Founder & Principal
Founder, Calliope Bio PBC
Founder, Rockridge Venture Law
• B Corp Best For The World (2018 - 2022)
• Berkeley Form + Fund Fellow (2019)
• Conscious Company Magazine Top Business Leaders (2018)
• Leadership Lawyer, Tennessee Bar Association (2019)
• Leadership Tennessee (2020)
• NIH RADx Faculty Member (2020 - 2022)
• Real Leaders Global Top 150 (2021)
• Thomson Reuters SuperLawyer (2019 - 2022)
• Yale 2050 Fellow (2021 - 2022)
Kevin Christopher is the founder and principal of Rockridge®, and is widely recognized for his work at the nexus of innovation + impact in venture ecosystems. Kevin's daily work includes helping promising startups raise funds and secure intellectual property protection, providing due diligence to investors, acting as outside corporate counsel to impactful firms, and litigating complex patent and trademark suits. Kevin uniquely offers experiences as an entrepreneur, operator, director, investor, and litigator to best counsel firms at all stages of their existence.
Kevin Christopher is founder and principal of Rockridge Venture Law®, one of the only B Corp law firms in the U.S. and a Real Leaders Top 150 Impact Company. Kevin is also co-founder of Calliope Bio, a synthetic biology company launched through the Nucleate Activator program and Berkeley Skydeck accelerator, and QUANTiSCOPE, a microscopic AI company launched through the BARDA WheelsUp accelerator.
Prior to founding Rockridge®, Kevin led biotech commercialization activities at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Livermore National Lab. Kevin is a Berkeley Form + Fund Fellow (startups), NIH RADx Faculty Member (technology), and Yale 2050 Fellow (sustainability). He’s been featured by B the Change, Forbes, the Los Angeles Times, Sustainable Brands Magazine, and many other media outlets for his work in impact + innovation. Kevin is a registered patent attorney and impact investor, and his practice areas include: corporate law and governance, data privacy, government contracts, intellectual property, startups, technology, and venture capital.
Kevin Christopher made the most of his time learning entrepreneurship and law in San Francisco. As a student, he interned under Senior U.S. District Court Judge Charles R. Breyer and was a teaching assistant in energy law and policy to former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, now U.S. Secretary of Energy. Kevin was an academic honoree for his scholarship in the Hastings Law and Bioscience Project, research assistant to Paul Herman’s groundbreaking work in corporate social responsibility, and regularly published poet in the UC Berkeley faith based journal To An Unknown God. After graduating law school, Kevin spurned the traditional firm route in favor of a biomass energy startup, where he learned a little something about equity, hustle, and scalability.
These diverse interests and experiences would lay the groundwork for Kevin’s vocation today as a mission-oriented entrepreneur and patent attorney. After his initial startup experience, Kevin would go on to lead various technology commercialization programs at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL) before spinning out a biopharmaceutical startup from LLNL called Resolute Therapeutics. Along the way he partnered with several Nobel prize winning scientists and technologists to commercialize CRISPR applications, MOFs, lab-on-a-chip platforms, neural interfaces, sensors, vaccines, and more. He even formed the only known Grammy-Nobel partnership for the commercialization of raw space data into music.
Illustrative of this period, Kevin led the legal activities of the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (Synberc). Several notable synthetic biology startups launched out of this center, including Ginkgo Bioworks, Lygos, Kalion, and Lattice, with aggregate valuations of several billion dollars. Kevin similarly led legal activities of the Berkeley Sensor Actuator Center (BSAC), with notable startups including Berkeley Lights, Iota Biosciences, and Kryptos Biotechnologies. In parallel, Kevin served as a consultant to the NIH and NSF Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR/STTR) programs.
In 2017, Kevin relocated to Tennessee and launched Rockridge® to the become the preeminent innovation law firm in the Southeast. Founded on B Corp principles, Rockridge has also become nationally recognized as a go-to firm supporting social and environmental impact entrepreneurs, particularly those with scalable ides and technologies. Rockridge is proudly a B Corp Best For The World, RealLeaders Top 150, and 1% For The Planet law firm.
Kevin Christopher is a corporate attorney, patent attorney, and trademark attorney. Specifically, his practice areas include: patent and trademark prosecution, licensing and litigation; corporate law, with an emphasis on benefit corporations, socially responsible businesses and high-growth emergent companies; government contracts, with an emphasis on innovation funding; corporate and investor financing; and, technology commercialization. In addition to his corporate practice Kevin helps many entrepreneurs as program advisor with AgLaunch, Bethesda Green Hub, First Flight Venture Center, Nashville Entrepreneur Center, and Yale Tsai CITY.
Kevin is a Berkeley Form + Fund Fellow, NIH RADx Faculty Member, and Yale Center for Business and Environment Business Leader. He’s a Tennessee Bar Association Leadership Lawyer and Leadership Tennessee alumnus, and board member to several environmental and social impact nonprofits. Kevin has been recognized as a SuperLawyer by Thomson Reuters and Top Business Leader by Conscious Company Magazine.
Attorney Kevin Christopher’s illustrative services include:
Corporate & IP Counsel
- Bite® – Shark Tank Disruptor
- Cambium Carbon – Forbes 30 under 30
- Center for Bioplastics & Biocomposites – NSF Research Center
- Rich Froning & Mayhem Athlete® – World Champion Athletes
- Solas BioVentures – Life Science Venture Capital Group
- University of California – Tech Transfer & Startups
- UNC Eshelman Institute for Innovation – Commercialization
Trademark TTAB Litigation
- Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) Cancellation Proceeding No. 92071980, Godisghl, LLC v. Elevated Faith LLC
- Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) Opposition Proceeding No. 91252177, Advance Royalty Company, LLC v. AARP
- Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) Opposition Proceeding No. 91238584, Rich Froning Fitness, LLC v. Monster Energy Company
U.S. Federal Court Litigation
- U.S. District Court, Middle District of Tennessee, No. 3:21-cv-124, Sicko Inc. v. Ian Connor, Grailed et al.
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee, No. 1:19-cv-00271, Stone Door Group, LLC v. Meade
- U.S. District Court, Middle District of Tennessee, No. 3:18-cv-01312, Hain Lifescience GmbH v. Seider and Hain Diagnostics, LLC
- U.S. Federal Circuit, No. 19-1808-ZZ, VoIP-Pal.com v. Twitter Inc., et al.
- U.S. Federal Circuit, No. 20-1241, VoIP-Pal.com v. Apple, Inc., et. al.
2022 Activities & Affiliations
- Board of Directors, Green|Spaces
- Board of Directors, Mustard Seed Ranch
- Commissioner, Great Smoky Mountains Park, State of Tennessee
- Executive Council, TBA Intellectual Property Section
- Faculty, National Institutes of Health (NIH) RADx Program
- National Science Foundation (NSF) Evaluator, Center for Biocomposites and Bioplastics
District of Columbia
State of Tennessee
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee
U.S. District Court, Middle District of Tennessee
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
- 2021, B Corp Best For The World
2021, Real Leaders Top 150 Impact Company
- 2021, Thomson Reuters SuperLawyer
2020, B Corp Best For The World
- 2020, Leadership Tennessee
2020, Thomson Reuters SuperLawyer
2019, Federal Lab Consortium Deal of the Year
- 2019, B Corp Best For The World
2019, Thomson Reuters SuperLawyer
- 2018, Tennessee Bar Association Leadership Lawyer
2018, Top Impact Business Leader, Conscious Company Magazine
- Artists, Athletes & Influencers
- Benefit Corporations, ESG & Social Enterprises
- Blockchain & Data Rights
- Branding, Copyrights & Trademarks
- Commercialization & Tech Transfer
- Contract Negotiations
- Corporate Governance & General Counsel
- Forming & Funding: Emerging Companies, Venture Capital & Securities
- Government Contracts
- Investor Due Diligence
- Joint Ventures, Strategic Partnerships & Licensing
- Mergers & Acquisitions
- Patents & Trade Secrets
B The Change, “What’s My Job’s Purpose? The Value of Being a B Corp in the Labor Market”
Conscious Company Media, “Top 22 Business Leaders of 2019”
EDGE Magazine, “‘Mission-Oriented Rockridge Venture Law Built on a Foundation of Social Responsibility”
Forbes, “Networking On Purpose: How B Corps Are Creating Connections And Building Their Community In The Southeast U.S.”
RealLeaders® Top 150 Impact Companies of 2021
Taking Care of Business: Kevin Christopher of Rockridge Venture Law
Times Free Press, “Doing Well by Doing Good: B Corporations Broaden Business Goals to Maximize Shareholder Value”
Presentations and Publications
“Cementing your Impact through Better Governance: B Corps and PBCs.” Interview: Enduring Planet. 1 July 2022.
“Guide to Alabama Benefit Corporations.” Rockridge Briefs. 25 May 2022.
“Decentralized Autonamous Organizations (DAO): What They Are and How They Work.” Rockridge Briefs. 11 May 2022.
“Guide to Tennessee Benefit Corporations.” Rockridge Briefs. 1 May 2022.
“Impact of the SEC’s New GHG and Climate Change Rules on Life Science Companies.” Rockridge Briefs. 6 April 2022.
“Guide to Florida Benefit Corporations.” Rockridge Briefs. 30 March 2022.
“Guide to Georgia Benefit Corporations.” Rockridge Briefs. 30 March 2022.
“The Delaware Public Benefit LLC: Use it to Become a “Benefit Company” in Your State.” Rockridge Briefs. 17 Oct. 2021.
“Scaling with Impact: Structuring, Operating, and Funding Purpose + Profit Businesses.” UC Davis Venture Catalyst Program. 25 May 2021. Presentation.
“Intellectual Property for Scientists.” Berkeley Postdoc Entrepreneurial Program. 20 May 2021. Presentation.
“Great Scott!: Conflicting Local Patent Rules in the Wake of TC Heartland and How They Impact Patent Litigation Strategies.” TBA Intellectual Property Law Annual Forum. 15 April 2021. Presentation.
“How are Certified B Corps and Public Benefit Corporations Related?” Rockridge Briefs. 10 March 2021.
“Open-Source Software and its Implications for Innovation.” Purdue Policy Research Institute. 4 Dec. 2020. Online.
“Grading Georgia’s Public Benefit Law.” Rockridge Briefs. 7 Oct. 2020.
“Scaling Social Enterprise.” Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale. 9 Sept. 2020. Online.
“How One TTAB Case Reveals Continued Examination Flaws Post- Tam and Brunetti.” IP Watchdog. 27 Aug. 2020. Online.
“Creating a Sustainable Business in an On-Demand, Make-It-Cheap E-Commerce Culture.” B Academics Global Summit. 5 Aug. 2020. Presentation.
“How Open Source Software is Invading Proprietary Platforms, for Better or Worse.” Tennessee Bar Association Intellectual Property Law 2020. Presentation.
“How Being a Benefit Corporation Can Legally Protect a Company’s Mission.” Sustainable Brands Magazine. 27 Jan. 2020. Online.
“Leading the Growing Global Movement.” One Percent For The Planet Global Summit 2019. 5 May 2019. Presentation.
“Improving Your Trademark EQ: How to Choose a RAD Trademark.” Rockridge Briefs. 19 Feb. 2019.
“How to Build a Website to Support Trademark Rights and Registration.” Rockridge Briefs. 5 Jan. 2019.
“Copyright and Public Art.” Tennessee Intellectual Property Law Association. Fall Seminar. Nashville, TN. 2 Nov. 2018. Presentation.
“Vile and Viral Trademarks.” Tennessee Intellectual Property Law Association. Spring Seminar. Nashville, TN. 4 May 2018. Presentation.
“Intellectual Property.” AgLaunch Bootcamp. Knoxville, TN. 11 July 2018. Presentation.
“Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs.” Tennessee Tech Rural Innovation Conference. Cookeville, TN. 7 June 2018. Presentation.
“Advanced Energy Entrepreneurship.” Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council. Opportunities in Energy. Knoxville, TN. 6 Dec. 2016. Presentation.
“Country Music Industry Fights Website Allegedly Selling Bootleg Merchandise.” Fox 17 News Nashville. 3 Aug. 2016. Television Interview.
“Tech Transfer to Manufacturing.” University of California, Berkeley Entrepreneurship Symposium. Biomedical Entrepreneurship: A Roadmap to the Future. Berkeley, CA. 14 Oct. 2014. Presentation.
“Startups and Venture Capital.” Industry Contract Officers Network Annual Meeting. Caltech University. Pasadena, CA. 16 Oct. 2012. Presentation.
“Crowdfunding and Crowdsourcing.” University of California Intellectual Property Managers Meeting. Santa Barbara, CA. 2012. Presentation.
Granholm, Jennifer et al. “Creating Jobs through Investment in Renewable Energy and Clean Technology: A Proposal for Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu.” Washington, DC. 29 May 2012. Presentation.
“Reclaiming our Technological Posterity at the Intersection of Intellectual Property and Taxation: Uncovering how Patent Pools are Key to Recapturing the Benefits of Charitable IP Contributions,” American University Intellectual Property Brief (April 2011).
Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Freeing the Grid (2010).
Paul Herman, The Hip Investor: Make Bigger Profits by Building a Better World (2009).
Collected Works. TAUG: To an Unknown God. University of California, Berkeley. Volumes 1-2. Original Poetry.