Skip to main content

Patents & Trade Secrets

You have an idea for something new. You know it could change the world, but before collaborating to develop the idea you know you need to protect it somehow. You worry about competitors marketing the same or similar technologies as soon as they hear about it. Registering a patent or developing a comprehensive trade secret program can help provide peace of mind against competitive theft.

A patent (or portfolio of patents) may secure your market position in a particular technology — or provide distinctive positioning in a research grant application. In novel biopharmaceutical cases when a company expends billions of dollars in development costs, a patent is critical. In other instances, it may be subservient to other intellectual property rights in fast-growth technology or creative content industries. The need for a patent often depends on numerous considerations, and we’re here to help clarify.

Our patent-related services include…

Patent Search / Prior Art Search

We shake the trees, sift the sands, excavate the boulders… whatever it takes to identify prior art that might impact the ability to patent your invention.

Patent Search Opinion / Freedom to Operate

We’ve heard it a million times: “I know this industry and swear I’m the only one that’s come up with this.” Inevitably, we nearly always find something relevant in our prior art searches. Our goal, of course, is not to hamper your ability to patent or market your invention, but to keep you safe in the marketplace. Our opinions provide you with the analysis you need to develop a patent claims strategy, proceed with an R&D plan, tailor your marketing, confidently discuss your ideas with investors and, often, save money.

Patent Prosecution / Patent Registration

With backgrounds in business development and entrepreneurship, our patent team drafts patents with a particular focus on marketable claim sets.

Patent Litigation

Trust us, there’s no glamour in suing or getting sued. It’s a risky business with endless scenarios and technical interpretations. So when push comes to shove, you want a team that grasps the scientific, legal, and social components of litigation. We’re entrepreneur-attorneys — we know how to sell science both on the pitch and in the courtroom. 

Patent Licensing

Our patent team has locked up with the big boys, negotiating intellectual property deals with Affymetrix, BASF, Google, Honeywell, Merck, Samsung and Synthetic Genomics, to name(drop) just a few. We’ve got the mettle to ensure you don’t settle.

Patent Strategy

Attempting to patent internationally? Debating between a design patent and a utility patent? Questioning whether a particular change might invalidate your patent? Perhaps you’re observing what your competitors are patenting and are curious how much your own patents are worth. Maybe you want to challenge your competitors’ patents, or learn about whether your own patents be challenged. We’re here to answer these concerns and more.

Associated Blogs, Presentations, Publications

ArticlesPatents & Trade Secrets
February 12, 2024

2024 Patent Trends

Photo by Steve Johnson   Patent Trends of 2024: Legislation, AI & Globalization It’s the start of a new year, meaning it’s time to make some optimistic predictions about how…
ArticlesPatents & Trade Secrets
February 12, 2024

Top Patent Cases of 2023: Observations on Enablement, Inventorship, and Claim Scope

Photo by Efrem Efre 2023 Patent Review  Another year has come and gone, and patent law has been chiseled and defined ever so slightly by another year of court decisions.…
ArticlesPatents & Trade Secrets
September 28, 2023

Patent Strategies: The Benefits of Co-Filing a Provisional Utility Application and an Expedited Design Application

Photo by Kaboompics The road to protecting your inventions is not easy. The world of innovation is spinning faster every day, generating an ever expanding the universe of “prior art”…
ArticlesBranding, Copyrights & TrademarksPatents & Trade SecretsRVL Briefs
January 17, 2022

5 Interesting IP Cases of 2021

Photo by Edward Jenner from Pexels   What do Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction NFTs, a $1.2 billion cell therapy patent infringement verdict, and Google’s copying of Java code have in common? They’ve made…
ArticlesPatents & Trade SecretsRVL Briefs
November 18, 2021

3 Patent Due Diligence Lessons to Learn from the Theranos Saga

Photo by Artem Podrez from Pexels A Case Study of Patent Due Diligence Opportunities and Pitfalls   It’s November 2021, and Theranos is still in the news. After several delays in the criminal…
Patents & Trade Secrets
January 4, 2021

Protecting Trade Secrets Through Contracting

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels. Trade secrets are a unique form of intellectual property — they require no filing or examination, no acquisition cost, nor is their value limited…

Lead Attorney / Agent Profiles

Kevin Christopher


• B Corp Best For The World
• Berkeley Form + Fund Fellow
• Conscious Company® Top 22 Business Leader
• NIH RADx Faculty Member
• NSF Evaluator, Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites
• Real Leaders® Top 150
• Registered Patent Attorney
• SuperLawyers® Mid-South
• Yale 2050 Fellow


Andrew Lerner, Ph.D.

Patent Lead

• B Corp Best For The World
• Berkeley Form + Fund Fellow
• NIH RADx Faculty Member
• Real Leaders® Top 150
• Registered Patent Agent

Close Menu

Historic James Building
735 Broad Street, STE 1001
Chattanooga, TN 37402

Nashville Entrepreneur Center
41 Peabody St.
Nashville, TN 37210
(For client and partnership meetings only)

The Yale Club
50 Vanderbilt Ave.
New York, NY 10017
(For client and partnership meetings only)


RVL® is a business, intellectual property, and technology firm, building today’s companies for tomorrow’s economy.