Christine R. Ethridge

Special Counsel


Christine Ethridge is a registered patent lawyer, whose practice is concentrated in the area of intellectual property, including patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, and licensing law.  Christine counsels clients in matters including providing non-infringement opinions, freedom-to-use studies, and advice regarding the creation, exploitation, and enforcement of clients’ patent portfolios.  She is experienced in all phases of U.S. and international patent prosecution in diverse fields such as catalysis, luminescent markers, engineered proteins, magnetic recording media, and other special purpose materials, coal processing, medical, and laboratory devices; pharmaceutical agents; chemical and immunological processes and compounds; sterilization, prosthetic, lighting and optics devices; and surgical equipment. She has experience in planning, negotiating, and drafting a broad range of domestic and international technology transfer agreements and has had responsibility for the intellectual property aspects of a variety of corporate and commercial lending transactions.

Prior to attending law school Christine worked in the immunology laboratory of Montefiore Hospital, a prominent teaching hospital.  She has lectured frequently at Carnegie Mellon University and the West Virginia University School of Law on topics relating to patent law, with particular emphasis on biotechnology and robotics.

Representative Matters

  • Represented universities and colleges in a preparation and negotiation of patent, trademark, and technology license agreements, material transfer agreements, research and development agreements, software development and licensing agreements, web development agreements, and assignments; conducted due diligence and prepared related intellectual property transactional documents in connection with the sale of software; advised regarding Bayh-Dole Act, Federal Acquisition and government rights regulations in connection with sponsored research and funding agreements; reviewed and replied to  freedom of information requests; interpreted of university IP policies; and advised on inventorship questions.
  • Represented medical solution provider regarding the intellectual property aspects of several asset purchases, mergers and acquisitions; prepared research and development agreements, software development and licensing agreements, inward and outward bound intellectual property licenses, reseller agreements, and assignments; conducted due diligence in connection with corporate transactions, and provided advice regarding trademark infringement and freedom to operate opinions.
  • Represented nonprofit organizations in connection with establishing tissue banks at a university, prepared IRB approved consent agreements for gathering and storing tissue from donors, and form agreements for distribution of tissue to researchers, and guidelines for use and resulting intellectual property rights.
  • Negotiated and prepared book publishing agreements, editor’s agreements, and copyright licenses for use of photographs.
  • Formed local chemical product and services company, acted as corporate secretary, prepared, prosecuted and managed patent and trademark portfolio, advised regarding infringement issues, prepared and negotiated domestic and foreign patent, trademark and trade secret licenses, equipment leases, product supply agreements, research and development agreements, key employee agreements, and services agreements with a government agency.
  • Represented university faculty members and highly skilled individuals in preparation and negotiation of consulting agreements, patent licenses, and analysis of employer IP and outside position policies, and dispute settlement agreements.

Professional Affiliations

  • Pittsburgh Intellectual Property Law Association, Past Secretary/Treasurer and Committee Chair

Awards and Recognition:

  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® for more than 10 years
  • Attained an AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®

News and Insights


  • “Getting it Right the First Time: Recent Developments Highlight the Importance of Careful Preparation of Patent Applications,” The Journal of Biolaw & Business, June 2001.

Speaking Engagements

  • “Intellectual Property: Patent Law,” presented to law, business and/or engineering students and faculty at various Universities, February 2003, 2005, April 2008, Feb. 2010, 2011, 2012, April 2012, January 2013, 2014, and 2015.
  • “Device Idea to Staying Power in the Market: A Discussion with the Experts,”  industry panel presentation, August 2013.
  • “Protecting Intellectual Property – A Primer and Action Plan for Emerging Robotics Companies,” Robo Business Leadership Summit 2012, October 2012.
  • “International Business Migration – Intellectual Property Protection,” CMU/Portugal Program presentation and panel discussion, February 2012.
  • “How the Patent Reform Act will Impact Your Business,” Continuing Legal Education presentation, October 2011.
  • “Intellectual Property Protection and University Funding,” Global Pittsburgh presentation to Russian delegation, February 2011.
  • “Intellectual Property: Patent Law,” presented at Young Inventors Conference, April 2009.