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Brodies LLP is ‘quick to respond’ with ‘accurate analysis’. A respected player in the market, the team handles the full remit of contentious and non-contentious IP work. Non-contentious work is led by Grant Campbell, who advised City Refrigeration – a major provider of facilities management and building maintenance services – on the global structuring of licence arrangements for exploitation of proprietary IP, and assisted Powerleague with a wide range of commercial contracts, partnership agreements and brand licensing issues, most recently advising it on its new commercial brand partnership with Adidas. In another highlight, Martin Sloan advised the University of Edinburgh on IP aspects pertaining to the creation of a joint venture company with JB Equity with the purpose of accelerating and increasing the commercialisation of patentable technology developed by academics at the Roslin Institute. The ‘experiencedGill Grassiehas notable experience of handling contentious IP work’. Robert Buchan is also recommended.

Regarded as ‘one of the leading IP firms in Scotland’, Burness Paull LLP is particularly well known for its strong contentious practice, handling high-profile enforcement campaigns while the protection of confidential information and trade secrets constitutes a significant area of growth for the ‘fantastic’ practice. Well regarded litigator and head of contentious IP Colin Hulme continues to manage Sky’s enforcement programme across Scotland, which involves the enforcement of Sky’s on-screen logos copyrights through interdict proceedings in the Court of Session. On the non-continuous side, the practice is well versed in handling high-profile IP transactions and sport sponsorship matters. David Goodbrand jointly heads the non-contentious team with Callum Sinclair, who joined from DLA Piper Scotland LLP; Goodbrand advised Brown-Forman – one of America’s largest wine and spirit businesses – on the acquisition of the BenRiach Distillery, the owner of the BenRiach, Glendronach and Glenglassaugh Scotch whisky brands and trade marks. In another highlight, Goodbrand advised Standard Life Investments on the renewal of its sponsorship and global partnering with the Ryder Cup in 2018. Senior associate Neeraj Thomas is ‘responsive and discreet’.

Pinsent Masons LLP has a ‘good reputation for IP litigation’, and is equally adept at handling non-contentious IP work. ‘Friendly and approachable’ litigator and practice co-head Jim Cormack, who ‘keeps the client informed at all stages’, represented William Grant & Sons in a trade mark opposition matter. ‘Knowledgeable and experienced’ legal director and co-head George Campbell assisted Thomas Tunnock with a number of non-contentious and contentions brand-related matters, while Chris Martin advised the University of Edinburgh on a new approach to commercialise its intellectual property through a newly formed company, Sunergos Innovations.

The ‘very good and responsive’ team at CMS provides ‘a client-friendly service’ and acts for clients in the higher education, life sciences, sports, natural resources and entertainment sectors. Team head Laurence Ward advised the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SEC) on sponsorship agreements with A.G. Barr, Bacardi-Martini, Clydesdale Bank and Sony Europe, as well as amendments to its ticketing agreement with Ticketmaster and a supply and pouring rights agreement with Heineken. The ‘personable and pragmaticCarina Healy is ‘an effective communicator’ who is noted for her ‘experience in technology transfer matters’; she scores highly with clients for ‘working incredibly hard to ensure tight deadlines are met’. Healy advised the Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre on IP aspects arising from its new strategic research collaboration with AstraZeneca, and the University of Glasgow on its licensing arrangements with animal health company Merial. In another highlight, she assisted the University of Aberdeen with the drafting of an IP assignation agreement with Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult following the client’s creation of a spin-out company, which is developing a novel technology to produce laboratory grown islets (the organoids responsible for insulin production).

DLA Piper Scotland LLP attracts praise for its track record in licensing, sponsorship and promotion agreements, trade mark portfolio management and IP enforcement actions. Team head John McKinlay assisted Merlin Entertainments with licensing and sponsorship issues, and advised Arran Aromatics on its global rebranding from Arran Aromatics to ARRAN, which involved conducting trade mark clearance searches in 17 jurisdictions. Other recent work includes advising entertainment company Underbelly, which operates the largest venue at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, on brand protection issues in the UK and on commercial agreements for its venues, and assisting the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society with a range of commercial IP matters, including its sponsorship agreement with Virgin Money. Roslin Cells is another client. Callum Sinclair moved to Burness Paull LLP.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP’s ‘strong’ team has commercial and contentious IP work at its core, regularly representing clients in trade mark, design right and infringement proceedings. Team head Alison Bryce acted for Edinburgh Woollen Mill on its acquisition of an IP portfolio and associated licences, which were acquired out of administration, together with certain stock and concessions of the Austin Reed and Country Casuals brands. Other clients include STV and Edrington. ‘Very experienced and extremely hardworking’ director Susan Snedden is ‘always aware of what the client wants and needs’ and ‘has the ability to quickly get to the nub of the problem’.

MacRoberts LLP is well equipped to advise clients on trade mark, brand and copyright protection matters, and IP and software licensing. The firm also handles IP disputes. David Gourlay advised Brownings the Bakers on a dispute with Kilmarnock Football Club and the use of the Killie pie mark, which the sport club claims as its own, and continues to assist Kames Capital with registering its Kames and Kames Capital trade marks and the "We Invest More" strapline in the UK, the EU and a number of other jurisdictions. Euan Duncan combines ‘strong IP knowledge with an astute commercial awareness’ and is praised as ‘coming up with innovative solutions for the protection of IP and being able to handle IP disputes in a sensible and pragmatic way’. He advised the Scottish Salmon Company on the protection and commercialisation of its IP assets. In another highlight, he acted for Glencairn Crystal Studio on a number of cross-border IP infringement, commercialisation and licensing matters. David Flint heads the team, which includes the ‘hardworking and extremely knowledgeable’ Val Surgenor.

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s ‘very knowledgeable and reliable’ team ‘goes the extra mile for clients’ and is ‘pleasant to work with’. The team is experienced in handling licensing, copyright and commercial IP transactions while also acting in trade mark and patent infringement matters. The recommended Joanna Boag-Thomson advised Scottish Enterprise (SE) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) on IP licence negotiations with Silent Herdsman. In other work, John MacKenzie represented Brand IP Licensing in an oral hearing before the General Court (EGC) with regards to Facebook’s opposition to the client’s EU trade mark application to register the word mark ‘Lovebook’ over particular classes of goods and services for online dating. Paul Carlyle is another name to note.

Anderson Strathern’s clients are typically drawn from the public and education sectors while an increasing number of charities and third sector clients also instruct the team. Highlights included assisting the University of Stirling with a broad range of commercial IP matters including patent and trade mark exploitation and sponsorship agreements. The firm also advised Edinburgh Napier University on data protection and data sharing arrangements within the UK and outside the EEA, and advised Rangers Football Club on the protection, commercialisation and enforcement of its IP rights, including copyright and trade mark matters. The team also successfully defended the club against a threat of trade mark infringement and enforced its IP portfolio, which involved taking down Facebook accounts that were selling infringing merchandise. Team head and newly promoted partner Douglas McLachlan advised the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland on trade mark protection issues. Katrina Lumsdaine is particularly known for her strength in IP litigation, regularly handling high-value international patent cases. Simon Brown is another key member of the team.

DWF has a strong profile for trade mark, copyright infringement and IP licensing work and advises clients across a range of industries, including food and drinks, energy, education and the public sector. Practice head Colin Miller advised Fuel Juice Bars on the protection of its registered trade marks and assisted VisitScotland with copyright infringement matters arising from a collaboration with the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Discover Northern Ireland. Beam Suntory instructed the team to advise on trade mark issues pertaining to the advertising and marketing of Scotch whisky in the UK and the EU, including regulatory and labelling requirements for display of Scotch whisky. On the disputes front, the team successfully defended BiP Solutions against Portakabin’s threat to commence trade mark infringement proceedings following the client’s reference to the word ‘portacabin’ which the pursuer regarded as deliberate infringement of its registered trade mark.

Harper Macleod LLPprovides practical advice with a clear commercial edge’. The firm focuses on trade mark work, including trade mark portfolio management, application filings and trade mark protection while also handling IP commercialisation issues. Key contact Jamie Watt continues to manage the worldwide registered trade mark portfolio for Celtic FC, and acted for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) on its application for registered trade mark protection for the marks ‘chartered tax professional’, ‘chartered insolvency professional’ and abbreviations thereof. The team also advised the Scotch Malt Whisky Society on a range of IP matters, including challenging domain name registrations in France and the registration of a range of trade marks pertaining to a new brand launch. Rugby player Sam Hidalgo-Clyne instructed the team to advise on the transfer of image rights and the exploitation of his image rights by the Scottish Rugby Union.

The ‘skilled and knowledgeable’ team at Thorntons Law LLP handles a wide range of contentious and commercial IP work. Team head Lesley Larg, who ‘provides good, proactive advice’ and ‘understands underlying issues quickly’, assisted St Andrews Links with the drafting and negotiation of its licence agreements with key partners and suppliers, and acted for DF Concerts in trade mark infringement matters. Other work included advising the James Hutton Institute on a number of patent and plant variety rights licences and assisting Jack’s Hoose Music with music copyright commissioning agreements. Associate Loretta Maxfield attracts praise for her ‘strong negotiation and excellent problem-solving skills’.

BTO Solicitors LLP is dedicated to contentious IP work, handling trade mark and copyright infringement cases alongside domain and website IP disputes, while also advising clients on domain names, IP licensing and trade mark matters, including registrations and applications. Paul Motion heads the team.

Bonaccordcombines broad jurisdictional and technical expertise with a thoroughly commercial approach’. It has a strong focus on life sciences and a growing practice advising food and drink sector clients, for which it handles branding, trade mark, patent and licensing work, often in an international setting. The ‘extremely helpfulPatricia Barclay is ‘impressively smart and has a calm and steady demeanour coupled with an amazingly broad knowledge base’. She also scores highly for her ‘invaluable experience of working with pharmaceutical companies, which is particularly useful in complex negotiations over IP ownership’.

Morton Fraser specialises in IP protection, exploitation and commercialisation, and data protection work, and regularly acts for high-growth technology businesses as well as public and retail sector clients. Austin Flynn negotiated the exclusive licence of IP rights from Edinburgh Napier University to Cyan Forensics, which facilitated the completion of Mercia Technologies’ equity investment into Cyan Forensics.

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