Phil Summa has worked in all phases of intellectual property law, including patent prosecution, licensing, litigation, validity and infringement studies, trademark and copyright procurement, trade secret protection, and client counseling. He has technical expertise in chemistry and materials science, including semiconductor materials, silicon carbide, gallium nitride and related Group III nitrides, light emitting diodes (LEDs), polymers (particularly polyesters and related materials), and chemical analysis and synthesis instruments and techniques, including microwave instruments and microwave-assisted techniques.
Currently, Phil emphasizes patent prosecution and client counseling. He has earned the reputation as one of the finest chemical prosecutors in the Southeast. In January 2007, as part of Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite, his peers voted Phil as the state’s best lawyer in Patents/Intellectual Property. Phil was previously named to the Legal Elite in 2002 through 2006. Phil served as chairperson of the North Carolina Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Section from 1992 to 1993.
Phil has testified as an expert witness in Federal Court and in depositions, and has carried out independent investigations (including prelitigation investigations) for both potential patent plaintiffs and accused infringers.
From 1983 to 1997, Phil served as an associate, director, and shareholder with the firm of Bell, Seltzer, Park & Gibson. When that firm merged with Alston & Bird in 1997, Phil founded his own independent firm to continue the specialized practice of intellectual property law.
When not dealing in patent law, Phil enjoys reading, following sports, and hiking in the Western North Carolina mountains, particularly in and around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
1986, United States Supreme Court
1984, Registered Patent Attorney
1983, North Carolina
Campbell University (J.D., 1983)
North Carolina State University (M.S. Chemistry, 1975)
Gettysburg College (B.A. Chemistry, 1973)
Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite, voted as the state’s best lawyer in Patents/Intellectual Property (2007)
George Williams Award, Morrison Family YMCA at Ballantyne (2009)
PAMS Medal of Achievement, NC State University (2007)
Martindale AV Rating
Super Lawyers 2007-2010
Best Lawyers 2008-2011
Patent Buddy Top Prosecutor 2011
Civic and Association Involvement
Mecklenburg County Board of Elections, 2003-2005
Morrison Family YMCA at Ballantyne, Chair, Board of Managers 2007-2009
North Carolina State University PAMS Foundation Board of Directors (Current)
Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference
North Carolina Bar Association, Board of Governors 2005-2008
North Carolina Bar Association, Intellectual Property Section Chairman 1992-1993
Carolina Patent Trademark and Copyright Law Association
American Intellectual Property Law Association
Licensing Executives Society
American Bar Association
American Chemical Society