Photo of Robert Joseph  Morris

Robert Joseph Morris

AA Contact Info

Jacqueline Williams
Phone: 919.838.2050


Joey Morris has over 24 years of complex litigation experience and leads Smith Anderson’s Intellectual Property practice group. He represents plaintiffs and defendants in litigation throughout the country involving patent, copyright, trademark, publicity rights, trade dress, trade secrets and licensing issues. In recent years, he has handled intellectual property litigation matters in North Carolina, New York, California, Texas, Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, Connecticut, Indiana, and Washington.

His broad litigation experience covers a wide array of technologies ranging from pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and software to building materials and electronics, as well as business methods. His trademark litigation experience includes disputes concerning consumer product advertising and packaging, real estate services, hospitality and leisure services, financial consulting services, health care services, fast food décor, and pop culture. He has handled copyright litigation involving photography, advertising logos, video games, software, and technical manuals.

Joey also represents clients in licensing and related business transactions involving intellectual property assets. He provides proactive counseling to help clients identify, evaluate, and address intellectual property risks and opportunities.

He has served with notable success as post-conviction counsel for several North Carolina death row inmates. In 2003, he won a significant ruling that vacated his client’s death sentence and awarded his client a new trial due to prosecutorial misconduct that his post-conviction investigation brought to light. In 2004, he obtained an order vacating a client’s death sentence based upon compelling proof of the client’s mental retardation which had not been presented at trial.

Prior to joining Smith Anderson, Joey practiced at an international law firm in Washington D.C.

  • American Bar Association
  • American Intellectual Property Lawyers Association
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Intellectual Property and Litigation Sections
  • Wake County Bar Association
  • Chair, Cultural Arts Committee, The Raleigh School, 2009-12
  • The Best Lawyers in America©, Litigation - Patent, Litigation - Intellectual Property (2014-2019)
  • The Best Lawyers in America©, "Lawyer of the Year," Litigation - Patent (2015, 2019)
  • Business North Carolina's Legal Elite, Litigation
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers, Intellectual Property (2014-2019)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rated
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers (Intellectual Property Litigation)



  • Lead counsel to a venture capital-funded genome editing company in a worldwide partnership, worth up to $1.6 billion, including an upfront payment of $105 million, with a global, publicly-traded pharmaceutical company to develop and commercialize allogeneic chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapies for multiple cancers. The transaction was awarded the 2016 Life Science sector Deals of Distinction™ award by the Licensing Executives Society.
  • Defended a manufacturer of industrial insulation products against patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation claims asserted by a competitor.
  • Served as counsel for a public specialty pharmaceutical company in several patent infringement actions arising from competitor’s attempted launches of generic versions of non-Orange Book products.
  • Served as counsel for a developer of ground-breaking DNA editing technology in patent infringement litigation against a competitor.
  • Defended a seller of ADA-compliant tactile warning systems against patent infringement claims by competitor.
  • Defended a leading online retailer of fine art and posters in copyright, trademark and publicity rights litigation matters.
  • Defended a major research institute in litigation concerning ownership of intellectual property created in connection with consulting services.
  • Defended a public specialty pharmaceutical company in litigation arising from acquisition of pharmaceutical product line.
  • Defended a developer of video game software against copyright infringement claims asserted by a former licensor.
  • Served as co-counsel for a leading pharmaceutical company in Hatch-Waxman litigation.
  • Served as co-counsel for a telecommunications company in patent infringement litigation against competitor.
  • Defended a leading online provider of real estate listing services against a magazine publisher's copyright and trademark infringement claims.
  • Represented a world-famous resort in litigation to protect the resort's trademark rights.
  • Served as counsel for a major research university in licensing negotiations with pharmaceutical companies concerning monoclonal antibodies discovered by university researcher.
  • Defended a video game developer against copyright infringement claims concerning game artwork.
  • Obtained a favorable settlement for two university researchers on copyright infringement claims against a university spin-out company formed to commercialize their anti-stuttering technology.
  • Defended a leading developer of interactive voice response technology against customer action for indemnification against an intellectual property infringement claim.
  • Defended a major convenience store chain in trade dress litigation concerning fast food décor.

News & Publications


Speaking Engagements


  • Panelist, Patent Law and Patent Troll Legislation, Law360 Tweet Chat, February 12, 2015
  • Protecting Proprietary Business Assets: Strategies to Safeguard Your Company, seminar at The Umstead, Cary, N.C., June 2013
  • Social Media: How Your Company, Customers, Competitors, Shareholders and Others Are Using It and the Legal Pitfalls and Best Practices You Need to Know, Association of Corporate Counsel, Research Triangle Area Chapter, October 2012
  • Defending the Castle: Procedure, Strategies and Practical Considerations for Enforcing Patents, 2012 Laws of Science Symposium, North Carolina Bar Association Intellectual Property Section, March 2012

Bar & Court Admissions

  • North Carolina
  • District of Columbia
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia


Duke University, J.D., with honors, 1988

Duke University, A.B., magna cum laude, 1985

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