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United Kingdom > East Midlands > TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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  1. Intellectual property
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Who Represents Who

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The ‘pragmatic’ and ‘responsive’ team at Browne Jacobson LLP  excels in both transactional and advisory work, assisting not only with the development of portfolio protection strategies and rights enforcement through litigation, but also with agreements aimed at developing new technologies and the monetisation of intellectual property rights. The group’s expertise comprises trade mark, patents, design and copyright matters, with clients coming mainly from the retail and technology sectors. The Nottingham-based Selina Hinchliffe heads the practice together with London-based practitioner Declan Cushley. Other key figures in Nottingham include Paula Dumbill  and ‘incredibly personable’ solicitor Sam Lloyd . Recent highlights include advising Albumedix on several supply, licensing, and research and development agreements in relation to Albumedix’ patent rights. Additionally, the team advised the Institute of Gas Engineers and Managers on the terms and conditions for the development of new intellectual property rights and the licensing of copyright material within its standards. Other clients include The Bollin Group, Lloyds and Boots. Mark Snelgrove joined Potter Clarkson LLP  .

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP offers contentious and non-contentious trade mark, patent and design expertise, with research and development agreements and the transfer of intellectual property rights in the context of corporate transactions being particular areas of strength. The team demonstrates broad sector expertise across the retail, life sciences, industrials, utilities and energy, public and sports sectors, but is particularly adept at advising clients from the education sector. Rupert Bent, who recently joined from Walker Morris LLP and splits his time between the Birmingham and Nottingham offices, has taken over the lead of the practice from James Fry, who joined Mills & Reeve LLP. Another key contact in the Nottingham office is senior associate Lisa Highet. In a recent highlight from the higher education sector, the team assisted the University of Derby on various collaboration agreements and intellectual property disputes in addition to advising on the update of the university’s commercial template agreements. National Grid, Kidney Research UK and the London Borough of Harrow are also clients.

Based in Leicester, the team at Howes Percival LLP impresses clients with ‘excellent response times’ and ‘a deep bench’. The group has a strong focus on software protection and trade mark instructions. Manufacturers in the retail and food and drinks sector also make up a large portion of the client list. Showing ‘excellent business acumen’, practice head Matthew Talbot has ‘a quick understanding of the underlying issues of a case’. ‘Tenacious’ senior associate Jenna Bruce is also recommended. A major recent highlight on the contentious side was acting for the Business Software Alliance and its members, such as Microsoft, in a large volume of infringement actions against UK businesses which use unlicenced software. On the non-contentious side, the group assisted Just Hype with the management of its intellectual property portfolio, advising both on the drafting of its licence agreements and trade mark prosecution work, liaising closely with international partners in regard to international trade mark applications. Start-rite Shoes, Sequin Art and Shoe Zone Retail are also on the client roster.

Nelsons Solicitors Limited's ‘focused and talented’ team provides ‘excellent and prompt service’, specialising in contentious and non-contentious trade mark, copyright and design right work, but the group’s portfolio of experience also includes patent and passing off instructions. ‘PowerhouseEmma Ward, ‘an exceptional lawyer’ who is ‘frighteningly efficient with laser-like focus on both the big picture and the minute details of a case’, co-directs the practice with Harpreet Sandhu whose core expertise lies in non-contentious work. Both Ward and Sandhu made partner. The recent caseload includes design right, copyright and trade mark infringement instructions alongside a passing off mandate and assistance with the drafting of an IP and know-how licence agreement. Jim Carter retired and Stewart Vandermark  is now CEO at the firm.

Excellent’, ‘efficient, responsive and supportive’, Shakespeare Martineau LLP, is lauded for its ‘commercial understanding of the business consequences’ in infringement actions. The team regularly assists universities with intellectual property prosecution work and the drafting of IP policies. Another key area of strength are IP disputes involving online content, including domain name disputes and disputes regarding Google AdWords. With Leicester-based practice head Martin Noble the team excels especially in litigation work, offering clients ‘strategically bright options’, though Ed Wright in Nottingham, who delivers ‘top quality’, demonstrates strength in non-contentious instructions, especially in the biotechnology, healthcare and life sciences sectors. A recent example of the practice’s prowess in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court was representing defendant Willow Automotive and Van Extra in a case involving trade mark, passing off and copyright infringement claims regarding the brand for a spray-on polymer coating product, assisting among other things with the brand splitting issues of the case. Crick-Smith joined Commonwealth Games England, the University of Nottingham and Cenex on the client list.

The ‘impeccable’ practice at Spearing Waite LLP combines ‘timely responses and attention to detail’ with ‘practical advice in line with the bigger commercial picture’. The practice has a marked litigation focus, with trade mark instructions a key area of expertise, in particular for clients from the creative industries and media sectors in the East Midlands. Practice head and ‘tenacious litigatorJohn Buckby, who is also a Chartered Trade Mark Attorney, is ‘prompt’ and ‘thorough’ and ‘goes above and beyond to get the best results’. In addition to successfully assisting Happy Pet Products with a trade mark opposition at the European Intellectual Property Office, the department also advised Bluespur on several trade mark applications as well as on negotiations with a competing US business looking to expand into the UK with a mark similar to one of Bluespur’s marks. Other clients include Californian Stitch, Fakro Group and Jon Burgerman.

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