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About me

After flying for the U.S. Navy for over a decade and serving with General Colin Powell, USA (Ret.) on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I became an electro-optics engineering center manager and eventually a Registered Patent Attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).


My practice of law is focused on intellectual property.  I seek to protect my clients' valuable intellectual property in the most efficient and cost-effective manner for the individual client.*


I obtain U.S. & international patents, U.S. & international trademark registrations, and U.S. copyright registrations for my clients.  Furthermore, I help clients protect and enforce their valuable intellectual property rights, including, when necessary, via litigation in federal and state courts as well as in administrative tribunals such as the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, and the International Trade Commission.


My experience in patent prosecution includes mechanical, optical, computer, and electro-mechanical arts in which I have obtained hundreds of U.S. & international patents for my clients.  I have also conducted dozens of patent non-infringement and validity analyses, trademark analyses and I have advised my clients with respect to copyright, trade dress, trade secret and domain name concerns. 


My litigation experience includes copyright, trademark and patent infringement cases, from both the defendant's and the plaintiff's points of view.  My cases have also included issues related to intellectual property, such as Unfair Business Practices and commercial disparagement.


I help clients improve their bottom line with their intellectual property.  By way of a recent example, a well known national company purchased my regional client's patents and pending applications for nearly $20 million.  In that case, I helped build the client's patent portfolio from scratch then assisted in its acquistion nearly 8 years later.


On the lighter side, I coach Little League and Travel Baseball teams and hope to develop our young boys into competitive gentlemen and to help them reach their God-given potentials on and off the baseball diamond.


*A South Carolina ethics opinion suggests that client testimonials are not permitted.  However, AVVO will not remove testimonials because: "It is critical to Avvo’s independence and consumer credibility that attorneys not control whether reviews appear on Avvo. Accordingly, we do not delete reviews. As you can’t control whether reviews appear on your profile, there should be no issue with the SC Bar."


Languages spoken: German, English

Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Patent Application: 40%
    16 years
  2. Trademark Application: 25%
    16 years
  3. Trademark: 15%
    16 years
  4. Patent Infringement: 5%
    16 years
  5. Other: 15%
  6. More 



Free consultation (20 minutes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

2 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • John M O'Brien

    An extremely talented and well respected attorney in the legal community, I wholeheartedly recommend him to anyone looking for a lawyer who knows the law and truly cares about protecting the rights of his clients and getting them the most favorable result possible.


    John O'Brien Personal injury Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • No photo

    Bernie is a trusted counselor and advisor. Bernie has provided valuable patent advice to me and friends that I have referred to him. He is a pragmatic lawyer who focuses on solving problems and addressing issues before they become problems. Bernie is a true friend, an excellent attorney and a valuable asset to any team. I endorse Bernie's work.


    Robert Porter Contracts and agreements Attorney
    Relationship: Other

Contact info

Thrive IP

Mail: P.O. Box 4411 (Zip 29608)
By appointment: 135 South Main Street, Suite 500
Greenville, SC, 29601


SCGood Standing200103/07/2013
DCActive 200007/06/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
3 Navy Achievement MedalsUnited States NavyN/A
Joint Service Achievement MedalJoint Chiefs of StaffN/A
Joint Service Commendation MedalJoint Chiefs of StaffN/A
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Member, Intellectual Property AttorneyThrive IP2014 - Present
Shareholder and IP Practice Group LeaderGeneral Practice Law Office2007 - 2014
PartnerBoutique IP law firm2000 - 2007
Computer Systems Program ManagerDRS1998 - 2000
Electro-optics Program Manager and Engineering Center ManagerSEMCOR1994 - 1998
Naval Flight OfficerU. S. Navy, active and Reserves1986 - 2006
Association namePosition nameDuration
American Intellectual Property Law AssociationPatent litigation committee member; Mentor to new IP attorneys2000 - Present
Carolina Patent, Copyright, and Trademark Law AssociationN/A2000 - Present
United States Naval Academy Alumni AssociationPast President, Palmetto Chapter2007 - 2009
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Culp, Inc. v. Morgan Fabrics CorporationNegotiated Settlement
McNamara v. COGNETIX, LLCNegotiated Settlement
Southeast Sanctions, Inc., et al. v. National Association for Campus Activities, et al.Confidential Pretrial Settlement
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
South Carolina Bar CLEIntellectual Property in the Fast Lane2014
Intellectual Property TodayPatent Troll Myths and the Law of Unintended Consequences2013
EntrepreneurWill the New Patent Law Kill the Garage Inventor and Startup?2013
Law Firm BlogIntellectual Property Blog2013
Bloomberg Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journalquoted in "Practitioners: Lose 'Loser Pays'"2013
Portfolio Media (Law360)Don’t Let Your Bottom Line Influence IP Protection2013
Greenville Business MagazineThe America Invents Act: How Will Changes to the Patent Laws Affect Your Business?2013
Bloomberg Law ReportsWhy Is the U.S. Attempting to Mirror the Sickly European Patent System?2011
Intellectual Property Law360Patents And Collectivism: Snowballs In Hades?2010
IP360Patent Litigation: The Sport of Kings, and Microsoft Corp.2009
IP360 & The Journal of Finance and AccountingCapitalizing on Your Intellectual Property in An Uncertain Economy2009
DRI - The Voice of the Defense BarOrphan Works: Finding a Home for a Copyrighted Work that Has “Lost” Its Author, or Theft in the Night?2008
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Baltimore School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1998
U.S. Naval War CollegeStrategy & PlanningCertificate with Honors1994
United States Naval Academygeneral engineering/political scienceBS - Bachelor of Science1986
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
The Lawyer’s Swiss Army Knife Part I: Tools for Advising the Small Business Owner or Start-up:Intellectual Property Issues in Employment Agreements2015
Starting Your Medical Device Company – Designing, Developing and PrototypingThe IP Strategy - Think Around the Box2015
Innoventure 2013"Collaborage" - Manufacturing and Supply Chain Innovations2013
Visiting Lecturer, University of West FloridaCopyleft, Mashup and Other Cutting Edge IP Issues2009
April 16, 2009 Radio InterviewCapitalizing on Intellectual Property Rights2009
Intellectual Property and Your Business, Florence Country ClubIntellectual Property and Your Business2008