John Zimmer is a patent attorney, focusing on patent drafting, prosecution, and counseling.  He advises clients in chemistry, materials science, nanoscience, biotechnology, bioengineering, medical imaging, medical devices, and solar energy. He has also served as in-house General Counsel and Vice President of Corporate Development for a growth stage smart materials company.  John believes in creative, practical legal strategies and solutions that make business sense and drive value creation for his clients.

Dr. Zimmer earned his Ph.D. in the laboratory of Moungi Bawendi, winner of the 2023 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, focusing his work on the synthesis of nanomaterials for various applications, including medical imaging and electronic displays.  Dr. Zimmer holds seven patents related to colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals and has authored or co-authored 13 papers appearing in peer-reviewed scientific journals, including the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Medicine, and Angewandte  Chemie International Edition. Dr. Zimmer has also written for the Intellectual Property & Technology Law Journal and the South Carolina Law Review. He has been recognized numerous times for both his intellectual property practice and pro bono work.

Community & Professional

  • Volunteer Attorney, Council for Children's Rights Custody Advocacy Program
  • Executive Committee Member, American Chemical Society, Carolina-Piedmont Section
  • Board Member, Carolina Patent, Trademark & Copyright Law Society

Outside Maynard Nexsen

Since 2009 John has served as a volunteer attorney and custody advocate with the Custody Advocacy Program of the Council for Children’s Rights in Charlotte, representing children in high-conflict custody cases. John has also helped train numerous new volunteers for the Custody Advocacy Program.  

In addition to his pro bono efforts, John has served on the Executive Committee of the Carolina-Piedmont Section of the American Chemical Society, including as Chair. John has also served as a Board Member of the Carolina Patent, Trademark & Copyright Law Association. 

On Saturday mornings, and any other chance he gets, John enjoys spending time with a good book and a good cup of coffee. His favorite people in the world are his wife Emily and son Luke.



  • Legal Elite of North Carolina (Business NC), Intellectual Property (2019) 
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers, Rising Stars Edition, Listed Intellectual Property (2014-2019)
  • The Best Lawyers in America® (Woodward/White, Inc.), Patent Law (2018, 2019)
  • NC Pro Bono Honor Society (2016-2018, 2021-2023)
  • Charlotte Business Journal, “40 under 40” (2015)
  • Mecklenburg County Bar Pro Bono Award for Outstanding Individual Attorney (2013)
  • Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award from the Council for Children’s Rights in Charlotte (2012)
  • Emerging Legal Leader, North Carolina Lawyers Weekly (2011)


  • State Bar: North Carolina
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office
Meet Dr. John Zimmer, Intellectual Property Attorney
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