys would look for information about other attorneys. Beyond biographies and representative clients or cases for an attorney, there was a compilation of attorney ratings. These ratings are based reviews by a large set of peer attorneys that knew the rated attorney's work and ethical standards. The highest peer review rating is AV. Kevin E. Flynn holds this AV rating. Details on the methodology is set forth at http://www.martindale.com/Products_and_Services/Peer_Review/Methodology.aspx .

Kevin E. Flynn has been recognized repeatedly by lawyers in North Carolina as part of the Legal Elite as published in Business North Carolina. For the methodology, please see http://businessnc.com/special-sections/legal-elite/.


INVITED SPEAKER
Kevin E. Flynn has worked to develop skills to communicate complicated concepts about the patent process and related topics to non-lawyers or lawyers who are non-specialists. Thus, Kevin E. Flynn has been an invited speaker to many different groups. A representative list of these groups is listed at http://www.flynniplaw.com/about/invited-speaker

How did your firm decide on the primary area of practice(s)?

BIG PICTURE
This firm helps companies obtain patents for goods and services that have been improved through engineering. There are other firms that work with inventions at the cutting edges of chemistry, biology, or physics but this firm has a focus on the things you would get an engineer to improve. FLYNN IP LAW does not handle the process of seeking a patent on a new variety of a plant "Plant Patent" as that uses botanical skills rather than the skills of an engineer.

The innovation handled by FLYNN IP LAW may include an instrument, tool, or method used in making products in a factory or performing surgery in a hospital. Sometimes the invention is a specific good or service provided to an end user or consumer.

WHAT IS A PATENT ATTORNEY
A patent lawyer has the legal training of an attorney and is licensed by one or more states to do legal work. A patent attorney is also trained as an engineer or scientist and then passes a special patent exam to become registered by the United States Patent and Trademark Office as a patent practitioner.

Thus, only a small subset of licensed attorneys are authorized to help clients seek patent protection.

Within that small set of patent attorneys, most patent attorneys prefer dealing with large companies that have their own internal patent attorneys so there is little need to explain the process to a client pursuing a first patent. The outside patent attorney is essentially a sub-contractor for the inside patent attorney. In contrast, I am a counselor that has to explain the process and options for obtaining patent rights in the United States and abroad. In some instances, I steer the client to get other specialized legal advice.

FEW PREFER SMALL COMPANIES
Kevin E Flynn is an exception in that he prefers to work with young companies to obtain early patents for a company. It takes a different set of skills to explain the patent process to companies that may not even have inside legal counsel, much less inside patent counsel.

A patent attorney works with the inventor team to discuss the advantages and limits of an invention. When done well, it is an iterative team effort. The relationship grows over time as the patent attorney and the inventors work on a series of patent applications. Over time, the process becomes more efficient as the team members mesh and anticipate what the other needs.

It remains a great pleasure to call senior management of a company and let them know that a patent important to that company will be allowed.

What experience or education distinguishes your lawyers from others

While every patent attorney has a background in either science or engineering, many patent attorneys went to law school directly after undergraduate or graduate studies in science or engineering and did not get real world experience as a scientist or engineer.

After obtaining a degree in engineering from Duke Engineering with a dual focus in Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, Kevin E Flynn worked for years in a variety of roles in a leading electric utility (then called Duke Power). During that time, he obtained a license as a professional engineer. This PE designation means that a state is convinced that the engineer has the skills and experience to be the final say on something that could impact public safety. Some of the positions held at Duke Power had an emphasis on creating software solutions to existing problems. Other positions had a focus on mechanical engineering or instrumentation and measurement issues. Thus, Kevin has a broad range of experiences to draw upon.

During the period after undergraduate studies and before law school, Kevin obtained a master's degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from San Jose State University.

After law school, Kevin worked in a leading New York city law firm on patent litigation for several years before returning to North Carolina.

The return to North Carolina led to a change of focus from national patent disputes between Fortune 500 firms to a focus in helping smaller companies obtain early patents in their portfolios. Subsequent work in a firm that specialized in providing legal advice to start-ups increased the experience in teaching young companies how to most efficiently use scarce patent budgets to advance their objectives.

As an entrepreneur responsible for running my own firm, I am sympathetic to other entrepreneurs who are looking to obtain value while trying to limit the drain on scarce funds.


WE DO NOT TRY TO BE ALL THINGS

In order to do the work well and efficiently, there is a focus on the technologies handled and the types of work handled.

TECHNOLOGIES
--Medical Devices.
--Surgical Methods & Tools.
--Internet of Things (IoT).
--Clean Energy.
--Consumer Goods.
--Instruments & Monitoring.
--Software.
--Essentially anything made better by an engineer.


SERVICES NOT HANDLED BY FLYNN IP LAW
In order to focus on providing the highest quality in what we do, we purposefully do not do a number of things. Things not handled by FLYNN IP LAW include:

xx Copyrights
xx Trademarks
xx Plant Patents (for new plant varieties)
xx Patent Litigation
xx General Business Legal Advice
xx Employment Disputes Regarding Inventions
xx Patents for Scientific Advances in Chemistry, Biology, or Physics. These are best handled by an patent attorney with a PhD in the relevant area of science.

What distinguishes your law firm from others?

Clients like that the firm has a focus on providing value rather than pomp and circumstance. An email will frequently work better than a letter. It is efficient for me to admit that the client knows more about their technology than I do and ask that they explain a nuance to me.

It is not my goal to prove that I am smarter than my clients. I know some things that the clients do not know but that is because I have a different skill set. It is my hope that all my clients are brilliant in their own businesses. Using big words to make lawyer-like noises does less good that using simple analogies that convey the concept.

Some clients feel that they can connect with me as the time spent as a working engineer left a mark on me and makes me approachable. Some clients see a benefit in working with a patent attorney to obtain patents where the patent attorney has seen how patents are attacked and defended when used in litigation.

Many clients love the fact that when they hire a patent attorney for having the right set of education, experience, and people skills -- that the work gets done by the person they hired. Many clients are frustrated by prior experiences with law firms where the work came in through one partner who then passed the work down to someone the client never met and may not have ever hired. Pyramids of attorneys working within a large law firm sometimes lead to key inputs not reaching the person doing the drafting and extensive charges for editing and redrafting as the draft patent application goes up and down the totem pole.

What is your firm's point of view regarding clients educating themselves on legal issues?

A key part of the job as a patent attorney is to convey complex information in a way that can be absorbed by an intelligent but busy person. Many people focus on the portion of the patent attorney work that is conveying complex technical information to a government patent examiner working within a constrained time budget. Making the patent application relatively easy to read helps get the patent application through the process.

Equally important is the ability to package complex information about choices within the patent process so that clients can make informed choices. As clients go through the process and absorb the reasons why certain choices were made in the way the patent application is prepared, the client can weigh in on those choices. With each subsequent project, the client may better understand what information and format for information is particularly useful for efficient preparation of applications or responses.

Some clients have time to invest in the patent process and will want to take on a bigger role in searching for prior art, preparing drawings, and even creating initial disclosure documents that are prepared in the form of a rough draft of a patent application.

There is a lot of information about the patent process on the Internet. Just like news stories, some of the material is well-researched and accurate. Some is not. An additional problem is that there is not a garbage collection function on the Internet to remove advice that is no longer accurate as the rules have changed over time.

I enjoy working collaboratively with clients. However, sometimes I have to point out that some tasks go quicker with the attorney doing a first draft and then getting client input rather than vice versa.

Kevin E Flynn

Part engineer, part lawyer, part advocate, and part coach, Kevin E. Flynn uses all these skills to be a patent attorney. Initially trained in both Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, he later obtained a Master's Degree in Industrial & Systems Engineering. After working as an engineer and earning a Professional Engineering license from the State of North Carolina, he went back to school and earned his law degree with honors from Duke Law School. After a few years in patent litigation, including time spent with Fish & Neave in New York City, he moved to helping companies protect their ideas and avoid legal problems.

With a broad engineering background, he works for clients across a broad range of technologies. He helps clients decide where to spend their money to get the most value while seeking patents in the United States and abroad. Then he works collaboratively with the clients to create patent applications that are partly required technical disclosure. Equally important, the patent applications are also partly a sales pitch to help convince a patent examiner that this application is special and merits grant of patent status. In addition to helping clients obtain protection, he works with clients to help them avoid trouble with patents owned by others.

After working at a corporate law firm that specialized in assisting start-up companies, Kevin E. Flynn is very comfortable working directly with CTOs and CEOs in companies that do not have in-house lawyers.

He is a frequent speaker and commentator on intellectual property issues, especially those issues of particular relevance to entrepreneurial companies. He has been named repeatedly to the legal Elite for the category of Intellectual Property/Patent attorneys.


UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE REGISTRATION.
Registration No. 37,325 issued 1993.


INVITED SPEAKER.
Kevin E. Flynn has worked to develop skills to communicate complicated concepts about the patent process and related topics to non-lawyers or lawyers who are non-specialists. Thus, Kevin E. Flynn has been an invited speaker to many different groups. A representative list of these groups includes:

--American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) Annual Meeting
--Council for Entrepreneurial Development.
--Campbell University Lundy-Fetterman School of Business.
--Duke University Law School.
--Duke University Fuqua School of Business Startup-Challenge.
--Duke University Pratt School of Engineering.
--Law to the People Continuing Legal Education Class on Introduction to Patent Law.
--National SBIR/STTR Annual Conference
--North Carolina Small Business Technology Development Center programs.
--University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School.

AWARDS.
Since 1868, Martindale-Hubbell has been the directory where attorneys would look for information about other attorneys. Beyond biographies and representative clients or cases for an attorney, there was a compilation of attorney ratings. These ratings are based reviews by a large set of peer attorneys that knew the rated attorney's work and ethical standards. The highest peer review rating is AV. Kevin E. Flynn holds this AV rating. Details on the methodology is set forth at http://www.martindale.com/Products_and_Services/Peer_Review/Methodology.aspx .

Kevin E. Flynn has been recognized repeatedly by lawyers in North Carolina as part of the Legal Elite as published in Business North Carolina. For the methodology, please see http://businessnc.com/special-sections/legal-elite/.

SAMPLES OF PATENT WORK.
Those seeking a link to a broad cross-section of issued patents written by Kevin E. Flynn can paste this link into a browser. http://bit.ly/Patent_Examples

This link is provided so a person with an interest can see samples of work that Kevin E. Flynn has done and get a sense of the range of technologies previously handled by Kevin E. Flynn. This link should not be construed as an assertion that all patent applications have led to issued patents nor that every patent application filed on behalf of a new client will be assured of being issued as a granted patent.
Education
  • Duke University School of Law
    Juris Doctor (J.D) Law , 1992
    Graduated cum laude
    Winner of Melvin G. Shimm Award for work as Articles Editor.

    Activities and Societies: Articles Editor Law and Contemporary Problems
  • San Jose State University
    MSE, Industrial & Systems Engineering , 1985
    Graduated summa cum laude

    Activities and Societies: Tau Beta Pi
  • Duke University School of Engineering (Now Pratt School of Engineering)
    BSE Biomedical Engineering/Mechanical Engineering , 1982
    Completed the degree requirements for both Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering

    Activities and Societies: Dormitory President.

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