Murray Spruill

VP Intellectual Property

Murray is a recognized expert in biotechnology and patent law, with extensive experience in the area of agricultural biotechnology.

A plant physiologist by training, he was a partner with the law firm of Alston & Bird, LLP for over 15 years where he served as the co-leader of the firm’s Intellectual Property Patent Practice Group, co-leader of the Life Sciences Practice, and the leader of the Biotechnology, Chemical and Pharmaceutical Team. His clients included both large and small agricultural, biotech, and pharmaceutical companies as well as universities and research institutes. He has developed patent portfolios for large and small biotechnology companies on core technologies and helped clients guide products to market, providing freedom to operate, validity, and non-infringement opinions. In the agricultural area he has drafted and prosecuted patents in the areas of novel genes and their uses, transgenic plants and seeds, methods for genetic manipulation of plants, site-specific insertion of genes, RNAi technology, improvement of plants through input and output traits, and other leading edge technologies. Prior to working at Alston & Bird, he was with Ciba-Geigy Corporation where he helped navigate the first transgenic seed to market. Murray began his patent career as an Examiner in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office where he served as an Examiner in the Biotechnology Art Unit. He is included in Best Lawyers in America for the areas of Intellectual Property and Biotechnology Law and has also been recognized as the Triangle Area Lawyer of the Year for Patent Law and Biotechnology Law. Murray is an active speaker and publisher in the area of patent law. He has a Ph.D. in Genetics from North Carolina State University and a J.D. from The George Washington University Law School.