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Charles E. Smith has more than 40 years of experience in patent, trademark, copyright, licensing and other intellectual property law. He is a registered patent attorney.

Charles has worked with companies and individuals of all sizes, he started his patent career in the United States Army and then transitioned into working in the business world.  Following stints as corporate counsel and working as a patent attorney for business he went into academia and has served as a professor over four decades with North Carolina Central University.  Part of that time he worked with us as a patent attorney with B.B. Olive before the University decided it needed him full-time (in addition to teaching patent law, he also taught various business associations classes, contract law, anti-trust, technology transfer, and more general intellectual property law courses).

He was named “Professor of the Year” by the North Carolina Central Law School and was the Inaugural Director of the Intellectual Property Law Institute established by the North Carolina Central School of Law in 2016.  His combined breadth of general Intellectual Property Law and his depth of patent experience make him an excellent resource for individuals and industries alike as his many colleagues know who have used him as a resource in the past, whether through talking to him, attending a lecture by him or reading one of his papers.

Areas of Focus:

  • Comprehensive intellectual property law
  • Business and technology law
  • International intellectual property law
  • Patent procurement, maintenance and protection
  • Infringement and validity studies and opinions
  • Complex intellectual property agreements, including licensing and development agreements
  • Due diligence assessments
  • Patentability and freedom to operate opinions

Industries Served

  • Computer hardware, software, operating and network storage systems
  • Academic research institutions
  • Mechanical device and system companies
  • Internet companies
  • Boat companies
  • Electronics companies
  • Medical companies
  • and others

Off hours

Charles enjoys flying and studying general aviation

Did you know?

Charles brings an academic viewpoint to things from his decades of experience with the University system and is adept at helping clients take the long view on things.  Short-term gains are great but if it ends up being more expensive it may not be worth it in the long run.



Charles graduated from California State Polytechnic University with a B.S (in what) before going on to George Town University and getting his J.D.  He has since earned a L.L.M at Duke University.

  • California State Polytechnic University (B.S.)
  • George Town University Law Center (J.D.)
  • Duke University College of Law (L.L.M.)

Affiliations and Honors

Charles is a member of the North Carolina Bar and admitted to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office as a registered Patent Attorney. He is also admitted to practice before the Fourth Circuit and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (let me know if this is wrong or if there are others to list).

Charles is a member of the American Arbitration Association, the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the North Carolina General Statutes Commission, the New York Academy of Sciences, the National Bar Association, and the Panel of Commercial Arbitrators.

States and Districts Admitted to Practise:

North Carolina and others



  • American Arbitration Association
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association
  • North Carolina General Statutes Commission
  • New York Academy of Sciences
  • National Bar Association
  • Panel of Commercial Arbitrators

Recognition and Honors:

  • Past recipient of NCCU Law School’s Professor of the Year award
  • Past Chair of NCCU Law School’s Intellectual Property Committee
  • Inaugural Director of the Intellectual Property Law Institute established by NCCU Law School


Community Involvement

He has worked regularly with Habitat for Humanity and Volunteers in Medical Engineering.