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 amazing to work with - he is extremely responsive and understands our technology and our strategy. He is very strategic and thinks outside of the box." – Chambers USA 2022

  • 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

  • Seed Innovation and Protection Alliance

Rankings & Accolades

    Chambers: Leading Patent Lawyer

    Fellows of the American Bar Foundation: Elected Member

    Seed World: Top Ten Next Generation Leaders

    Super Lawyers: Rising Star

    The National Law Journal: Rising Star