James Harper is a patent attorney in the firm’s Intellectual Property practice group. Registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, his main focus is on client counseling, opinions, due diligence and the preparation and prosecution of U.S. and international patent applications in diverse technologies including agricultural chemicals, small molecule pharmaceuticals, fermentation, grain processing, pesticides, optical imaging agents, silicon semiconductors, nanotechnology, solar energy, medical devices and complex chemical processes.

Joining his background in engineering with that of law gives Jim an added perspective when working with clients to effectively develop patent strategies and maximize intellectual property protection. Within a variety of countries and regions, he gets to see the cutting edge of technology as he guides inventors through patent application preparation and prosecution, patent portfolio management, agreements, patent oppositions and patentability, infringement and freedom-to-operate analyses. Keeping tabs on the industry as a whole, Jim provides product design counseling to enhance intellectual property value and protection.


  • Saint Louis University School of Law  (J.D., cum laude, 1994)
    • Order of the Woolsack, top 10%
  • University of Missouri  (B.S., 1982)
    • Chemical Engineering
  • University of Missouri  (B.S., 1978)
    • Biochemistry


  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, 2002
  • Missouri, 1994

Professional Activities

  • The Missouri Bar

Charitable and Civic Involvement

  • City of Clayton, Missouri (Parks Board)
  • Innovate Mentoring Service (Volunteer Mentor)
  • Saint Louis RCGA (Business Plan Competition Judge)
  • Self-Defense Instructor for Various Organizations (Volunteer)


Prior to joining the firm, Jim was in private practice at another large area intellectual property firm. Before practicing law, he gained 20 years of industry experience in a wide variety of technical and managerial roles in the fields of biochemistry, organic and inorganic chemistry, fermentation technology, botanicals, paints and coatings, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. While in law school, Jim worked full time as a pharmaceutical manufacturing principal chemical engineer and manufacturing manager.

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