Rory Pheiffer, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP Photo

Rory P. Pheiffer

Deputy Chair, Intellectual Property Department / Boston


Rory P. Pheiffer is a partner and the Deputy Chair of Nutter’s Intellectual Property Department. He is also a member of both the Emerging Companies and Life Sciences and Medical Devices groups. His practice covers a broad spectrum of intellectual property issues, including domestic and international patent prosecution, patent opinion and clearance matters, patent litigation, domestic and international trademark prosecution and enforcement, and technology licensing matters.

In 2018, the Boston Business Journal selected Rory as a “2018 40 Under 40 Honoree” in recognition of his career accomplishments, focus on success, and commitment to community. Rory is also the former president of the preeminent intellectual property bar association in New England—the Boston Patent Law Association. Not limited to expertise in patent matters, Rory has been named a leading trademark lawyer in World Trademark Review’s prestigious “WTR 1000” for the past three years. Rory has been cited in the guide for his "wealth of knowledge," "excellent prosecution advice," and ability to "break things down in a manner that makes them simple to understand and take action on."

Clients rely on the expertise Rory continues to develop while protecting client’s inventions in the following technical areas, among others:

  • Medical instruments and devices
  • Biotechnology
  • Microfluidic applications
  • Thermovoltaics
  • Electronics and lighting
  • Electric vehicles
  • Printing devices
  • 3-D printing
  • Image scanning and detection devices
  • Digital cameras
  • Software and mobile applications
  • Consumer products
  • Food

Rory’s notable experience includes:

  • Building large portfolios of utility and design patents for clients related to the following medical device technologies:
    • Surgical staplers and clip appliers
    • Trocars, retractors, and seal elements
    • Tissue cutting and sealing devices
    • Sutures, suture anchors, and related surgical methods
    • Ligament repair devices and procedures
    • Electrochemical meters and cells
    • Gastric bands and bypass procedures
    • Spinal implants, including anchors, rods, cages, cross-connectors, and instrument to insert the same
    • Bone plates and adhesives
    • Anastomotic and occlusion devices
    • Hydrocephalus valves
    • Nucleic acid analysis devices and methods
    • Photodynamic therapy
  • Filing many new applications for a client directed to various 3-D printing devices and methods
  • Using expedited patent prosecution strategies for clients to obtain patents in under one year
  • Drafting a patent application for a bike storage solution for contestants of American Inventor that was patented and successfully licensed to a Fortune 500 company
  • Successfully negotiating a license for a child safety lock to a leading child safety company
  • Conducting IP due diligence analyses of the patent portfolios of small medical device companies for a Fortune 100 company prior to investments by the Fortune 100 company
  • Conducting IP due diligence analyses of a patent portfolio related to prefabricated panels and frames for use in building multi-story structures, and completing freedom to operate analysis related to the same
  • Drafting substantive motions, claim charts, expert reports, formulating deposition strategies, and conducting 30(b)(6) depositions for a patent litigation related to software
  • Performing trademark searches and preparing opinions related to the same to provide clearance for product names prior to clients’ product releases
  • Working with over a dozen food-and-beverage clients to build their trademark portfolios and brand to achieve successful product launches
  • Working with companies in the automotive industry and the instrument measurement and calibration industries to successfully protect their well-established brands by strategically filing US and foreign trademark applications

Rory is a leader both in the firm and in the community. Examples of his leadership include:

  • Past President of the Boston Patent Law Association (BPLA), one of the oldest, continuously active IP-based law associations in the country with approximately 1,000 members. During his eight-year tenure on the board, including a year as president, Rory instituted many improvements for the membership and IP community, and helped lead successful efforts in the educational programming and advocating important positions as the relate to IP court cases, laws, rules, and regulations.
  • Member of the 2014 Boston Bar Association’s (BBA) Public Interest Leadership Program (PILP), which 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
  • Member of the Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) Corporation, following his continued involvement in raising money for GBLS’s family law unit, including being a two-time recipient of an award for his “Outstanding Contributions to Legal Services for the Poor.” Rory also serves on the GBLS Development Committee, which oversees its law firm, corporate, and in-house fundraising efforts.
  • Secretary, IPO Next Generation Leaders Committee
  • Lead author of a white paper dissecting the advantages and disadvantages of the various U.S. post-patent proceedings that was presented at the AIPLA Mid-Winter Institute
  • Founding and continuing member of the editorial board that produced Nutter’s IP Bulletin from September 2009 through June 2015 and for the IP Law Bulletin blog, which debuted in July 2015, both of which provide practical advice about IP issues
  • Visionary and lead author of Nutter’s “How To” series on branding that published in Nutter’s IP Bulletin and IP Law Bulletin blog
  • Guest lecturer at Suffolk University Law School for patent litigation course
  • Mentor at the MIT Venture Mentoring Service (VMS), where he advises emerging companies on IP issues



  • Gravyty

    Nutter served as legal counsel to Gravyty, a market-defining provider of fundraiser enablement solutions powered by artificial intelligence, in connection with a $21 million investment from K1 Investment Management, a leading investment firm focusing on high-growth enterprise software companies.

  • Shawmut Corporation

    Nutter represented Shawmut Corporation, a developer of high-performance composites, in its joint venture with the automotive headliner and specialty industrial fabrics business of Glen Raven Technical Fabrics LLC, a global provider of innovative technical fabric solutions.

  • AppwoRx LLC

    Nutter served as legal counsel to AppwoRx LLC, a Boston-based medical technology manufacturer, in connection with its acquisition by PatientNOW, a private equity-backed computer software company headquartered in Englewood, CO.

  • Kalahari Snacks

    Nutter served as legal counsel to Kalahari Snacks, the #2 biltong brand in the U.S., in its acquisition by Stryve Foods LLC, an emerging healthy snacking platform and the leading air-dried meat snack company in the country.

News & Insights


Speaking Engagements


Blog Posts



  • Boston Business Journal, “40 under 40,” 2018
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2013-2020
  • World Trademark Review's 1000 "The World's Leading Trademark Professionals" for Massachusetts, 2018-2021
  • BPLA President, 2017-2018
  • BPLA Board of Governors, 2011-2019
  • “Outstanding Contributions to Legal Services for the Poor” Award from GBLS, 2011, 2013

Education & Admissions


Suffolk University Law School, J.D., with distinction
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, B.S., Mechanical Engineering


  • Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

In the Community

Rory is active in the Boston Patent Law Association, recently completing a term as president. He also frequently advises start-up companies through MIT’s Venture Mentoring Services, and is a guest lecturer at Suffolk University Law School for patent litigation.


  • Boston Business Journal, “40 under 40,” 2018
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2013-2020
  • World Trademark Review's 1000 "The World's Leading Trademark Professionals" for Massachusetts, 2018-2021
  • BPLA President, 2017-2018
  • BPLA Board of Governors, 2011-2019
  • “Outstanding Contributions to Legal Services for the Poor” Award from GBLS, 2011, 2013
Back to Page