Join CPTCLA Today

The CPTCLA is the oldest legal association dedicated to practitioners of Intellectual Property law in North and South Carolina. CPTCLA hosts an annual Spring CLE seminar in North Carolina, as well as a Fall CLE seminar in South Carolina, offering a combined nine to twelve hours of CLE credit. Our Fall CLE will be held on September 22-23, 2017 at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort on Kiawah Island, SC. We have a great line-up of speakers. JOIN US.

Board Members

Keith A. Roberson

President

keith.roberson@3dsystems.com

Keith Roberson is IP and Technology Counsel for 3D Systems Corporation in Rock Hill, South Carolina.  Keith earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University and worked as a manufacturing engineer for GE Power Systems in Greenville, SC before attending law school.  He received his J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law.  Prior to joining 3D Systems, he was a patent attorney with Alston & Bird in Charlotte, NC and with Corning Incorporated in Hickory, NC.  Keith manages 3D Systems' intellectual property portfolio, supervises domestic and foreign litigation, and provides other legal support for 3D Systems’ various product offerings for converting digital data into physical objects. 

Michele M. Glessner

First V.P.

michele.glessner@alston.com

Michele M. Glessner

Michele Glessner is a partner at Alston & Bird, LLP, in Charlotte, North Carolina in the firm's Mechanical Patents Group and the Trademarks & Copyrights Group. She concentrates her patent practice on utility and design patent prosecution (domestic and foreign), patentability and freedom-to-practice investigations, and patent portfolio analysis. On the trademark side, Michele focuses on trademark prosecution (domestic and foreign), trademark clearance investigations and trademark enforcement matters. Michele earned her J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame in 2006. She received her B.S., cum laude, in mechanical engineering from Cornell University in 1999. Prior to attending law school, Michele was a product engineer for an industrial gases and chemicals company. She earned her engineer-in-training certification at this time. Michele is a fluent speaker of Egyptian Arabic and has a foundation in classical Arabic, both written and spoken. In addition, she is proficient in French.

Ryan Harris

Second V.P.

ryan.harris@bayer.com

Ryan Harris

Ryan Harris is Patent Counsel at Bayer Corporation servicing Bayer CropScience LP in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.  Ryan earned his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Clemson University and his J.D from the University of South Carolina School of Law.  Prior to joining Bayer in 2013, he was in private practice for approximately 6 years.  Ryan manages the crop protection portfolio (fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, and seed treatments), handles all related intellectual property licensing and agreements, and supervises crop protection-related litigation for Bayer CropScience.  Ryan is admitted to the State Bar in both North Carolina and South Carolina.

R. Flynt Strean

Treasurer

FStrean@wcsr.com

R. Flynt Strean

Flynt Strean is a partner at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP, in Charlotte, North Carolina in the firm’s Mechanical Patents Group.  His practice focuses on managing client intellectual property portfolios and counseling clients to procure, protect, and license intellectual property rights. Flynt has extensive experience in preparing and prosecuting U.S. and foreign patent applications, preparing non-infringement/invalidity and patentability opinions, performing clearance investigations, and conducting intellectual property due diligence investigations.  Flynt received his J.D. from the University of Kentucky in 2004.  He received a B.S.M.E., cum laude, from Virginia Tech in 1993, and an M.S.M.E. from Virginia Tech in 1996.  Prior to attending law school, Flynt spent six years as a research and development engineer for Lexmark International, Inc.  Flynt has been recognized as a North Carolina Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine.  In addition to serving as a Board Member of the Carolina Patent Trademark & Copyright Law Association, he also serves on the Advisory Board of Virginia Tech’s Science, Technology, and Law Program.

R. Brian Drozd

Secretary

rdrozd@oliff.com

R. Brian Drozd

Brian Drozd is a partner at Oliff & Berridge, PLC in Charlotte, NC. Brian earned his B.S. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from UNC-Charlotte and a M.S. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Duke University.  He also received a Master's of Engineering Management (M.E.M.) degree from Duke University. During and after his graduate studies at Duke, he worked as an electrical engineer/software developer manager for a start-up industrial microwave company in Research Triangle Park, N.C.  For the year prior to entering law school, he worked as a patent agent at a law firm in RTP. Brian has a variety of experience in patent preparation and prosecution before both the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (since 2003) and foreign patent offices in the areas of in electromagnetics, electronics, telecommunications, software, mechanical engineering, business methods, and aerospace industries.  He also prepares opinions and does transactional work. He is a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association; the North Carolina Bar Association (a member of the IP council and co-chair of the EE committee); Licensing Executive Society; and the Carolina Patent Trademark and Copyright Law Association.  He has been selected as a NC Superlawyer (2011-2013) and NC Business Legal Elite (2011-2013).

Kirby A. Turner

IT Officer

kturner@jenkinswilson.com

Kirby A. Turner

Kirby Turner is a partner at Jenkins, Wilson, Taylor, & Hunt, P.A., in Morrisville, North Carolina. Kirby earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and his B.S. in Civil Engineering at North Carolina State University. Prior to attending law school, he worked in the engineering department at the Carolina Power and Light Company (now Duke Energy). He earned his J.D. degree at the Ohio State University Moritz School of Law.  Mr. Turner is admitted to both the North Carolina and Georga State Bars and is registered to practice before the United States Patent & Trademark Office. Mr. Turner currently prepares and prosecutes patent applications in the electrical and computer software areas, including inventions relating to the telecommunications, computer networking, Internet telephony, computer graphics, and data storage systems. He is a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the North Carolina Bar Association, and the Carolina Patent Trademark and Copyright Law Association.

Blake Nickles

Board Member

bnickles@hubbell.com

Blake Nickles

Blake Nickles is Senior Patent Counsel for Hubbell Incorporated in Greenville, SC.  Blake received his J.D. with a focus on Intellectual Property from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago and received his B.S.E. in Materials Science of Engineering from the University of Michigan.  Prior to joining Hubbell Incorporated, Blake served as in-house patent counsel for General Electric in Greenville, SC and was a patent attorney with Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP in Cincinnati, OH where he focused on patent prosecution and IP litigation.

Jay Klinck

Board Member

jklinck@wt-ip.com

Jay Klinck

Jay Klinck is an attorney at Withrow & Terranova, PLLC, in Cary, North Carolina. Mr. Klinck earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering at Clemson University in South Carolina, and worked as a VLSI Chip Designer for Mitsubishi Semiconductor America, Inc. Prior to attending law school, he was a Design Section Manager for Renesas America, where he designed and managed the design of microcontrollers, encryption hardware, and high-speed serial interfaces. Mr. Klinck is admitted to the North Carolina State Bar and is registered to practice before the United States Patent & Trademark Office. Mr. Klinck has extensive experience preparing and prosecuting U.S. and foreign patent applications in the areas of telecommunications, electrical, electronic, mechanical, and computer software areas. He is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association, where he is a member of the IP Section Council, and co-chair of the Electrical Engineering Committee, and a member of the Carolina Patent Trademark and Copyright Law Association. Mr. Klinck is also active in his community. He is an elder at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Durham, NC, and teaches high school youth Sunday School.

Connie Jones

Board Member

connie.jones@altusiplaw.com

Connie Jones

Connie Jones is a Patent Attorney with Altus IP. Connie assists businesses in protecting trade secrets internally and in dealings with third parties. Connie conducts trade secret audits, develops trade secret strategies, drafts trade secret opinions, and oversees agreements protecting her clients' proprietary information. Connie also consults on trade secret cases after a theft has occurred or is suspected. Prior to Altus IP, Connie practiced with the law firm Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP. While at Finnegan, Connie focused her practice on trade secret, patent and trademark litigation in both District Courts and at the International Trade Commission. Connie attended the University of Florida's Levin College of Law where she graduated Cum Laude and Order of the Coif. Connie graduated from the Honors Program at Roanoke College Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Science in Physics and a Minor in Math.

Stephen Petroski

Board Member

spetroski@myersbigel.com

Stephen Petroski

Stephen Petroski is a shareholder at Myers Bigel & Sibley, P.A., in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he focuses his practice on patent preparation and prosecution in mechanical and electromechanical technologies. Stephen received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, cum laude, from Duke University, his Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois, and his Juris Doctor degree, with honors, from the University of North Carolina. He is a member of the North Carolina Bar and is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Prior to entering law school, Stephen gained more than five years experience as a development and product engineer at Ingersoll Rand Company. He is a registered Professional Engineer in North Carolina.

Jeremy Whitley

Board Member

Jeremy.Whitley@Honeywell.com

Jeremy Whitley

Jeremy serves as Chief IP Counsel for Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions (SPS), one of Honeywell’s four Strategic Business Groups. SPS technologies support the productivity and safety of more than half a billion workers worldwide with offerings such as rugged mobile computers, voice-enabled software and workflows, barcode scanners, printing solutions, gas sensing technologies, personal protective equipment, and automated material handling solutions.

Jeremy has overall responsibility for managing all aspects of SPS’s intellectual property, including maintenance, licensing, and enforcement of its patents, as well as extending its IP portfolio by procuring protection for its innovations and furthering its inventive process.

Before joining Honeywell, Jeremy was a member of the Intellectual Property Group of the Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough law firm, which he joined after law school. At Nelson Mullins, he provided litigation support for lawsuits involving patent, trademark, and copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation. Jeremy also provided the firms’ client with opinions relating to patentability, trademark use, and freedom-to-operate, as well as drafting, filing, and prosecuting numerous patent applications on their behalf.

Jeremy earned his J.D., magna cum laude, in 2004 from the University of South Carolina’s School of Law, where he was a member of The South Carolina Law Review and The Order of the Coif. In 1999, Mr. Whitley received a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Computing-Business from Furman University. He is admitted to the bars of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and South Carolina, where SPS is headquartered.

Elizabeth Worley

Board Member

elizabeth.worley@biomerieux.com

Elizabeth Selby Worley is currently Senior patent counsel at bioMérieux, Inc., a diagnostics company, with primary responsibility for Molecular Diagnostics. She holds a B.S. magna cum laude with honors in biology from Centenary College of Louisiana, an M.S. in molecular genetics from Emory University and a J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law. Ms. Worley has been in private practice in Atlanta and in Memphis and has served as in-house patent counsel for GlaxoSmithKline in RTP. She has also served as Acting Director of the Technology Law Center at the University of Maine School of Law, which Center included the Maine Patent Program.

Thomas D. Huycke

Past President

thuycke@dority-manning.com

Thomas D. Huycke

Thomas Huycke is a partner at Dority & Manning, P.A., in Greenville, South Carolina. Thomas has familiarity with technologies in the electromechanical and mechanical arts, including packaging and industrial machinery, automotive components, and agricultural machinery. He earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, magna cum laude, from Clemson University, and his J.D, Order of the Coif, from the West Virginia University College of Law. Mr. Huycke is a member of the American Bar Association, the American Intellectual Property Law Association, and the Carolina Patent, Trademark and Copyright Law Association.