Gary D. Colby is a seasoned patent attorney with more than twenty years of experience in patent prosecution, litigation, transactions, and strategic advice.  He practices with Preti Flaherty’s Intellectual Property practice group, providing sophisticated IP services to our clients in virtually all technical fields. Gary particularly enjoys working with clients in the biotechnology, chemical, and medical device industries.

Gary began his career as a synthetic biologist, seeking to engineer solvent-producing bacteria for improved liquid fuel production. After serving as a technology transfer officer for the National Cancer Institute (NIH) while attending law school at Georgetown University, Gary entered private practice as a patent attorney in Philadelphia.

Over the course of a career spent equally at AmLaw100 and smaller law firms, Gary has represented pharmaceutical companies, biotech start-ups, medical and diagnostic device manufacturers, generic drug firms, optical equipment makers, chemical and plastics producers, food technologists, universities, and individual inventors. He has written and prosecuted hundreds of original patent applications, participated as a litigation team member in dozens of patent- and trade-secret–cases, helped clients to obtain drug approvals, refined IP protection and enforcement strategies with clients, and educated thousands of client personnel about patent, trademark, and trade secret law.

Based in our Boston office, Gary travels frequently to work with clients at their facilities and expects to focus his practice more intensely within the burgeoning biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors in the region.

Practice Areas


  • Georgetown University Law Center (J.D., 1996)
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Ph.D., 1993)
    • Anaerobic Microbiology
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (B.S., 1988)
    • Chemical Engineering


  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Virginia

Professional Affiliations

  • Phi Sigma Biological Honor Society
  • Virginia State Bar Association

Honors & Awards

  • Technology Transfer Award, National Cancer Institute, 1996
  • Graduate Student Assembly Research Competition Award, Virginia Tech 1992