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The ‘exceptionalA&L Goodbody acts for an array of research institutions, technology companies and corporate clients on a range of patents, branding and enforcement actions. In a high-profile mandate the team has been representing the Irish Football Association on the enforcement of its IP rights, which has included anti-counterfeiting matters and enforcing branding rights. Other key clients include the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, which the team has been advising on IP issues arising from its various R&D projects and collaboration agreements; and Cardinal Analytics, which the team is assisting with the commercialisation of its IP. Mark Thompson and Brendan Fox co-head the team. Ivan Wade, left the firm in February 2016 for an in-house position at Almac.

Arthur Cox Belfast’s IP team is highly regarded for handling the full range of IP matters, from copyright and trade mark law to patents and trade secrets. The team’s clients include creative companies, food producers, technology manufactures and universities, for which it handles contentious and non-contentious matters. The firm was recently appointed as Northern Ireland counsel for Getty Images UK, assisting it with the protection of its copyrights and policing the unauthorised use of its images. Other clients include Coca-Cola, which the firm recently advised on IP provisions within their trading agreements, and a Northern Ireland university, which the team advises on a range of technology matters. Corporate partners Alan Taylor and Lynsey Mallon are names to note.

Carson McDowell’s IP team advises on a variety of matters, from IP in the context of mergers and acquisitions, to software protection, ownership management and licensing rights. Clients range from IT and technology companies to retailers and infrastructure providers. A key client is US technology company Xilinx, which the team is advising on master service agreements and software development agreements related to their activities in Northern Ireland. Other highlights included acting for a global retailer in trade mark litigation involving interim injunction applications. The firm also acts for Northern Ireland Electricity Networks, software company Graphical Data, and a number of IT consultancy firms. Dawn McKnight leads the team, which includes consultant Eileen Moughan.

Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP’s IP practice acts for academic institutes and corporates on IP matters related to M&A. Key education-sector clients include Queen’s University Belfast, which the team advises on technology licensing matters. In another key mandate, the firm advised Crossbows Optical on the licensing of lens creation software and a number of other designs, which involved a number of cross-border issues. Other clients include Randox Laboratories and Ulster Carpet Mills. Adrian Eakin and senior associate James Griffiths jointly head the team. Paul McBride joined Arthur Cox Belfast in 2017.

Tughans advises technology and biotechnology companies on a range of IP matters, including technology development agreements, patent protection, and M&A-related IP matters. 2016 highlights included advising Texthelp Systems, a venture capital backed assistive learning software company, on the acquisition of an IP portfolio from GMath, and assisting Monaghan Biosciences with a development agreement with Dutch DNA Biotech, which involved the negotiation and settlement of intellectual property inputs and outputs into a complex two-stage development in the field of fungal biotechnology. Other clients include Fusion Antibodies, Randox Health and Invest Northern Ireland. Technology expert Adrian O’Connell heads the team.

Cleaver Fulton Rankin advises technology companies on licensing and due diligence in the context of mergers and acquisitions, as well as handling copyright breaches and design right matters. Highlights included advising IVA Watch Limited on the licensing of its database to Kessler Group, and acting for Nexus Point on the sale of its company and software to Hamilton Internet Services. Scott Kennedy heads the team and Michael King leads on the contentious matters.

Forde Campbell LLC is a specialist IP, technology and media firm, which is well versed in advising on the protection and commercialisation of designs and brands, trade mark registration and licensing, as well as handling a range of IP disputes. Highlights included advising Somerville on the protection of its in-house developed technology and methodology, which has involved related infringement litigation. The firm also acts for toy and game manufacturer The Creativity Hub on the registration of trade marks related to game development. IP specialist Mathew Forde is the key name.

Mills Selig’s IP team handles contentious and non-contentious matters for a range of corporates, including manufacturers and app and software development firms. In a highlight, the team acted for Glistrr Limited, a Belfast-based technology company, on the licensing of its software. Other clients include Newry-based technology firm, First Derivatives. Recently promoted partner Kathryn Walls heads the team and is well-versed in dealing with technology and IT companies.

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