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Kevin Christopher

Kevin Christopher

Tennessee's only B Corp entrepreneurship, intellectual property and tech firm.
  • Intellectual Property, Business Law, Trademarks...
  • District of Columbia, Patent and Trademark Office, Tennessee
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Kevin Christopher is the principal of Ridgeline Venture Law, Tennessee's first B Corp® law firm and a 2018 Best for the World Honoree. Prior to founding Ridgeline, Kevin spent 10 years in the San Francisco Bay Area working within startups, and in the commercialization of biotech and energy technologies from UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley and Lawrence Livermore National Labs. Kevin is a registered patent attorney, elected official, mountaineer, published poet, regularly smitten husband and father, and board member to various environmental and social impact nonprofits. Kevin is also co-founder of Turdcules, a men’s toilet elixir company, and National Science Foundation advisor for the research center Center for Green Solid-State Electric Power Generation and Storage (CEPS). Kevin has served as a foundational team member or key advisor for startups with algal production, biomass conversion, microbiome editing, and hepatocellular carcinoma diagnostic technologies. As a student, Kevin was a teaching assistant to former State of Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm at Berkeley Law, outstanding scholar in the UC Hastings Law and Bioscience program, judicial extern for U.S. District Court Judge Charles R. Breyer, law clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and regularly featured poet in To An Unknown God – A Journal of Christian Thought at Berkeley.

Practice Areas
  • Intellectual Property
  • Business Law
  • Trademarks
  • Patents
  • Energy, Oil & Gas Law
  • Communications & Internet Law
  • Gov & Administrative Law
  • Appeals & Appellate
Additional Practice Areas
  • Biotech
  • Music Law
  • Art Law
  • Free Consultation
    I offer a free, scheduled assessment of how I can help you.
  • Credit Cards Accepted
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
District of Columbia
District of Columbia Bar
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Patent and Trademark Office
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  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Christopher Intellectual Property Law, PLLC
- Current
With offices in Cookeville and Chattanooga, Christopher Intellectual Property proudly represents pioneering individuals and companies throughout the Upper Cumberland and Eastern Ridge, and beyond. Christopher specializes in all corporate and intellectual property matters, from the genesis and incubation of an idea to its final commercialization. Christopher Intellectual Property Law recognizes the importance of triple bottom line business practices, even at the small office level of a boutique law firm. In 2017, Christopher became a pending B-Corp member and active participant in One Percent for the Planet. Through these associations, Christopher has pledged to donate 10% of its proceeds to environmental and social impact nonprofits, and to prioritize employment, operating, and supply chain practices that model industry wide best practices.
Industrial Partnerships Office
Lawrence Livermore National Lab
Led business development and strategic partnership activities within Industrial Partnerships Office for bioscience and biotech programs involving big data, biosecurity, drug discovery, human-on-a-chip, microbiome, microfluidics, neural interface, synthetic biology, and other specialized research and development. Created master agreements and organizational plans for life science consortia. Crafted and optimized commercialization strategies for over 400 technologies including: microelectrode array for neural recording and stimulation; nanolipoproteins for vaccine development and drug delivery; pharmaceuticals, including biologics and small molecules; and diagnostics. Negotiated license agreements, establishing valuation metrics based upon commercialization plans, comparables, market data, and intellectual property attributes. Established, negotiated, and finalized cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs), inter-institutional agreements (IIAs), inter-agency agreements (IAAs), and intellectual property management plans.
Office of Intellectual Property and Industry Research Alliances
University of California, Berkeley
Judicial Extern
Chambers of Judge Charles R. Breyer
Law Clerk
U.S. Attorney's Office, Civil Division, San Francisco
University of California - Davis
other | Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group
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University of California - Berkeley
other | Energy, Law
Activities: Tutor, Governor Jennifer Granholm, Renewable Energy Law & Policy; Computer Law, Berkeley School of Law; Research Member, Berkeley Rural Energy Group / Renewable and Appropriate Energy Lab
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University of San Francisco School of Law
J.D. (2010)
Honors: Arthur Zief, Jr., Scholar
Activities: Intellectual Property Law Bulletin, Survey Editor; Student Bar Association, 2L Representative; Advanced Advocacy Program, National Moot Court Competition; Public Interest Law Foundation grantee & Pro Bono Publico recipient for community service
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University of California Hastings College of the Law
Visiting Student
Honors: Outstanding Scholarship Award, Law and Bioscience (LAB) Project
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Lipscomb University
Honors: Presenter, Tennessee Honors Conference, "Technology and God: Effects of Invention upon Spiritual Communication."
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Attorney for Justice
Tennessee Bar Association
Pro Bono Certificate
Patent and Trademark Office
Leadership Lawyer
Tennessee Bar Association Leadership Law
Outstanding Scholar
UC Hastings School of Law
Outstanding Scholar, Law and Bioscience Program
Professional Associations
State Bar of Tennessee
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Tennessee Bar Association Intellectual Property Section
Member, Executive Council
- Current
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Tennessee Bar Association Leadership Law
Member, Class of 2017
- Current
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Biz Foundry
Advisory Board Member
- Current
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Tennessee Bar Association Legal Assistance Volunteer Patent Attorneys (LAVPA)
Advisory Board Member
- Current
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Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)
Member, Tech Transfer Committee
- Current
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Tennessee Energy Mentors Network
Entrepreneur in Residence
- Current
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Articles & Publications
The Hip Investor: Make Bigger Profits by Building a Better World
Paul Herman; Wiley
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
Freeing the Grid: Best Practices in State Net Metering and Interconnection Procedures
Interstate Renewable Energy Council
Speaking Engagements
Startups and Venture Capital, Industry Contract Officers Network Annual Meeting, Caltech University
Crowdfunding and Crowdsourcing, University of California Office of Intellectual Property Managers Meeting
Commercialization Panel, UC Berkeley Life Sciences Entrepreneurship Symposium, Nashville, TN
UC Berkeley
Country Music Industry Fights Website Allegedly Selling Bootlegged Merchandise, Fox News Channel 17, Nashville, TN
Panel: Entrepreneurship in Advanced Energy, Opportunities in Energy, Knoxville, Tennessee
Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council
Preparing Your Patent Application for Commercial Success, TTU Renaissance Engineer Professional Development Series, Cookeville, Tennessee
Tennessee Technological University
Certified Licensing Professional
Licensing Executive Society
Websites & Blogs
Legal Answers
7 Questions Answered

Q. Can you put a lean on mineral rights in Tennessee? If so, what are the implications, procedures, and requirements?
A: There's no straightforward answer without more of the story. For instance, a recent Tennessee case involved a dispute as to whether sandstone qualified as a mineral. Also, in order to qualify you would likely need to have provided some sort of services in connection with the mineral in order to attach to proceeds from its exploitation.
Q. Trademark ownership... implied ownership???
A: Part of this depends upon how they gave you permission. Was it a written permission to use?
Q. How long do you have to move if you are evicted.
A: This depends upon local laws of your jurisdiction. In some cases, you may be able to hold over for some time. Contact your regional Legal Aid Society for more info. Legal Aid publishes a helpful booklet for East Tennessee tenants:
Q. In Tn. do you have to be a lawyer to open a law firm
A: You cannot practice law in Tennessee without admission to the bar or in limited circumstances being supervised by someone who is admitted. Is your question about entering into a business partnership with a lawyer?
Q. Can a non-profit organizations name and logo be owned by an individual and not the organization.
A: There are common law (i.e. state law) protections available when a name or logo has been used in conjunction with a business activity before it is officially registered or an application made for registration. These rights would in most cases supersede a new application. Also, the individual could have difficulty establishing support for the trademark if not actually engaging in whatever services or sales of goods that trademark application indicates.
Q. If someone has trademarked a name for a good, can I use a similar name for a service?
A: Possibly, so long as the good and service are not confusingly similar to the average Joe. You might also be able to vary the mark by stylizing the name of the good in the creation of your logo, providing more grounds for a successful application.
Q. Copyright/trademark infringement by a third-party who isn't stopping.
A: Will refers to the fact that under copyright law the infringed party may be able to collect statutory damages, which do not require a finding of actual harm / damages. You very well may be able to prove damages under a different theory of infringement, but a lawyer would be more likely to take your case on a contingency basis via the copyright claim.
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Contact & Map
801 Broad St
STE 428
Chattanooga, TN 37402
Telephone: (423) 708-5310
230 E. Broad St.
STE 201
Cookeville, TN 38501
Telephone: (615) 997-0723