Chris Holly


I love practicing at the intersection of science and the law. It's where I am with my clients on a daily basis. Helping clients create value and secure innovations is central to my work.

Dr. Chris Holly is a patent lawyer with experience in IP portfolio creation and counseling; early-, mid-, and late-stage fundraising diligence; targeted acquisitions; and post-grant adversarial proceedings at the USPTO. Chris counsels clients across the market spectrum, from small startup companies to billion-dollar private and publicly traded corporations.

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  • Cooley builds patent estate for Zymergen’s HTP genomic engineering and synthetic biology platform 

  • Cooley advises food industry pioneer Nobell Foods on patent matters 

  • AppHarvest Acquires Root AI 

  • Cooley advises Provivi on $45.5M Series C-2 Round 

  • Cooley advises Evolutionary Genomics in its partnership with Dole Food Company 

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    SCUBA diving and anything involving salt water

    Collecting old jazz vinyl LPs

    Oenophile – WSET Diploma candidate


Chris is regularly retained by clients in the agricultural sector for strategic IP advice. As one client notes, “Chris is very strategic and is always thinking of creative ways to expand our IP portfolio. He's very good at anticipating how the patent examiner will respond and thinks a few steps ahead." – Chambers USA 2021

  • University of Mississippi School of Law
    JD, magna cum laude , 2011

  • Mississippi State University
    PhD, Biological Sciences

  • Millsaps College
    BS, Biology

Admissions & Credentials

District of Columbia


Registered to practice before the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO)



  • American Intellectual Property Law Association

  • American Seed Trade Association

  • Patent & Trademark Office Society

  • Weed Science Society of America

  • Seed Innovation and Protection Alliance

Rankings & Accolades

    Chambers: Leading Patent Lawyer

    Fellows of the American Bar Foundation: Elected Member

    Super Lawyers: Rising Star

    The National Law Journal: Rising Star