A. Justin Poplin


Justin Poplin is a registered patent attorney and a founding member of Avant Law Group. He served as Chair of the Intellectual Property Prosecution & Transactions department in a national law firm from 2013 to 2016.


Companies of all size – from large multi-national corporations to startups – rely on Justin’s legal advice on patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, licensing, and confidentiality issues. And because he efficiently prevents and solves problems in ways that minimize disruption to their business, some clients utilize Justin as outside general counsel. He has been the lead patent attorney in litigated matters and has prepared and conducted inter partes reviews, inter partes and ex parte reexaminations, supplemental examinations, and broadening and narrowing reissues. He has aided clients with obtaining, enforcing, licensing, invalidating, and avoiding infringement of patents and trademarks in a wide range of technologies, and he is responsible for managing intellectual property portfolios globally.

Justin argued and won some of the earliest inter partes review (IPR) cases, including one case against a large Johnson & Johnson subsidiary and another case representing Munchkin, and his docket has over 75 IPR cases. The Munchkin case is the first case invalidating a design patent through IPR. He has also successfully argued appeals at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Audio recordings of Federal Circuit appearances on behalf of Munchkin and Shinn Fu Company of America can be accessed here and here.


Industry groups, business incubators, schools, and law organizations frequently invite Justin to present on legal issues since he conveys complex topics in plain English.  He has taught the fundamentals of intellectual property law to over eight hundred business professionals.


Example technologies include aircraft components and systems; alcohol monitors; alternative-fuel engines; automotive components and systems; automotive repair equipment; baby products; computer software; elevators; force dispersion; games and sporting equipment; glass anti-break; hair accessories; hardware; hunting and fishing equipment; HVAC; hydraulic lifting devices; injection-molding; jewelry; kitchenware; lawn/turf care; medical devices; oil and gas; pharmaceutical dispensers; plumbing devices; power generation; power tools; printing equipment; shoes; structural building components; theft-deterring devices; and trailers.


Justin wrote and prosecuted the patent portfolio for a company that developed an industry-leading video-content and recommendation engine. The company was later acquired by Hulu.


“With Justin… we were being sued, and because of that, we couldn’t sell equipment to a vendor. And I asked him to call them. And he did it. The next day they pulled the suit! Others I have worked with at other firms would just have dragged things out. The others weren’t capable of doing what Justin did. -Business Owner, Client

“I just wanted to let you know that I thought you gave one of the best presentations I saw yesterday at the convention. You were perfectly clear and direct. -Business Owner, Conference Attendee


  • Law clerk for Administrative Patent Judge John McQuade at the United States Patent & Trademark Office Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, 2003


  • University of Georgia School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2004
  • University of Kansas, B.S., Mechanical Engineering, 2001

Court Memberships

  • U.S. Patent & Trademark Office
  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia
  • Kansas
  • Missouri
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri


  • Managing Intellectual Property magazine’s “IP Stars,” 2013-2021
  • Missouri/Kansas Super Lawyers, 2018-2020
  • Missouri/Kansas Super Lawyers “Rising Stars,” 2012-2017
  • Selected by National Law Journal as an “IP Trailblazer,” 2016
  • Missouri Lawyers Weekly’s 2016 Up & Coming class
  • Pi Tau Sigma National Mechanical Engineering Honor Society
  • Order of the Engineer
  • Order of Omega National Honor Society
  • Golden Key International Honor Society
  • Numerous merit scholarships, including: UGA Law School Scholarship; Summerfield Scholarship; N.T. Veatch Scholarship; Long Scholarship; Robert M. Carey Scholarship; Wesley G. Cramer Scholarship; Mechanical Engineering Department Award; Chemical Engineering Department Award

Professional Affiliations

  • Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), 2014 – 2020; SEMA Emerging Trends and Technology Network (ETTN), 2017 – 2020
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA)
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • Georgia Bar Association
  • Kansas Bar Association, Intellectual Property Section, Executive Committee (2007-2016); Intellectual Property Section, President (2009-2010); Intellectual Property Section, President Elect (2008-2009); Intellectual Property Section, Secretary/Treasurer, (2007-2008)
  • The Missouri Bar

Community Involvement

  • University of Kansas, Advancement Board, Member, 2014 – Present
  • University of Missouri-Kansas City, Henry W. Bloch School of Management, Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Mentor, 2012 – Present
  • Phi Sigma Chi Foundation, President, 2009 – Present
  • University of Kansas, Alumni Association, Member
  • University of Georgia, Alumni Association, Member


  • Author, Trademark Usage Guide, Lathrop & Gage, 2011, 2017
  • Hissan Anis and Justin Poplin, Recent Federal Circuit Decision Could Change the Game for Inter Partes Review Petitions, Lathrop & Gage Client Alert, January 2017
  • Author, What You Need to Know About Inter Partes Review Proceedings, American Chemical Society National Meeting, August 2015
  • Author, Inter Partes Review: How This Year’s Hot-topic Could Revolutionize Your Business, Lathrop & Gage Client Alert, April 2015
  • Co-Author, 2014 World Cup: Precautions for Brand Owners, Lathrop & Gage Client Alert, February 2014
  • David Benck and Justin Poplin, Protecting Your IP Assets In The Digital Age, ACC Docket, September 2013
  • Quoted in, Saabira Chaudhuri, Small Talk, The Wall Street Journal, April 29, 2013
  • Gerald M. Kraai and A. Justin Poplin, Royalties for Infringement Before a Patent Issues, National Law Journal, October 2011
  • Author, America’s New Patent System – An Overview of the America Invents Act, Lathrop & Gage Client Alert, October 2011
  • Author, Avoiding False Patent Marking Claims, Law360, October 9, 2009 (cited by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in the influential case Forest Group, Inc. v. Bon Tool Co., 590 F.3d 1295, 1303 (Fed. Cir. 2009))
  • Author, Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) Trends, KBA IP Section Newsletter, Spring 2009
  • Author, The Rule Against Recapture in Reissues: An Interpretation of Ex Parte Eggert, 86 JPTOS 972, 2004



  • Speaker, Copyright Issues for Artists, Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO, March 2020
  • Speaker, Identifying and Protecting Intellectual Property, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Henry W. Bloch School of Management, Kansas City, MO, February 2020, October 2019, January 2019, October 2018, September 2018, April 2018, March 2018, February 2018, October 2017, March 2017, September 2016, May 2016, February 2016, September 2015, April 2015, September 2014, June 2013, June 2012
  • Speaker, Intellectual Property Fundamentals for the Executive MBA, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Henry W. Bloch School of Management, Kansas City, MO, December 2019, December 2018
  • Speaker, Patent Issues for Makers and Creators, Global Entrepreneurship Week Kansas City (GEWKC), Kansas City, MO, November 2019
  • Speaker, Intellectual Property 101 for Makers and Creators, Global Entrepreneurship Week Kansas City (GEWKC), Kansas City, MO, November 2019, November 2018
  • Speaker, Open Source Licensing, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Henry W. Bloch School of Management, Kansas City, MO, September 2019
  • Speaker, Engineering Law: Intellectual Property Fundamentals, Halfmoon Education, Overland Park, KS, November 2018
  • Speaker, Trade Secrets and Nondisclosure Agreements, Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization National Conference, Kansas City, MO, November 2018
  • Speaker, Important Legal Issues to Consider in Product Design & Development, International Design Engineering Technical Conferences (IDETC), Quebec City, Canada, August 2018
  • Panelist, Strategies for Protecting Environmental Innovation and Your Company’s Brand, Air & Waste Management Annual Conference, Hartford, CT, June 2018
  • Speaker, Legal Issues and Common Pitfalls Faced by Start-Ups, University of Kansas, KU Innovation and Collaboration (KUIC) & Bioscience and Technology Business Center (BTBC), Lawrence, KS, November 2017
  • Speaker, New Product Design: Protecting Intellectual Property, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Henry W. Bloch School of Management, Kansas City, MO, October 2017
  • Speaker, Advanced Patent Topics for Entrepreneurs, Kansas City, MO, November 2015 (with Christal Sheppard, Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Detroit, Michigan)
  • Speaker, Patents: Your Automotive Products in a Changing World,2016 SEMA Show (Specialty Equipment Market Association), Las Vegas, NV, November 2015
  • Speaker, Intellectual Property 101, Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization National Conference, Kansas City, MO, November 2015
  • Speaker, Inter Partes Review: Practice & Update, American Chemical Society National Meeting, Boston, MA, August 2015
  • Moderator, The AIA Has Passed…Now What?, San Jose, CA, May 2014
  • Speaker, Identifying and Protecting Intellectual Property, Shelton, CT, April 2014
  • Speaker, Post-Grant Trial Proceedings in the Patent Office, John Marshall Law School IP Conference, Chicago, IL, February 2014
  • Moderator, What Chief IP Counsel Want (and Do Not Want) from Outside Counsel, Scottsdale, AZ, June 2013
  • Speaker, Implementation of the AIA: Inter Partes Proceedings, Lawyers Association of Kansas City: Intellectual Property Continuing Legal Education, Kansas City, MO, January 2013
  • Moderator, Doing More with Less: Winning Cost Optimization Strategies for Your IP Department, San Antonio, TX, July 2012
  • Speaker, IP Triage for the Non-IP Attorney, Association of Corporate Counsel, Kansas City, MO, February 2012
  • Speaker, Restriction & Election Practice, State Bar of Nevada: 2011 Intellectual Property Conference, Las Vegas, NV, October 2011