Senior Patent Agent Shirley Slack is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Shirley’s experience spans over three decades of navigating the evolving rules, procedures, regulations, and protocols of the patent office – a specialized discipline in which she delivers comprehensive fluency.

Shirley focuses on supporting clients’ innovations involving biology, biochemistry, pharmacology, genetics, molecular biology, and microbiology, with more general skill in pharmaceutical, drug development and delivery system, method of drug manufacture, and medical device patents. She regularly assists clients and legal teams in developing domestic and international patent strategies that range from prosecution and portfolio review and management to due diligence and patentability and freedom to operate reviews.

Shirley is considered the firm’s “go-to” professional regarding patent office rules and regulations. Appreciated for her extensive knowledge, longevity in the law, first-rate work product, and high-level problem-solving skills, Shirley remains dedicated to being a highly effective administrator, sounding board, and trouble-shooter when facing roadblocks to progress. Because of her knowledge of how the patent office has evolved over the decades, Shirley is valued as an important resource who also takes the time to teach and mentor the firm’s paralegals and support staff to be more effective in their jobs. An agile professional who has supported patent initiatives from paper to electronic and beyond, Shirley knows what the patent office expects, including the time frame for delivery and other important best practices associated with patent law practice.

Prior to JMIN

Shirley has worked in patent law since the eighties. She is a veteran patent agent with 33+ years of experience managing intellectual property portfolios; 35+ years of experience in intellectual property law; 4+ years working in-house for a biotechnology/pharmaceutical company; 49+ years of experience working with attorneys in multiple fields of law in four U.S. states; and 44+ years of experience balancing family and career obligations.

Shirley’s remarkable career includes working for such firms as King & Spalding, LLP; Kilpatrick Stockton, LLP; and Jones & Askew, LLP – to name only a few. As you would expect, and in addition to her undergrad academic successes, Shirley holds U.S. Patent Office, Patent Agent Registration No. 56,167.

While at Georgia State University, Shirley focused her studies on biology (molecular genetics and cell biology) and conducted extensive research in the signaling pathways and protein interactions of newly identified genes involved in cell motility and modulation.

Outside of Office

Shirley and her husband are beach-lovers who appreciate the simple joys in life their home in Venice, Florida, provides, including beautiful views and the warm sun year-round. A “beach girl” at heart who loves boating, the water, and anything associated with the ocean, Shirley and her husband also enjoy their grown children and grandchildren while living in what they describe as paradise. Notably, Shirley and her husband are planning for a scuba diving jaunt in Venice’s waters, considered the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World.”

Along with living what can be considered a perpetual summer, Shirley enjoys reading, swimming in her pool, and relishing a life that feels like she is on vacation all the time. Shirley and her husband can be spotted in Venice with their entourage of canine followers, including Cheyenne (German Shepherd), Callie (Border Collie), and Zoey (Maltipoo).


B.S., Biology, Georgia State University, cum laude, 2003

  • Concentration in Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology with a Chemistry Minor
  • Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society, GSU Biology Club, Golden Key Honor Society
  • GSU President’s Plaque 1994, Dean’s Scholarship Key (1994-2003), and Freshman Chemistry Award
  • Dean’s List (1993-1994) and Faculty Scholar (2000)


  • United States Patent and Trademark Office