Rory P. Pheiffer is an associate in the Intellectual Property Department, and a member of both the Emerging Companies and Life Sciences practice groups. His practice covers a broad spectrum of intellectual property issues, including domestic and international patent prosecution, patent litigation, patent opinion and clearance matters, domestic and international trademark prosecution and enforcement, and technology licensing matters. Rory was selected for Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Stars in 2013-2014.
Rory prosecutes patents and assists clients with opinion and clearance matters in a variety of technical areas including medical instruments and devices, biotechnology, microfluidic applications, thermovoltaics, electronics and lighting, printing devices, image scanning and detection devices, digital cameras, and various other devices in the electrical and mechanical arts. Medical technologies that Rory prosecutes include those associated with: tissue and ligament attachment; photodynamic therapy; blood sampling; electrochemical meters and cells; surgical staplers and clip appliers; trocars and retractors; seal elements; gastric bands and bypass procedures; spinal implants; anastomotic and occlusion devices; hydrocephalus valves; and nucleic acid analysis.
Rory handles all aspects of patent litigation matters, including infringement and validity analysis, litigation strategy, and motion and memoranda drafting. Rory also has extensive experience negotiating and drafting patent, copyright, trademark, and know how license agreements, as well as managing large trademark portfolios, due in part to his experience as a licensing and trademark attorney in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Technology Licensing Office. Rory works with a number of clients in building their brand through trademarks and other intellectual property, and is the visionary behind the ongoing “How To” series on branding that publishes in Nutter’s IP Bulletin. Rory is a founding and continuing member of the editorial and planning board for Nutter’s IP Bulletin, which first published in September 2009, publishes six times annually, and is aimed at providing practical advice for its readers about IP issues.
Rory is well-versed in the intricacies of the post-patent proceedings that were ushered in by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, including post grant reviews, inter partes reviews, ex parte reexaminations, supplemental examinations, reissue applications, and challenges to covered business method patents. Rory’s analysis of which post-patent proceedings are best for patent owners and patent challengers is found in a white paper for which he was the lead author. The white paper was prepared in conjunction with a presentation on the topic at the American Intellectual Property Law Association 2013 Mid-Winter Institute.
Rory co-authored and served as counsel in an amicus brief filed on behalf of the Boston Patent Law Association (BPLA) in an appeal heard by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals en banc related to issues of inequitable conduct. The proposed standard adopted by the Federal Circuit is akin to the standard advocated by Rory in the brief.
Rory was elected and currently serves as the Secretary of the BPLA Board of Governors, where he also has taken a leadership role in running the Invented Here! program. Invented Here! is a collaboration between the BPLA and the Museum of Science that annually recognizes recent breakthrough technological innovations by inventors in New England.
In 2014, Rory was selected to be a member of the Boston Bar Association’s (BBA) Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP) after a highly selective and competitive application process. PILP is a leadership program with a public interest focus that has gained prominence in the Boston legal community since it was introduced by Chief Judge Mark Wolf in 2002. As a member of PILP, Rory and his PILP classmates will work with leaders in the greater Boston community on one or more projects to meet the needs of the greater Boston community as a whole.
Rory has also been deeply involved in raising money for the Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS), and in particular the GBLS family law unit, which provides legal representation to domestic violence survivors in the greater Boston area. He served as a co-chair of the Annual Associates Fund Drive from 2010-2013, during which time the amount raised by the Drive increased by over $45,000, breaking records for the most amount of money raised by the Drive in 2011 and again in 2013. In each of those years, Rory received an award from the GBLS Board for his “Outstanding Contributions to Legal Services for the Poor.” He was elected to serve a five-year term as a member of the GBLS Corporation in June 2014.
Rory received a J.D., with distinction in the area of intellectual property, from Suffolk University Law School where he was the first-ever recipient of Suffolk's Sokoloff Intellectual Property Award. He received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He gives back to his alma mater by holding monthly intellectual property office hours at the MIT Venture Mentoring Service (VMS), during which entrepreneurs tied to MIT VMS discuss with Rory IP issues they face as emerging companies.