Chris Byrnes

Prior to joining Calyx Law in 2021, Chris spent 15 years working for a wide variety of stakeholders from both the private and public sectors, focusing on intellectual property disputes, patent licensing, and IP-related public policy concerns.

 

Chris first developed a passion for intellectual property while in Divinity School, working with human rights organizations in South Asia and grappling with the role IP plays in securing access to medicines, protecting public health, and ensuring equitable access to knowledge and technology.

 

With a belief that IP could be wielded in innovative ways as a powerful tool for the public good, Chris utilized his undergraduate degree in Physics to become a patent agent as he entered law school. Through law school, Chris deepened his work on public-interest IP matters and focused his studies on intellectual property and international trade.

 

Chris joined Alston & Bird after law school, working as a patent litigator in Section 337 Investigations at the International Trade Commission, an international trade specialist, and a lobbyist before U.S. Congress on patent policy. He has worked on high-stakes litigation teams across a variety of technology sectors and has taken cases to trial as well as helped to lead day-to-day litigation in multi-jurisdictional and international disputes.

 

Chris then joined RPX, where he served as a patent-risk advisor and patent-litigation insurance-claim manager. He has advised clients of all sizes on hundreds of patent litigations involving non-practicing entities (i.e., “patent trolls”) and worked closely on several of RPX's headlining transactions (e.g., a nine-figure deal in 2020 with Intellectual Ventures).

 

In 2016, Chris co-founded Corporate Accountability Lab (CAL), a human rights non-profit organization, to experiment with new ways in which IP commoning and international trade laws could be used by communities and IP producers as tools for collective liberation. He continues to serve as an Advisor at CAL and maintains a practice of collaboration with a variety of artists, activists, and spiritual practitioners from around the world, engaged in liberation movements. Chris also serves as a member of Chacruna's Council for the Protection of Sacred Plants. 

Prior Experience​​

  • Public Interest Intellectual Property Advisors

  • Alston & Bird LLP

  • RPX Corp.

Education

  • Georgetown Law, J.D. (2012)

  • Harvard Divinity School, M.T.S., Religion, Ethics & Politics (2009)

  • Denison University, B.A., Physics and Religion, with distinction (2004)

Additional Training

  • Creative Commons, Certificate in Creative Commons Licensing for Educators (2020)

  • Institute for International Economic Law, Certificate in World Trade Organization Studies (2012)

  • Boston Theological Institute, Certificate in Religion and Conflict Transformation (2008)

Admissions

  • U.S. Patent & Trademark Office

  • District of Columbia State Bar

  • Maryland State Bar

  • Psychedelic Bar Association