Meet Our Professionals

Christopher M. Thomas

Partner
Raleigh | 919.835.4641
Fax | 919.834.4564
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Chris Thomas concentrates his practice on disputes concerning intellectual property rights, including trademarks, trade secrets, patents, copyrights, domain names, rights of publicity, false advertising, unfair competition, plant variety protection, and unfair and deceptive trade practices. He is a North Carolina State Bar board certified specialist in trademark law. His clients include electronic musical instrument manufacturers, software companies, consumer entertainment products companies, auto dealers, and life sciences companies.

Chris has extensive experience representing clients in commercial and business tort litigation, including litigation involving intellectual property rights, in federal and state courts, before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and in proceedings before the National Arbitration Forum. He regularly counsels clients on trademark adoption, search and clearance, prosecution, opposition, maintenance, enforcement, and licensing. He also assists clients with copyright registration, licensing, and transfers.

Chambers USA has recognized that Chris is “praised for being ‘efficient and effective’ in the realm of intellectual property disputes, including trademark and patent litigation.” Chambers USA also reported that he “has an impressive reputation among interviewees as an ‘intelligent, studious, and analytical’ IP disputes lawyer. Sources were quick to point out his ‘great ideas for strategy’ as well as his skill at providing ‘an objective view of likelihood of success where some others over-promise.’"

He is admitted to practice in the United States District Courts for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of North Carolina, and the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the Federal Circuit.

Prior to law school, Chris worked with information technology for a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty.

Representative Experience

  • Obtained $1.7 million jury verdict for software client plaintiff on claim for false advertising in violation of the North Carolina Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
  • Successfully defended clients at jury trial in federal court against claims of trade secret misappropriation, false advertising, unfair and deceptive trade practices, tortious interference with actual and prospective economic advantage, and breach of contract.
  • Obtained summary judgment on a copyright infringement claim based on the affirmative defense of implied nonexclusive license from a joint author.
  • Successfully defended client against plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction based on alleged trade dress rights.
  • Obtained summary judgment on claim of ownership of a mark and defeating counterclaims for copyright infringement and trademark infringement.

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Honors & Awards

  • North Carolina Bar Board Certified Specialist in Trademark Law
  • Woodward/White’s The Best Lawyers in America "Lawyer of the Year" in Raleigh for Copyright Law, 2019 
  • Woodward/White's The Best Lawyers in America in Intellectual Property Litigation, 2018-2019; Copyright Law, 2019
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers in Intellectual Property, 2013-2018
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2013
  • Business North Carolina magazine’s “Legal Elite” in Intellectual Property Law, 2012-2013, 2018

Memberships

  • Artspace, Board of Directors, 2012-present
  • Burning Coal Theatre Company, Board of Directors, 2007-2012