Stephen is a combination of experienced intellectual property litigator, skilled advisor and US Marine Corps veteran. Whether he is helping major global brands enforce their intellectual property rights, or guiding companies through writing and prosecuting patents, trademarks and copyrights, Stephen brings a wealth of knowledge and a level head to the table. Stephen provides his clients with confidence and effective strategies by staying abreast of intellectual property matters in the global marketplace.

In addition, Stephen’s experience extends to assisting start-ups and emerging growth companies with developing their intellectual property to grow their businesses.

He has been rated by North Carolina Super Lawyers as a Rising Star, and is also recognized for his continuing military service as a major in the US Marine Corps Reserves. Stephen’s persistence and determination help keep his clients positioned to focus on growing their businesses and protecting their assets.

Stephen is the co-author of several recent articles on IP disputes, including Worried About Fake News? You Should Really Worry About Fake Drugs and Knock-Offs Beware: SCOTUS Makes a Fashion Forward Decision.

Publications

  • In Varsity Brands v Star Athletica the U..S Supreme Court Both Provided Answers and Raised More Questions Surrounding Design-Related Copyright, co-author with Laura Kees, World Trademark Review, August/September 2017
  • Knock-Offs Beware: SCOTUS Makes a Fashion Forward Decision, co-author with Jack Hicks and Laura Kees, IP Watchdog, April 6, 2017
  • Key IP Questions for Emerging Businesses, co-author with Jack Hicks, Elon Business Law Journal, Spring 2016
  • S Corporations and CRTs: A BIG Win, Tax Assessments, NC Bar Association Tax Section Newsletter, January 2012

Honors and Awards

Selected to the North Carolina Rising Stars list by Super Lawyers, 2014 - 2019

Experience

Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

  • Leads anti-counterfeiting and brand enforcement efforts for major apparel companies, including enforcement of copyright and trademark rights against counterfeit manufacturers and distributors of the popular high-profile brands.
  • Broad litigation experience in major cases involving patents, including industrial and automotive chemicals, building products, and furniture and textile manufacturing, as well as trade secrets, software, copyright, trademarks and trade dress litigation.
  • Assists regional and high-growth startup companies with developing brand protection strategies and enforcement of copyright and trademark rights against competitors.
  • Actively involved in the Triad’s entrepreneur ecosystem, including Piedmont Angel Network, VentureSouth, and HQ Greensboro, a business accelerator. Stephen’s involvement in the entrepreneurial community enables him to provide a breadth of assistance to high-growth starts-ups and emerging growth companies in the North Carolina Triad area
  • Strong tax and corporate transaction background, along with involvement in substantial corporate and M&A transactions involving significant IP and technology assets.
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Bar admissions

2010, North Carolina

Admitted to practice before:

  • The Supreme Court of North Carolina and all other state courts of North Carolina
  • US Tax Court
  • Third Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • US District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina
  • US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina
  • Recently admitted pro hac vice to federal courts in California, New York, New Jersey, Utah, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina Texas, and Illinois

Education

  • LL.M (Taxation),  New York University School of Law
  • J.D., Elon University School of Law
    • magna cum laude
  • B.S., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Biology
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