Phil Summa


Phone Number


Email Address

[email protected]


501 West John Street,
Matthews, NC 28105



Phil Summa has over 35 years of experience in all aspects of intellectual property law, including patent prosecution, patent enforcement, and infringement defense; trademark prosecution, enforcement, and infringement defense; patent, trademark, and copyright litigation; trade secrets, unfair competition, and licensing. Additionally, he has patent prosecution and opinion experience in chemical instrumentation, polymers for textiles and packaging, textile products and processes, wide bandgap semiconductors, and mechanical engineering in (among other areas) laboratory instrumentation and product packaging.

Litigation experience

Phil’s litigation experience extends from local trademark disputes to patent infringement enforcement and defense. Evaluating witnesses, finding prior art, and determining trademark usage has taken Phil to many venues, including among others, Charleston, South Carolina (geographic descriptiveness in the trademark context); Cal Tech, Geneva, Switzerland, and Prague in the Czech Republic (scintillation crystals for positron emission tomography imaging); the northeast kingdom of Vermont (improved feed for dairy cattle); and the phosphate mines of Eastern North Carolina (filtration of super concentrated mineral acids).

Phil has also acted as both an attorney and as a testifying expert witness in several U.S. patent cases and has appeared before the opposition divisions of both the Japan Patent Office and the European Patent Office.

Phil’s favorite opinion letter evaluated chocolate formulations for ice cream used by two national competitors, with travel to Pennsylvania Dutch country just to make sure we got it right.

Prior to establishing Summa PLLC, Phil was a partner at Parsons Summa, the founder of the law firm that became Summa, Addition & Ashe P.A., and an associate director, and shareholder at Bell Seltzer Park & Gibson.

Phil and his wife, attorney Mary Potter Summa, are the parents of five children. They live in Charlotte and enjoy spending as much time as possible in western North Carolina near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Here Phil describes a favorite hike.

Phil has extensive experience in all areas of IP law including:

  • Patent Prosecution, Enforcement, and Infringement Defense
  • Trademark Prosecution, Analysis, Enforcement, and Infringement Defense
  • IP Litigation
  • Copyrights
  • Trade secrets
  • Unfair Competition
  • Licensing
  • American Bar Association
  • INTA
  • LES
  • North Carolina Bar Association
    • Board of Governors 2005-2008
    • Past Chair–Intellectual Property Section
  • Mecklenburg County Board of Elections, 2003 -2007
  • Morrison Family YMCA at Ballantyne
    • Executive Committee (Past)
    • Past Member, Board of Managers
    • Past Chair;
    • George Williams Award (2009)
  • College of Sciences Foundation at North Carolina State University, Board of Directors, 2008-2016
    • “Super Lawyer”®, 2006-2020
    • “NC Top 100″®, 2007
    • “Best Lawyers”®, 2008-2020
    • “AV” rated by Martindale Hubbell, 1998
    • Business North Carolina Legal Elite Hall of Fame (Intellectual Property), 2007
    • Medal of Achievement NCSU PAMS, 2007
    • George Williams Award, Morrison Branch YMCA, 2009
    • Yale School of Management, Certificate in Accelerated Management, 2019