AA Thornton impresses with its versatility. Between the engineering, physics and mechanical devices patent team, led by Adrian Bennett, the chemistry, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals group led by Craig Turner, and Mike Jennings' electrical engineering, electronics telecoms and IT team, the firm covers a wide range of sectors, with the medical device, oil, gas and petrochemical, automotive and aerospace, financial services and agriculture sectors as core focuses. The wider firm also includes a dedicated litigation team that assists with the development of IP strategies, due diligence matters and commercialisation questions. The majority of clients come from Europe, North America, the Far East and India, including multinationals, small and medium-sized companies, academic institutions and individuals. In March 2021 the firm added Simon Davies, formerly at D Young & Co LLP, as a consultant with computer technology expertise to its team. Lawrence King joined Simmons & Simmons in spring 2021.
PATMA: Patent attorneys in London
Adrian Bennett; Craig Turner; Mike Jennings
Other key lawyers:
Nikesh Patel; Nick South; Alex Bone; Marianne Privett; Simon Davies; Stuart Greenwood
‘The best lawyers that I have worked with due to couple of reasons: 1) Very attentive. When I work with AA Thornton, I always feel like we are a valued party and we have the highest priority for them. 2) Very dedicated – this dedication sets them apart compared to all other firms. 3) They also exceed our expectations on all the other aspects like the calibre of people who have very broad expertise on technical matters.‘
‘The EE/Telecom group at AA Thornton are excellent listeners who are able to listen and learn from our insights and smoothly integrate that with their own specialised knowledge of patent practice in their jurisdiction. Other firms often decide they are the local practitioner and prosecute without much input or without integrating that input since they ‘know best’ locally. By thoroughly engaging with our knowledge and creatively blending it with their expertise, AA Thornton is able to obtain excellent results in the patent offices they represent us in while also delivering results more in harmony with the worldwide portfolio and more efficiently and effectively than those who are not as in sync with the client’s already hard-earned experience and expertise with their own technology.‘
‘The AA Thornton team were excellent from first communication to project delivery. Before on-boarding, detailed considered feedback was provided and a generous amount of time was provided for questions and decision making.‘
‘Mike Jennings is both highly skilled and incredibly personable. He tends to be on top of critical issues and is my go-to patent lawyer in Europe for software-related cases and subject matter eligibility issues.‘
‘Nikesh Patel is a good listener who effectively and efficiently leads prosecution on telecom and software cases. He develops an effective rapport with the examiners, but also is able to leverage our knowledge of the technology with his own experience in the EPO and UKIPO to deliver strong arguments and results.‘
‘Adrian Bennett has been a pleasure to work with. From first communication he has provided excellent communication and insights on a number of matters. I was particularly impressed with the depth of feedback provided before on-boarding us as a client. This, along with Adrian’s friendly, approachable demeanour, was key in our decision to work with AA Thornton.‘
‘It has been excellent working with Stuart Greenwood. He has provided great insight into the market we are operating in and has been key for informing our IP strategy. His communication has been excellent throughout, particularly when working to stringent deadlines.‘
Halliburton Energy Services
Chevron Philips Chemical Company
Associated British Foods
CK Hutchison Holdings Limited
- Acted for RSR in a dispute before the Supreme Court, securing complete reversal of the decision of the Federal Court and upholding the patent in full as granted, allowing for enforcement to take the opposing product off the market, to destroy and recall of infringing kits, as well as obtaining damages and costs.
- Acted for Servomex in patent prosecution, using the UKIPO’s options for fast-track search and examination, including the UKIPO’s ‘green channel’, allowing the client to assess likely claim scope and value to guide worldwide patent filing and prosecution strategy and obtain fast grant.
- Advised Sol Gel (‘SGMA’) on patent prosecution matters.
Boult Wade Tennant LLP is particularly visible in EPO opposition and appeal proceedings, both regarding patents originally drafted by the team and in matters taken over from other firms. With its four UK offices, its German offices in Berlin and Frankfurt and an office in Madrid, the firm is well set up for multi-jurisdictional matters and a popular choice for multinational companies, but also for European and UK small and medium-sized enterprises, start-ups (including university spin-outs) and charities. The group also provides strategic portfolio management services, due diligence, including for acquisitions and IPOs, and litigation support. Senior partner Nick McLeish in London directs the sizeable hi-tech and electrical group; Adrian Hayes in the Oxford office is in charge of the chemical and materials team in which the London-based Marcus Sims made partner in May 2020; Tessa Bucks, also in London, heads up the engineering and designs practice, which saw an increase in AI and augmented reality work; and fellow London-based practitioner Nina White leads the biotechnology and life sciences practice. The firm also utilises its IP management portal BoultView and dedicated in-house renewal team. Biotechnology and life sciences specialist Jennifer O’Farrell joined D Young & Co LLP in November 2020.
Adrian Hayes; Nick McLeish; Tessa Bucks; Nina White
Other key lawyers:
Marcus Sims; Daryl Penny; Barbara Rigby; Neil Thomson; Edward Ronan; Daniel Weston; Simon Kahn; Michelle Pratt; Rohan Setna; Joanna Peak; Martyn Draper; Matthew Spencer
‘The team make sure they are very familiar with the required technology area and the commercial importance of it to the client. They are very proactive, especially when drafting new ideas. They excel at European oppositions from advice at the early stage through to strong representation at the hearing. Overall they form a very strong relationship with our IP team.‘
‘Absolutely exceptional team, from managing partners to junior associates. BWT provides enormous skill and dedication for each and every engagement, as well as sophisticated, long-term and relationship-based counsel.‘
‘The people working within the TMT practice group have deep knowledge of their subject area, and quickly understand the legal as well as technical and commercial issues involved in a mandate. They involve the client in charting out an approach for the work product that offers a practical and efficient way forward. They provide regular status updates throughout the mandate and deliver clear and concise work product.‘
‘Daniel Weston has outstanding knowledge and gives clear and pragmatic advice. He can be relied upon to give well-thought out advice and is very responsive when we need to act quickly.‘
‘All of the individuals we work with at BWT are very focused at delivering results. Tessa Bucks excels in oppositions proceeding and we have had a number of recent successes at both first hearing and appeal level.‘
‘Ed Ronan is a creative thinker.‘
‘Their partnership approach is what truly makes them standout. Rather than simply taking an adviser role, they truly attempt to understand the business, the persons involved and essentially become a member of the operating team. They take the time to understand the nuances of their client and to raise awareness as necessary when an issue arises.‘
‘For me the stand-out team members are Matthew Spencer and Barbara Rigby. I am impressed by their attention to detail, diligence and willingness to rise to challenges, such as tight deadlines or less than ideal information provided by the client.‘
Koninklijke Douwe Egberts B.V
The Almac Group
Adaptive Spectrum and Signal Alignment, Inc
Alpha Assembly Solutions, Inc
Carpmaels & Ransford LLP integrated its growing materials practice into its wider chemistry team under the lead of Gillian McGuire to advise on matters at the intersection of the two specialisms, often for consumer product clients. In Gary Small‘s engineering and technology team, the caseload increasingly includes AI and machine learning patents. The well-known medical device practice has remained a core area for the team. In the life sciences, a key area of expertise for the firm, the practice saw the biggest organic growth, with biotechnology practice head Mark Chapman and pharmaceuticals practice head James Warner raising two attorneys each to senior associate level and life sciences expert Anna Leathley and Isobel Barry, who focuses on pharmaceuticals patents, joining the partnership in July 2021. John Brunner is also active in technology issues. Across the teams, the practice advises on the entire life cycle of a patent, starting with invention mining, EPO opposition matters, and ending with enforcement matters for which clients can draw on the firm’s team of solicitors. Hugh Goodfellow is the firm’s managing partner; former post-holder Richard Jackson retired in June 2020. In July 2020, solicitor and biotechnology and pharmaceutical specialist Jennifer Antcliff made partner.
Hugh Goodfellow; John Brunner; Gary Small; Mark Chapman; James Warner; Gillian Phillips
Other key lawyers:
James Warner; Harvey Adams; Edward Oates; Daniel Wise; Susan Kirsch; Bruce Cockerton; Anna Leathley; Isobel Barry; Chris Hoggett; Cameron Marshall; Matthew Georgiou; Paul Bettridge; Stephen Duffield; Jennifer Antcliff; Hazel Turner
‘I have worked with a dozen European patent firms and none can match the synergy of the people (partners and associates) of Carpmaels. Their expertise, their dynamism, the energy to tackle problems and find solutions, and their ability to achieve success is incomparable to other firms. Exceptional use of technology. Exceptional collaboration with the client. Carpmaels offers and produces exceptional advice and outcomes.‘
‘Carpmaels has a terrific team of partners and others with wide and deep experience in pharma. We not only benefit from their knowledge in prosecuting patents, but also rely on their advice relating to general strategy, opposition proceedings, and regulatory issues. Carpmaels has a team dedicated to national validations that we employ regularly. Carpmaels also has a team dedicated to SPC’s which we also take advantage of. Rarely is there a need to seek advice elsewhere.‘
‘Carpmaels & Ransford has a strong IP litigation team. The team is experienced in both UK and EU litigation matters. In particular, I would engage Carpmaels for multi-jurisdiction litigation involving both US and UK. In addition to having a global view, and the team has a solid understanding of US legal procedures.‘
‘I have mostly worked with James Warner and Hazel Turner, both of whom are outstanding in their knowledge and service. James, despite being a busy partner, always has time for our questions and personally communicates with us regularly. Hazel has a depth of knowledge that we tap into constantly regarding pharmaceutical patents.‘
‘John Brunner is a rising star with in depth knowledge in pan-European patent matters. John has delivered consistently positive outcomes.‘
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Barclays Bank Plc
Johnson & Johnson Vision
Dupont Teijin Films
Johnson & Johnson, with Boston Scientific
Ethicon Inc. & Ethicon LLC
Raytheon Technologies Corporation
- Represented Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in a successful offensive opposition at the EPO Boards of Appeal regarding a patent covering anti-PCSK9 antibodies, owned by Amgen and which had been used to initiate litigation against Regeneron and Sanofi across Europe.
- Took on the management of Barclays’ entire global patent portfolio in early 2020.
- Acted for Novartis with a cross-practice team comprising patent attorneys and patent litigators in prosecution and opposition work before the EPO; supporting national enforcement and validity actions and providing legal opinions.
CMS focuses on the prosecution of hi-tech, life sciences and chemistry patents. On the hi-tech side, the group offers extensive experience in invalidity matters, in particular at the EPO and in Germany, including matters that run in parallel to infringement litigation. Major technology and telecoms clients rely on the team's proven patent application drafting skills and the wide range of hi-tech expertise in the team makes it highly sought after by in-house teams and patent offices for training, for example in the growing field of quantum computing. On the life sciences side, the practice is mainly active in EPO opposition and appeal proceedings as well as in due diligence and second opinion work. Supplementary protection certificates, emerging areas such as gene therapy and digital health, and significant antibody-related matters account for a significant portion of the caseload. Under the leadership of Robert Stephen, the practice continues to grow its client list, with a high number of UK and US biotech and pharmaceuticals clients joining the roster in 2020. The firm's incubator programme equIP makes the firm a good choice for start-ups. The practice also works closely with the EPO on several best practice and new technology projects. Integrated into a full-service law firm, the patent attorney team can draw on the firm's litigators, regulatory experts and corporate and commercial specialists where needed.
Other key lawyers:
Helen Wallis; Jane Evenson; Tobias Reker; Rachel Free; Jane Hollywood
‘Having latterly worked on a significant patent application with partner Rachel Free and her team, what has stood out are their technical knowledge, drafting skills and attention to detail.‘
‘Jane Hollywood is very approachable, very invested, and goes the extra mile.’
‘CMS is a huge firm, but the patent function is a small team and you still feel a valued client.’
‘Rachel Free is always on hand to steer through the intricacies and complexities of the patent application process. Her strong understanding of the client’s commercial objectives helps greatly in the context of the depth of advice she proffers. She is quick to appreciate the commercial and technical value of an idea but it is then her application of complex patent rules to that idea that really shines through. She has impressed with her command of the law and her technical insight.‘
- Provides support to hi-tech and life science start-ups through equIP, the CMS accelerator, capturing IP, offering strategic IP advice and thereby generating investable value and long term client relationships.
- Acted for Kymab as primary patent advisers, including supporting Kymab’s successful insufficiency attack in the February 2020 UK Supreme Court Kymab v Regeneron case, drafting applications to its platform IP, successful prosecution of nearly 180 cases worldwide and acting as primary representative for Kymab’s EPO opposition and appeal work, with 100% success rate at three opposition hearings held in early 2021.
- Advising Microsoft on the patent protection of ground breaking technologies, such as HoloLens, AI accelerator technology, machine learning, quantum computing, document processing, healthcare, biological computing and others, undertaking original drafting work for technology originating in Europe and EPO filing work for US originating applications.
D Young & Co LLP demonstrates particular strength in EPO patent prosecution, further increasing the number of filed EPO patent applications and remaining very active in opposition and appeal proceedings. The number of filed PCT applications also increased, while UKIPO patent work remained steady. The practice's wide technical range makes it an excellent choice for cross-disciplinary matters, for example in the fields of AI or medical device technology, where clients benefit from the combined experience of the electronics, engineering and IT team and the biotechnology, chemistry and pharmaceuticals team. Jennifer O’Farrell, a specialist in immunology, molecular biology, biotechnology and biochemistry, joined the London team in September 2020 from Boult Wade Tennant LLP. In April 2020 chemistry expert Catherine Keetch made partner. Kirk Gallagher and Anthony Albutt, both based in London, head the team. The Munich office allows the firm to directly file German patents, with the wider trade mark and design expertise attracting clients that seek to consolidate their IP matters with one firm. Solicitor Antony Craggs joined Lewis Silkin LLP in January 2021, and Simon Davies joined AA Thornton in March 2021.
Kirk Gallagher; Anthony Albutt
Other key lawyers:
Neil Nachshen; Rachel Bateman; Jennifer O’Farrell; Garreth Duncan; Charles Harding; Tamara Milton; Jonathan Jackson; Catherine Keetch; Zöe Clyde-Watson; Jonathan DeVile; David Meldrum; Simon O’Brien; Doug Ealey; Darren Lewis; David Horner
‘It is a pleasure to work with D Young & Co. The team is very professional and responsive.’
‘Prior to working with D Young I worked with other firms in three different continents, and none of them come close to the professionalism and dedication offered by D Young & Co.’
‘Cohesive team that works well together.’
‘The electronics team have an ability to grasp highly complex technology quickly.’
‘Extremely good technical knowledge of the specific technology we work in. Able to drive solutions based on that knowledge and willing to interact with our input.’
‘D Young’s patent attorneys, their associates and technical assistants are exceptional. Despite the lack of face to face meetings due to the pandemic, the quality of service has not wavered.’
‘Neil Nachshen and Kirk Gallagher are professional and experienced patent attorneys. They grasp complex matters quickly and give valuable advice on various issues including non-infringement and invalidity positions. Their analyses are reliable. In addition, both attorneys are very responsive and hard-working. They always meet deadlines and are always available when unexpected urgent matters arise.’
Apitope International NV
Asahi Kasei Corporation
Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health
Cancer Research Technology
Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult
Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals Inc.
IFF (DuPont Nutrition Biosciences Aps)
King’s College London
Korean Institute of Science and Technology
Novo Nordisk A/S
Oxford University Innovation Limited
Plant Bioscience Ltd
Sony Interactive Entertainment
Sony Mobile Communications
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd
The Francis Crick Institute
The Lubrizol Cor
- Representing Nestlé at the EPO in the ‘coffee capsules wars’, protecting the client’s European patent rights concerning its well-known ‘Nescafé Dolce Gusto’ capsules.
- Advised Sony Corporation on a significant patent prosecution effort to increase IP protection in preparation for the Sony Interactive Entertainment PS5 launch (hardware, software and middleware work) in November 2020.
- Advised new client Zealand Pharma on biotechnology, chemistry, medical devices and processes.
Dehns celebrated its centenary in 2020 and launched its 101st year with the acquisition of Oslo IP consultancy Leogriff, followed by the late spring 2021 merger with German firm Kudlek, Grunert & Partner in Munich. The firm remains among the most active EPO filing practices, with patent applications relating to physics and engineering accounting for the bulk of the work, followed by the electronics, medical device, oil and gas, and chemical sectors. Patent prosecution for university clients, including technology transfer offices, is another core area. Able to assist with the full range of patent prosecution, including infringement matters (all of the firm’s German and UK patent attorneys hold an IPEC certificate), the practice attracts prestigious direct clients, primarily from the UK and other European countries, but also from the US. Since 2020 the firm offers a dedicated consultancy service for start-ups, Dehns Consultancy. The heads of the practice are senior partner Alexander Piésold, managing partner Elizabeth Jones, Hanna Dzieglewska (biotechnology), the Oxford-based Louise Golding, who took over as head of the chemistry practice from Philip Towler, and John Tothill in Brighton (engineering). Patent and design attorney David Paton in Bristol made partner in January 2021.
Alexander Piésold; Elizabeth Jones; Hanna Dzieglewska; Louise Golding; John Tothill
Other key lawyers:
Adam Taylor; Tim Wilson; Mark Bell; Alex Gittins; Laura Ramsay; Christopher Davies; Robert Jackson; Philip Towler; David Paton
‘The cooperation is easy and they act fast on changes and requests.‘
‘Dehns have a solid team with strong experience of supporting clients to win patents in a range of fields related to science and engineering.‘
‘Very capable team. High powered intellect married to practical solutions. Dehns strength is in systematic claims construction and drafting patents with litigation in mind. When it comes to prosecution Dehns attorneys always propose solutions and skilfully navigate the client through the detail of the process.‘
‘The experience of working with Dehns is one of true collaboration. The discussions revolve around the art of the possible which are challenging, thought-provoking and a delight to participate in. For me, Dehns are part of the innovation team, providing independent third party validation alongside the task at hand – securing intellectual property protections.‘
‘The firm provides great insight on European-specific substantive issues, from priority issues to advice about whether claim amendments will likely be supported by the original application. We recommend Dehns without hesitation.‘
‘Laura Ramsay has a fierce intellect but combines this with practical client-focused solutions that add value. Laura has an enviable record in opposition hearings at the EPO whether opposing or defending.’
‘Mark Bell is our go-to partner for intellectual property at Dehns. Mark is a great character – technically brilliant, with a background in physics, and legally astute. I consider Mark to be an extended member of the team, he encourages, challenges and collaborates – his energy truly lifts the room. Furthermore, you can sense from our interactions that Mark is a great mentor for junior associates, encouraging and nurturing the next generation of talent – which leads to associates making an active contribution to the discussion rather than passively sitting back and listening, a key skill and behaviour which I admire greatly.‘
‘Robert Jackson is highly competent and technically brilliant.‘
SanDisk / Western Digital
Micromass / Waters
- Acted for AutoStore AS and EQT Partners in litigation in order to issue claims against Ocado for UK and US patent infringement.
- Advised airMont on the acquisition of third party IP to help support its commercial objectives and successfully achieve its commercial goal of providing a range of digital services relating to air quality.
- Represented Carrier Corporation at an appeal hearing in order to contest preliminary findings of the Board and rebut any objections raised by an opponent’s representatives, persuaded the Board of Appeal to reverse its objections and admit the new, broader claims.
EIP is the go-to firm for an impressive list of US, UK, European and Asia Pacific clients that seek a direct client relationship with patent attorneys. Focusing on high-stakes strategic patent prosecution, often involving substantial patent portfolios, the firm brings the in-house experience of many of its attorneys to the table. The already powerful EPO oppositions and appeals practice was further strengthened with the arrival of Gareth Probert, formerly at HGF Limited, in February 2020, and the April 2020 arrival of Monika Rai, formerly at Mathys & Squire LLP, to the London team. In Bath, the group welcomed Colin Lobban to the team who joined from an in-house position at Dyson, while Pete Wilson left for an in-house position at Ocado in April 2020. Jerome Spaargaren and Heather McCann in London and Matt Lawman in Bath direct the practice. The firm is also home to one of the most active litigation practices in the country, with attorneys and solicitors joining forces on high-profile disputes. In April 2021 the firm announced its strategic alliance with Stobbs IP which resets the firm's focus exclusively on patent work.
Jerome Spaargaren; Heather McCann; Matt Lawman
Other key lawyers:
Richard Gordon-Brown; Darren Smyth; David Brinck; Laurence-Brown; Chris Price; Gareth Probert; Monika Rai; Colin Lobban; Robert Barker; Felix Hall; Ben Willows; Luke Galloway
‘Very professional and experienced team. They provide online access to all the cases and to the proprietary patent search engine. EIP provided for us a very high ratio of granted patents, even for the difficult cases.‘
‘They are a very talented group, able to work alongside our internal teams to identify areas where patent protection could be possible, and then drive that through alongside myself to grant. Given their longstanding relationship with our company, they know our business well and all advice is given with a real in-depth understanding of what is important to us as we build enterprise value in our IP. They understand the strategy of our group, both in terms of our IP portfolio and our broader commercial positioning of our products, services and brand.‘
‘Every single person who worked with us showed the highest level of competence and professionalism, significantly better than what we saw from other companies we worked with before.‘
‘Heather McCann and Luke Galloway are brilliant. Hugely talented, pragmatic and cut to the chase. They are able to work in total harmony with our teams here, understanding the technology we’re developing whilst being able to break down the complex legal principles to help to guide us and identify opportunities.‘
Tate & Lyle
- Advised VISA Inc. on strategic European patent filing and prosecution.
- Assisted Airbus with invention review and patent prosecution.
- Acted for A.O. Moller-Maersk on multinational patent drafting and prosecution.
The team at J A Kemp is well versed in cross-border patent prosecution and is particularly active for clients from the US and Japan. In the highly international caseload, the strong EPO practice, and especially the oppositions and appeals caseload, takes pride of place, with the firm continuing to expand its long list of successfully fought proceedings. Between the biotechnology and life sciences, the chemistry and pharmaceuticals, and the engineering and IT teams, clients find an extensive range of experts for patent prosecution needs. With offices in Oxford and Cambridge, the firm is well placed for assisting the respective universities’ technology transfer offices and spin-outs with the development and commercialisation of patent portfolios. The practice heads are: Nigel Price (engineering and IT), Celia Keen (chemistry and pharmaceuticals), Patrick Campbell (biotechnology and life sciences), Ravi Srinivasan (pharmaceuticals), Mark Roberts (medical devices), John Leeming (software) and Samuel Smith (electronics).
Nigel Price; Celia Keen; Patrick Campbell; Ravi Srinivasan; Mark Roberts; John Leeming; Samuel Smith
Other key lawyers:
Andrew Bentham; Graham Lewis; Amanda Simons; Ian MacLeod; Toby Hopkin
‘The team’s client commitment is outstanding. They combine high-level legal expertise with practical and business sense. Great strategic advisers in the field of IP. We typically work with one partner, however the firm has various attorneys on board with specific expertise in certain areas. And these can be swiftly pulled on board – if the case at hand would require so.‘
‘The attorneys I have collaborated with are highly skilled and proactive. It saves my time to collaborate with them.‘
‘JA Kemp, and in particular Andrew Bentham’s group, brings vast experience in patents related to plant biotechnology and the as-biotechnology space, and is also able to advise from a commercial perspective.‘
‘Pat Campbell leads the biotechnology team and is a very knowledgeable European patent attorney. He has broad experience in antibody patenting and other relevant areas of the biopharmaceuticals sector. Pat has an excellent understanding of the industry and proactively addresses industry needs. He is a very nice and approachable person. Graham Lewis is an expert in the field of SPCs. Also, very nice and easy to work with.’
‘I work with Mark Roberts, a sharp thinker who swiftly takes up new technology. Mark is very dedicated and great fun to work with. We have been working in several opposition proceedings where he has a great track record for our company. He comes well prepared, and adds great value to the in-house team. He works effectively and has prepared alternative scenarios that bring value, which also enable him to swiftly switch gear in proceedings, when need might be.‘
‘I have worked with Mark Roberts and Amanda Simons. Both team members are very professional and proactive. You really look forward to give them a new case.‘
‘We mainly work with two partners, both are exceptional: Andrew Bentham has a very well-rounded view of IP versus the needs of the business and provides detailed advice that is both legally accurate and tailored to the needs of the business. Ian MacLeod has the ability to perceive complex subject matter quickly and add value through analysis that is very focused on the salient points.‘
‘The primary lawyer we deal with at J A Kemp is Ravi Srinivasan. Ravi is an outstanding IP legal professional. His insights and attention to detail are second to none. He and his team are efficient, organised and highly effective.‘
Toyota Motor Corporation
University of California
At Kilburn & Strode LLP, the renowned team assists clients with the full range of patent prosecution work, including due diligence matters. With a growing office in the Netherlands and a San Francisco office staffed with European patent attorneys, the group continues to make its mark in cross-border matters. Throughout 2020, the firm’s strength in the life sciences benefitted clients engaged in Covid-19 vaccine matters and diagnostics and therapeutics work, while the firm’s ties to well-known automotive and aerospace clients generated work involving medical devices. Nick Lee heads up the life sciences and chemistry practice, the largest in the firm, Nick Shipp directs the technology team and Jim Miller is at the helm of the advanced engineering practice. Tim Copsey left the firm.
Nick Lee; Nick Shipp
Other key lawyers:
Mark Abthorpe; Nick Bassil; Kristina Cornish; Kathryn Eldridge; Elizabeth Crooks; Gareth Fennell; Marco Morbidini; Nick Noble; Jeremy Smith; Robin Lloyd; Jim Miller
Queen Mary University
Marks & Clerk offers combined prosecution and litigation services and one of the deepest benches in the UK market. The group demonstrates particular strength in the pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals space as well as in the electronics and engineering sectors. Patents covering innovations in 3D printing, machine learning and AI are another key area of expertise, with the team having built an exceptionally successful track record of taking AI patent applications through to grant. Agritech-related patents are also included in the portfolio. In addition to its wide geographical presence in the UK, the firm also has offices in Asia, the EU and Canada and is very active in cross-border matters; it is one of the most active filers of PCT patent applications. Daniel Talbot-Ponsonby (Oxford) and Simon Mounteney (London) direct the practice. David Murray (Glasgow, Aberdeen), whose key specialisms include the energy and medical device sectors, made partner in September 2020.
Daniel Talbot-Ponsonby; Simon Mounteney
Other key lawyers:
Sheila Wallace; Will Nieuwenhuys; Philip Cupitt; Mike Williams; Thomas Prock; Andrew Docherty; Jonathan Stafford; David Murray; Emma Foster
‘The firm is easy to work with and very professional. Billing is handled as per our specs and any changes to the way we operate are always met with acceptance without dispute. The attorneys at the firm are always willing to discuss our matters and explain all aspects of the matters very well, making decisions more easy to reach. Superb, can-do attitudes and top notch attorneys who are easy to work with is a blessing.‘
‘Marks & Clerk are unusually commercial in their guidance for patenting, and we are confident that we’re not simply addressing what can be patented, but what should be patented, in line with our commercial strategy. The firm has made a real effort to develop a close working relationship with our technical team, to assist with invention disclosure and early identification of potential IP, alongside later stage patent drafting.‘
‘The team at Marks & Clerk have a diverse and broad range of deep expertise in the scientific fields we work in and the skills to translate this into filings that are granted. They respond well and have a good leadership.‘
‘Andy Docherty is one of the best in the IP world. He is easy to work with and always open to new ideas. He has helped us on the billing side as well as the patent side of our engagement. The other attorneys I work with there are outstanding when it comes to knowing the best routes to getting patents through prosecution and getting them granted. I meet regularly with several of them and all are top notch with years of good experience, so they can advise me on the best ways forward. And better yet, they are usually correct!‘
‘Our interaction with M&C is headed by Jonathan Stafford. He is knowledgeable, experienced and manages his team well. Both he and his team have developed a good knowledge of our technologies and communicate effectively. This combination of capabilities has led to a number of successful patent opposition cases and new filings.‘
‘Thomas Prock is outstanding in all aspects of his work and his involvement has been pivotal in securing several patents for our firm. Throughout the years he has displayed an uncanny ability to grasp complex technical concept immediately and with ease and translate our descriptions in to patentable applications all of which (no exception) have been successful.‘
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
The University of Edinburgh
University of St Andrews
University of Birmingham
- Assisted Gilead Sciences with the development of its European patent portfolios relating to liver disease and cardiovascular disease, involving important commercial products and often opposition and appeal matters at the EPO, acting for the client both as patentee and as opponent.
Mewburn Ellis LLP continues to thrive, with significant growth across all teams. The life sciences practice in particular has handled patents in biologics, bioinformatics, cell therapies, vaccines and precision medicines. The additional expertise in pharma regulatory matters and patent extensions as well as plant variety patents is another stand-out strength. On the chemistry side, the practice impresses with its work in advanced materials and polymers, and is an affiliate partner to the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre. The engineering and ITC specialists offer combined expertise in patent and design work. At the EPO, the team is among the most active representatives in oppositions and appeals, especially when acting for defendants. Able to manage global IP portfolios of multinationals, but also excelling in original drafting work for smaller clients including prestigious universities, technology transfer offices and spun out start-ups, the firm offers a comprehensive patent prosecution package. In addition to its four UK offices, the firm also has an office in Munich, allowing for direct filing of German patents. Graeme Moore (Manchester) directs the engineering and ICT team, Jeremy Webster (Manchester) heads up the chemistry practice, and Simon Kiddle (Bristol) leads the life sciences team. The London-based Calum McGuinn, who specialises in chemistry and materials, made partner in April 2021. The previous April June Lyons (Manchester) and Susie Harrison (Cambridge) made patent director, a non-equity partner-level position. Patent director Rachel Jones left the firm in spring 2021.
Graeme Moore; Jeremy Webster; Simon Kiddle
Other key lawyers:
Sarah Kostiuk-Smith; Emma Graham; Richard Johnson; Andrew Mears; Paul Dunne; Simon Kremer; Katherine Green; Richard Clegg; June Lyons; Susie Harrison; Calum McGuinn
‘This practice has deep expertise in the biotechnology industry and is experienced in the unique IP challenges and related business and legal risks present in the field. We are able to trust them with the company’s IP because they are not just a law firm, but a business partner who has their client’s best interest at heart, and who performs beyond the expected.‘
‘The people are proactive, helpful and eager to assist on giving appropriate advice or suggesting other companies when they are not sufficiently experienced to deal with certain areas. They are continually adapting the client database to match the needs of the client. They do not instigate costly work if not necessary and will instruct on the estimated costs of any major work. They have a diverse team to assist with specialised areas when required.‘
‘Richard Clegg is very astute and gives carefully considered advice that is pertinent to the issue at hand. He has a wide breadth of knowledge and experience on IP and related business and legal matters that can be relied upon.‘
‘Emma Graham always works in every way for our interest and seeks support for us, whenever needed, from others in her firm.‘
‘Katherine Green is very dedicated to deliver the best possible position for her clients. She can digs into every detail but keeps the big picture at the same time – very impressive!‘
‘Simon Kremer understands our work fully and can probe us on any new material. He is also able to oversee the consistent approach in our intellectual property portfolio.‘
Agency For Science, technology and Research
Alliance Pharmaceuticals Ltd
Autoliv Development AB
Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH
Bozicevic Field & Francis LLP
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
Cambridge Enterprise Ltd
Creo Medical Limited
Danisco US Inc.
Domino Printing Sciences PLC
Ei-Mei Patent Office
Enleofen Bio Pte Ltd
F Hoffmann-La Roche AG
Hiraki and Associates
Karsten Manufacturing Group
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
McNeill Baur PLC
Medical Air Technology
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
Morrison & Foerster
NGK Insulators Ltd
Nova Chemicals Corp.
Pentland Brands Limited
REC Solar Pte. Ltd.
Roche Diagnostics GmbH
Rockley Photonics Ltd
- Drafted over 100 patent applications for Rockley Photonics.
- Successfully defended Roche’s European patent broadly covering cell culture methods for producing commercially valuable antibodies with therapeutically-acceptable colour attributes in a multi-party opposition before the EPO.
- Acted for Unilever in EPO opposition and appeal cases, including in a proceeding regarding a competitor’s detergent composition patent, securing complete revocation of the patent on appeal.
Venner Shipley LLP merged with Brookes IP in November 2020, adding patent and design expert Rosemary Eve, who focuses on semiconductor and medical device patents, and Jonathan Hancox, an engineering specialist, as partners and senior associate Emma Hodge, who has extensive experience in the pharmaceuticals and consumer health sectors. The firm stands out through its prestigious list of clients in AI-related matters, its EPO oppositions and appeal clout, and its experience in advising on standard essential patents. The registered designs practice, which advises on graphic user interfaces, is another asset. In January 2021, biotechnology expert Kirsty Simpson joined in London from Withers & Rogers, and Robert Peake in London made partner in July 2020. The firm also has an office in Munich. Jan Walaski is the firm's managing partner. The chemical and life sciences, electronics and software, mechanical engineering and litigation teams make up the firm.
Other key lawyers:
Allie Elend; Anton Hutter; Pawel Piotrowicz; Rob Sayer; Simon Taor; Jon Hewett; Richard Kennedy; Gary Whiting; Tim Russell; Rosemary Eve; Jonathan Hancox; Emma Hodge; Kirsty Simpson; Robert Peake
‘The team at Venner Shipley is efficient, accurate, caring, insightful, is cost-sensitive to clients’ budgets and simply gets the job done every time. I can’t think of sufficient superlatives to describe what a magnificent firm this truly is.’
‘I have always had very clear, direct, personable service from the team at Venner Shipley. For a start, the team is big. There is always the feeling that if there is a particular problem in the course of my case which the immediate contact at the firm is not able to handle, then they have at their disposal a number of colleagues with specialist skills in that particular problem. This is very relaxing. In an industry prone to old-boy networks and traditional values, the diversity of Venner Shipley’s staff is refreshing. It is also clear to me that the company care about the development of the team – ensuring that additional team members were present at consultations to learn from each other.’
‘Venner Shipley is a top-notch firm and easily the best European firm (and, more generally, best non-US firm) I’ve worked with. They consistently provide quality work products, they are timely, and they have a solid understanding of the law and of complex patent technologies. Venner’s expertise with those complex technologies sets them apart from many other firms. Such technology includes machine learning, robotics, speech recognition, and natural language understanding. One of Venner’s biggest strength is the added value that they provide to clients – and this also sets them apart from other firms.’
‘Richard Kennedy and Robert Peake are particularly engaged with respect to deep knowledge of technical features. They are thought leaders and excellent communication and client care.’
‘Allie Elend’s attention to detail is beyond compare. Her planet-sized scientific and legal brain, combined with a fabulous business acumen and caring EQ, makes for the perfect lawyer. Allie excels at completing tasks in record time with absolute majesty. She is available to me whenever I need her and I cannot imagine a scenario that might overwhelm her. Before meeting Allie, if I had to describe the perfect IP lawyer, I would have described what Allie is. If there is a legal hall of fame for to be beatified living lawyers, I would recommend her without doubt.’
‘Tim Russell has great experience and excellent understanding of the patent law, is able to quickly grasp the essential aspects of the complex technology involved, shows very strong rhetorical skills, convincing argumentation and calmness during oral proceedings, is very thorough, highly reliable and easy to communicate with.’
‘Gary Whiting is an extremely competent European patent agent who is highly knowledgeable in all aspects of European patent law and global IP in general. He stands out because he has had extensive experience of working as and in-house patent attorney in an industrial company, and therefore has a complete and trustworthy understanding of my work and needs. It means that many things in our collaboration do not need to be explicitly discussed – he instinctively understands the constraints and advantages of my role.’
‘Anton Hutter assembled a uniquely qualified team, and does an excellent job of coordinating their efforts for the good of my firm.’
Airbus Defence & Space
British American Tobacco
Cambridge Display Technologies
Cambridge Touch Technologies
Clinigen Group Plc
Equine America (UK) Limited
Imperial College Innovations Limited
Mitel Networks Corporation
Myriad Genetics, Inc
Procter & Gamble
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company
Imperial College London/ Imperial College Innovations Limited
University of London
University of Greenwich
Royal Veterinary College
The University of Greenwich
University of Leicester
University of Surrey
The University of Sussex
UCL Business LTD
- Represented the appellant in appeal proceedings before the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) regarding computer-implemented inventions relating to computer simulations.
- Appointed by Imperial College to draft and file two crucially valuable patent applications during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Assisted Inflazome with developing its patent portfolio and ultimate acquisition by Roche in a deal in which Inflazome’s shareholders received an upfront payment of $449m.
Appleyard Lees has taken its patent prosecution practice to a new level in recent years, with 2020 confirming the increase in the number of granted patents in spite of the challenges caused by the pandemic. Present in Northern England and Cambridge, the firm is close to several key UK innovation hotspots. The group is among the most active advisors on chemistry patents, in particular those involving speciality and commodity chemistry. Other core areas are the food and beverage sector, the electronics and software sectors, and the heavy industry sectors. The life sciences practice is developing well, with pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and biotechnology clients choosing the firm for prosecution work. In addition to its work for corporate clients, the practice also frequently handles patent prosecution matters for technology transfer offices and research institutions. Managing partner David Clark is the head of the practice. Howard Read in Manchester, who holds a PhD in metallurgy, made partner in April 2020.
Other key lawyers:
Julia Gwilt; Simon Bradbury; Bobby Smithson; Howard Read; Ean Davies; Adam Tindall; Barbara Fleck; Jennifer Delaney; Paul Beynon; Dick Waddington
‘We have always found Appleyard Lees to be utterly professional, reliable and competent. It is without a doubt a go-to firm for us.‘
‘I personally believe there are not enough words to describe how amazing the team has been to work with. They have worked above and beyond, worked crazy hours in order to complete everything in a timely manner, but the quality of the work has never been compromised ! I have worked with many firms and personally this team has stood out the most. They truly listen to what you need and what you are aiming for. Not only do they listen but they support you in achieving your visions and goals!’
‘Over the years that we have used Appleyard Lees, they have continually made the effort to keep up-to-date with our technology developments meaning that whilst they can’t necessarily anticipate our next move, their responses are rapid and relevant resulting in highly constructive outcomes. Appleyard Lees have been able to successfully support our growth.‘
‘Bobby Smithson and Dick Waddington are highly skilled and a pleasure to work with. Bobby not only demonstrated a deep understanding of the legal and procedural aspects, but also an uncanny grasp of the technology and flaws presented in the patent being opposed. Bobby provided us with indispensable guidance at every juncture and did so in his characteristically personable and approachable manner. I must add that Bobby has an extraordinary comprehension of client expectations. I have nothing negative to say about either of them.‘
‘I will begin by saying that every single person from this team have provided nothing but exceptional service from receptionists, admin, accounts team, associates all the way to partners of the firm. Each person I have worked with or spoken to is a true credit to the firm and have provided nothing but a positive experience.‘
‘Adam Tindall provides exceptional service and knowledge to myself and my team, has worked above and beyond to work on strong collaboration between ourselves and his team. Truly understands what we require and has provided us with nothing but genuine advice that really benefits our business. He does not impose a decision like most attorneys, but provides guidance and support. His ability to work with anyone in the room is exceptional. I personally have not found a partner in another firm that matches his skill set, experience and understanding and the work he has done with us speaks volumes in itself.‘
‘Paul Beynon has very kindly participated in workshops to increase visibility of IP in the business. I personally believe his service has played a fundamental role in core elements of collaboration within our organisation. He has supported us and provided us with exceptional support, he also has incredible patience. His understanding and guidance is highly appreciated!‘
‘The strength of the personal relationships that Appleyard Lees’ partner has developed with our team has been the key to our successful partnership. Jennifer Delaney’s willingness to fully prepare, then listen and subsequently apply the outcomes with speed is highly valued and would be difficult to replicate.‘
Smith & Nephew Medical
Cancer Research UK
Mitsubishi Chemicals UK
- Assisted CCm Technologies with filing several patent applications and advised on strategy, including with respect to the patenting of CCm’s breakthrough clean technology aimed at helping breweries and crisp manufacturers to lower its carbon emissions.
- Successfully representing PPG industries in connection with an opposition filed by the client against Akzo Nobel European, in relation to a patent in the field of composite latex emulsions (paint coatings).
- Represented British Steel as defendant in a dispute involving one of its existing European patents at the appeal stage, securing upholding of the patent and thereby allowing British Steel to maintain its monopoly.
Barker Brettell LLP, firmly rooted in Birmingham and with other offices in London, Nottingham and Southampton, distinguishes itself from its competitors through its extensive experience in working for US law firms that seek UK and European counsel for their clients. The firm offers full-service patent prosecution, including licensing matters and due diligence. The physics and materials and mechanical engineering teams are the largest on the patent side, followed by the life sciences and chemistry, the AI and electronics, and finally the nanotechnology and astronomy group. Universities and technology transfer offices frequently instruct the team, leading to a significant amount of work for spin-outs. The Birmingham-based John Lawrence, senior partner and head of the aerospace team, directs the practice.
Other key lawyers:
David Combes; Carole Drury; Nicholas Braddon; Yvonne Johnson; Neil Kilpatrick; Carrie Johnson; Oliver Pooley
‘The team is extremely knowledgeable and always happy to help. They use jargon-free language and offer meaningful honest advice. They are also extremely flexible and responsive – overall a 10 out of 10 experience.‘
‘It simply does not feel that I am working with lawyers. The team is very personable and has a great sense of humour. They always listen and make sure they understand exactly what I am trying to achieve. Working with Barker Brettell feels like working with an internal department to my business rather than an external supplier.‘
Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies
Royal College of Art
Oxford University Innovation
University of Nottingham
University of Birmingham
Hughes Network Systems
University of Loughborough
- Advising Mastercard on strategic patent matters in the UK and Europe, in particular in the area of business methods and software inventions.
- Advising the Royal College of Art on its internal invention/project review processes, providing input on the patentability decision-making process, providing online training and patent support for college staff.
The team at Cleveland Scott York increasingly attracts larger clients that join the already impressive client list of UK clients (both big corporations and small and medium-sized enterprises), a number of major direct US clients and a notable number of direct clients in Eastern Europe, including universities and technology transfer offices. The engineering, automotive, healthcare and chemical sectors are the firm's mainstays, with matters ranging from freedom to operate analyses, drafting and prosecution in the UK and issues at the EPO, including challenging EPO opposition and appeal proceedings, to the coordination of global filing programmes and due diligence. The group is also well versed in collaborating with solicitors for patent litigation. The heads of the practice are Andrew Mackenzie, Fraser Brown, Adrian Bradley, Jonathan Midgley, Tom Faulkner and Michael Williams.
Andrew Mackenzie; Fraser Brown; Adrian Bradley; Jonathan Midgley; Tom Faulkner; Michael Williams
Other key lawyers:
Nick Bennett; Sophie Maughan
‘Very responsive, knowledgeable, great experience, good navigators through the projects, great project strategies makers.‘
‘I refer all of my clients with patent needs to CSY. The reason is straightforward: their service levels are second to none and their advice is commercial.‘
‘Very commercial and responsive.‘
‘Very knowledgeable for the subject we are working with and above all very precise and helpful.‘
‘Andrew Mackenzie – a rare example of a patent attorney in that he speaks a language the clients understand. He doesn’t come across as unnecessarily technical or formal, but you do feel that you’re in a safe pair of hands. Andrew is my go-to patent attorney.‘
‘Andrew Mackenzie is always available and very practical in his advice and solutions.‘
Cobham Mission Systems
Merit Medical Systems Inc.
Exel Industries S.A.
Mitsui Mining and Smelting Co
Eastman Chemical Company
Furuno Electric Co.
Cianna Medical Inc.
Battelle Memorial Institute
Perkin Elmer Inc.
Energy Technologies Institute
Metrol Technology Limited
Transport for London
Dairy Crest Limited
Stanley Black & Decker
Advanced Vehicle Concepts
Westwind Air Bearings
Federal-Mogul Controlled Power
- Provided extensive advice to Merit Medical Systems Inc. on European patent prosecution.
- Advising Numatic International on drafting, prosecution, IP strategy and product clearance studies.
- Drafting and prosecuting patent applications around the world for D&P Innovations.
At Dentons, practice head Justin Hill has built a patent prosecution destination practice for technology clients. Specialising in high-stakes strategic advice, the caseload includes prestigious mandates from the semiconductor, manufacturing, logistics, life sciences and technology sectors, primarily for corporate clients, but also for public bodies. The volume of work handled for UK-based technology clients, in particular those from the country's most prestigious research centres such as Cambridge, has grown in 2020. Stand-out features are the Seraphim Space Camp Accelerator, aimed at space technology clients, and the firm's TechConcierge programme, aimed at supporting high-growth technology companies with strategic commercialisation advice. Embedded in one of the world's largest law firms, the practice is an excellent choice for cross-border matters. In 2020, the team's heft in the market expanded significantly with the addition of new junior attorneys and the promotion of two senior associates.
Other key lawyers:
Marie Jansson-Heeks; Liz Dawson; Alexander Rees
‘Provide strategic perspective on intellectual property especially related to patent portfolio. I am convinced that the team we work with are the best in the world at what they do.‘
‘Diverse backgrounds when it comes to associates and partners so all of our diverse innovations are covered at any given point.‘
‘The team have strong credentials and are genuinely client-focused: They showed a really good understanding of our company’s circumstances and drafted a clear and robust legal agreement to get us the best available outcome.‘
‘Ability to distil inventions to core patentable attributes, worksheet for tracking and generating complementary IP.‘
‘Justin Hill has years of valuable experience and has provided very good advice on how to approach negotiations, taking account of the realities for both our company and our counterparts.‘
Royal Mail Group
- Advising Raytheon on its large and complex European patent portfolio comprising hundreds of different patent matters and involving a wide range of cutting edge technologies, including navigation technologies, space and satellite systems, cyber security, aerospace, drones and novel materials.
- Advising ARM on drafting original patent applications and managing the patent families globally for ARM group companies.
- Advising Congenica on patent risk management, freedom to operate, patent strategy, patent drafting and portfolio management.
Elkington + Fife LLP is particularly visible in EPO oppositions and appeal proceedings where the team continues to be exceptionally successful, especially in proceedings for pharma clients. The firm enjoys a very good reputation for its life sciences and pharmaceutical patent prosecution work, in particular as advisor to major generics companies and its strong biotechnology track record, but also offers a very experienced electronics practice that distinguishes itself through its original application drafting capabilities. The firm's ability to attract complex semiconductor, consumer product, materials, and robotics work is also notable. Richard Gillard in London is the head of the chemistry and life sciences group and Nick Ertl in Sevenoaks directs the electrical and mechanical group. Physics and engineering specialist Ellie Seymour in the Sevenoaks office made partner in 2021. In July 2021 Jens Grabenstein, formerly a senior associate at Carpmaels & Ransford LLP and a biotechnology and pharma expert, joined the team.
Richard Gillard; Nick Ertl
Other key lawyers:
Mark Scott; Rob O’Callaghan; Lee Mullen; Daniel Portch; Glyn Truscott; Oliver Kingsbury; Richard Cooke; Samantha Busher; James Anderson; Ellie Seymour; Jens Grabenstein
‘They start by asking a lot of questions, questions crafted with expert knowledge and understanding of the technology to be patented, and actively listen to the answers we as clients give. Only after carrying out their own research and thoroughly examining the whole subject area, do they then begin to offer any advice. As a result their advice is pertinent, precise and positively helpful.‘
‘The team at Elkington and Fife are exceptionally able. They assist life sciences clients with some of the most important and difficult projects and their track record is most impressive.‘
‘We have been well served by a strong team that has consulted amongst themselves to ensure that a complex technical case is robustly presented and defended.‘
‘Mark Scott is outstanding. He invests himself into our projects, thinks outside any conceivable box by letting his imagination join ours. Mark and his partners are clearly team players, encouraging and challenging, not frightened to call out what they feel is unhelpful.’
‘Oliver Kingsbury is a gifted attorney with an eye for detail that is unsurpassed. He is also good with clients and takes a practical approach.‘
‘Daniel Portch has worked closely with me to ensure that a long-running complex case is supported as thoroughly as is possible.‘
Alcon Laboratories Inc.
Apeel Sciences Inc.
Benuvia Therapeutics, Inc.
Deka Research & Development Corp.
Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems Limited
Graphene Composites Ltd
Instituto de Medicina Molecular ‘iMM’
Malvern Panalytical B.V.
Microline Surgical Inc.
Procter & Gamble
Rothwell Figg Ernst & Manbeck
Strategic Support Ltd
The Coca-Cola Company
The Dow Chemical Company
Thrive Earlier Detection
Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust
University of Kent
- Acted for Procter & Gamble in EPO opposition and appeal work with commercially important brands, such as Crest, Active Fit, Pampers, Always, Oral B, Gillette and Braun.
- Advised IBM UK on patent prosecution, recently with an expansion in the areas of artificial intelligence and machine learning.
- Acted for Samsung on high-quality, high-volume, quick-turnaround prosecution work spanning chemistry and mechanical/electronics.
Gill Jennings & Every LLP
Gill Jennings & Every LLP impresses with its exceptionally powerful EPO oppositions and appeal practice, both for opponents and applicants. The 2019 acquisition of Beresford Crump continues to pay dividends as the patent prosecution work for Micron Technologies and Hosiden continued to grow. The practice is very versatile, with stand-out matters coming from the chemistry, FMCG, fintech, IT and pharmaceutical sectors. In addition to its London office the firm also has an office in Munich. For clients seeking strategic portfolio development advice, the firm offers ConsultIP, its in-house consultancy service. The practice heads are Stephen Haley and Michael Lord. Sam Jones in the IT and engineering team made partner in January 2021.
Stephen Haley; Michael Lord
Other key lawyers:
Lucy Samuels; Sam Jones; Graham Spenceley; Matthew Hoyles; Peter Arrowsmith; Robert Skone James; Arnie Clarke; Heather Scott; John Fisher
‘The GJE team stands out in their superior combination of technical expertise with legal expertise. I have also noted that GJE is very strong in gender diversity (almost every team I have worked with has women on it) and supporting younger attorneys in their careers.‘
‘The practice is professional with highly qualified and capable employees that have a unique understanding, not just of the complex IP work, but also of their clients’ needs. They are able to understand the needs of the business and are able to make collaboration easy. They are forthcoming and provide realistic solutions.‘
‘Excellent people who understand the technology and are very responsive.‘
‘Graham Spenceley is extremely approachable and always willing to discuss a subject. It is clear that he is incredibly knowledgeable and is able to communicate complex subjects in a way which is easy to understand and consider. I have no hesitation in instructing or recommending Graham.‘
‘Peter Arrowsmith – warm , approachable, able to grasp complex technical matters and make them simple to understand.‘
‘GJE puts together solid and effective teams of partners working with associates. The GJE partner/associate teams maintain an ideal balance of partner involvement and supervising with associates doing a significant amount of the day-to-day work, which results in a quality, yet cost-effective, work product. In particular, Arnie Clarke is a stand-out partner.’
‘Mike Lord understands the technology and is very responsive.‘
Procter & Gamble
De La Rue
Filtration Control Limited
- Acted on more than 15 new matters for Procter & Gamble, both defending the client’s patents against competitors and opposing third-party patents.
- Advised longstanding client De La Rue on patent prosecution in the UK and abroad, involving patent applications across over 70 countries and a high volume of EPO opposition proceedings.
- Assisted JT International with patent prosecution regarding patents covering reduced risk products.
Haseltine Lake Kempner LLP focuses on longstanding direct client relationships, partnering with clients in strategic matters and handling a substantial amount of original patent application drafting. Both in the UK and before the EUIPO, the firm is among the most active filers of applications, with the EPO oppositions and appeals practice tying in well for European matters. With three dedicated teams, namely hi-tech (including electronics and communications, AI and software), chemistry and life sciences (including pharmaceuticals), and engineering (automotive, aerospace, energy and environment), the firm is well equipped for a broad spread of matters. The drafting and prosecution of standard essential telecoms patents is an area of particular strength. The firm offers combined prosecution and litigation services and counts among its staff Leeds-based solicitor Brian Whitehead who became an Appointed Person before the UKIPO in 2020. Outside of the UK, the firm has a long-established office in Munich as well as offices in the Netherlands and China. Alex Rogers in Bristol, Ashley Giles in London, Simon Rees in Bristol and Richard Kempner in Leeds are the heads of the practice.
Alex Rogers; Ashley Giles; Simon Rees; Richard Kempner
Other key lawyers:
Joseph Lenthall; Joanna Deas; James Ward; Caroline Day; Matthew Howell; Frances Wilding; George Tebbutt; Greg Sharp; David Hammond; Brian Whitehead
‘The patent team are all extremely competent engineers and can quickly understand and analyse new technologies. We see this as critical to assessing the novelty of new technologies and obtaining the broadest, most robust protection that is practicable.‘
‘Deep expertise and outstanding advocacy in patent oppositions.‘
‘All of the partners and associates I have worked with are accomplished experts in their own technical field, as well as being skilled patent attorneys.‘
‘Alex Rogers: Fantastic client service, thoroughness, and advocacy.‘
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
UK Atomic Energy Authority
- Acted for MonoSolRx/Aquestive as defendant in EPO opposition proceedings regarding drug delivery patents, securing a victory for the client.
- Assisted new client UK Atomic Energy Authority on patent strategy and landscaping matters in the context of the client’s STEP programme for designing and constructing a prototype fusion energy plant, as well as with litigation and contractual matters, patent application drafting, design filings and transactional matters.
- Defended Tesco in a patent infringement action at the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) in the case Janger Limited v Tesco Stores Limited regarding a store garment hanger.
HGF Ltd offers a strong European presence, with multiple offices in the UK in addition to offices in Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria and Ireland. The caseload is consequently packed with multi-jurisdictional matters, spanning patent applications and portfolio development strategy drafting and contentious matters, including oppositions and appeals as well as litigation. The EPO oppositions and appeals practice has developed into one of the UK’s and Europe’s most active teams. Particular strengths include patent prosecution in the healthcare sector, with a number of attorneys having experience from previous senior in-house counsel roles, and electronics patents, patent prosecution work for UK universities and technology transfer offices. The chemistry, engineering and life sciences sectors are other key areas. In May 2020 Nienke Lubben (life sciences) in York and Jamie Thomson (chemistry) in Edinburgh made partner. Gareth Probert joined EIP in January 2020 while Kelly Rees, whose specialisms include food technology, joined the London team coming from Gill Jennings & Every LLP. In Manchester, Nicholas Manley joined in March 2020 following his work as an independent IP consultant. Based in Leeds, Paul Sanderson is the firm’s CEO, Jason Lumber the firm’s chairman and Alastair Da Costa is the strategic development director. Sheffield’s Harry Hutchinson directs the electronics team, Lucy Johnson in Newcastle heads the engineering practice, York’s Kate Taylor is the head of the life sciences team, the Manchester-based Andrew Wells leads the chemistry team and Chris Moore in Birmingham is the head of the oppositions and appeals practice. Martyn Fish is the head of the firm.
Paul Sanderson; Jason Lumber; Alastair Da Costa; Harry Hutchinson; Lucy Johnson; Kate Taylor; Andrew Wells; Martyn Fish; Chris Moore
Other key lawyers:
Chris Benson; Hsu Min Chung; Gary Wilson; Bal Matharu; Craig Thomson; Susan Keston; Claire Irvine; Nienke Lubben; Jamie Thomson; Kelly Rees
‘Excellent technical knowledge and communication skills, the ability to express complex technical ideas clearly and concisely, an eye for detail, excellent interpersonal skills. HGF go above and beyond what I would expect from law firms. I feel our IP is in safe hands, so we can deal with the day to day running of the company.‘
‘Outstanding is partner Claire Irvine, by far the most intelligent, proactive and helpful individual I have met (and I have met quite a few Oxford professors and Nobel Prize winners). She is the sharpest tool in the box and a pleasure to work with.‘
Smith & Nephew UK Limited
Thermo Fisher Scientific
Jaguar Land Rover
The Hut Group
Byte Dance (Tik Tok)
Illinois Tool Works Inc.
Bespak Europe Limited
Royal IHC Limited
Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Angle North America, Inc
- Acted for a global pharmaceutical generics company in EPO oppositions and appeals, with many of the oppositions relating to commercially important drugs and forming part of global litigation strategies.
- Represented Schenck Process Ltd, a leader of solutions in measuring and process technology, in global patent protection and advice for its innovative new systems sold around the world.
- Assisted NovaBiotics Ltd with the management of its global portfolio and strategic patent prosecution issues.
Mathys & Squire LLP focuses on the life sciences, chemistry, IT and engineering sectors as core areas of work, advising on drafting and prosecution of patent applications, including oppositions and appeal proceedings, as well as disputes and strategic commercial issues. For the latter, including acquisitions and commercialisation, the firm joins forces with its sister consultant firm Coller IP. Another stand-out feature is the growing design practice which has developed particularly well for UK and Israeli clients. Start-ups and emerging companies can draw on Scaleup Quarter, the firm's microsite dedicated to early-stage and growth companies. The firm's strong UK presence is complemented by teams in Shenzhen, China, and Tokyo, and offices in Germany, Luxembourg and France, indicating the group's experience in multijurisdictional patent prosecution. Jane Clark, Paul Cozens, Chris Hamer and Martin MacLean in London and Alan MacDougall in Cambridge are the heads of the practice. Biochemistry expert David Hobson, life sciences specialist Juliet Redhouse and medical device and oppositions and appeals expert Andrew White joined the partnership in September 2020. Ilya Kazi left in September 2020 to found IK-IP. Monika Rai joined EIP in April 2020.
Jane Clark; Paul Cozens; Chris Hamer; Alan MacDougall; Martin MacLean
Other key lawyers:
David Hobson; Juliet Redhouse; Andrew White; Philippa Griffin; Dani Kramer; Anna Gregson; Craig Titmus
‘The people make the team as they say. This team is made with perfection, collaboration is smooth and with a high mind to understand our business. Their knowledge and experience is outstanding for patent drafting, prosecution and also oppositions.‘
‘I have always found Mathys & Squire to be the most approachable and reactive of all the patent attorneys I have worked with. There is never the feeling that you are ‘on the clock’ and they always go the extra mile.‘
‘Chris Hamer and his team have put in a very good effort to understand our business and work very well with our inventors, despite their some times difficult mindset. We go to meetings enjoying the discussions and leave the meetings with a very good energy for moving ahead. Problem-solving is a big part of their mindset, highly appreciated by us. Difficulties and issues are for solving with never-ending energy and inspiration.‘
‘Philippa Griffin is a pleasure to work with. She has an exceptional grasp of our company’s technology and is extremely responsive and comprehensive in her analysis and communication of IP strategy.‘
‘Craig Titmus has been incredibly helpful and collaborative, helping us efficiently and guiding us through many scenarios to identify key risks and rewards with each strategy. It has certainly helped us define and secure our IP as well as getting it through the many hurdles international process patents require.‘
‘Andrew White is an exceptional patent attorney. He knows exactly the perfect way to construct a patent application, to consider an examiner’s feedback and to work round it to get the patent grant with minimal deviation from the original scope. He’s the best I’ve worked with in over 15 years.‘
‘Juliet Redhouse is an excellent patent attorney. She is very knowledgeable about both the science and the law, always well prepared for meetings, and easy to work with. I recommend her highly as a superb patent attorney.‘
‘David Hobson is top rate.’
Design Blue Limited
The Broad Institute
Cambridge GaN devices Ltd
Acell Industries Limited
Mr Lee’s Pure Foods
Ipsen Biopharm Limited
Sierra Medical Ltd
- Assisted Sagentia Limited with two Covid-19 related inventions, a new ventilator design (which responded directly to the UK Government’s ‘Ventilator Challenge’) and a decontaminating PPE device.
- Assisting Molecular Templates with securing a worldwide strategic research collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb.
- Assisting Acell Industries Limited with a new Covid-19 combatting technology which would allow for circulating air in confined spaces to be filtered to remove particles (such as those containing Covid-19), but also to kill those particles using certain metal compounds.
Maucher Jenkins is known as a well established Anglo-German firm, which also has offices in Switzerland and China. Stand-out specialisms in the varied caseload include green technology, a key area for Stuart Rowlands in London who made partner in January 2021, and AI and robotics-related patents, a practice primarily grown by Alvin Lam. Between them, the practice heads James Cross (IT, software, electronics), Hugh Dunlop (telecoms, green technology), Reuben Jacob (life sciences), Holly Whitlock and Philip Treeby (engineering, physics, mathematics) cover extensive ground, both for UK clients and major international companies. Fiona Kellas is also recommended for life sciences work.
James Cross; Hugh Dunlop; Reuben Jacob; Holly Whitlock; Philip Treeby
Other key lawyers:
Alvin Lam; Fiona Kellas; Stuart Rowlands
‘Responsive, flexible and will note and follow requests e.g. re billing. Reasonable rates and innovative with billing practices.‘
‘Maucher Jenkins knows our business and our market place. They understand our products. The result is that projects are completed quickly and accurately, be they patent applications, searches or analysis of competitors’ IPR.‘
‘Maucher Jenkins is a strong firm in a number of areas, particularly life sciences and technology and telecoms.‘
‘The team are technically strong and have secured a number of positive results for us.‘
‘Hugh Dunlop: Responsive & flexible, high quality work product.‘
‘James Cross is clear thinking and knowledgeable, but equally important is an excellent communicator. He summarises complex issues and patiently explains matters so we can take decisions and find solutions.‘
Origami Energy Ltd
At Potter Clarkson LLP, the boost given to the London office in 2020 has translated into a busy caseload for VC investors seeking due diligence assistance and an increase in direct client application drafting and prosecution work. The group is particularly active in the life sciences and pharmaceutical sectors, including medical device and biotechnology work, but also handles high-stakes work in a range of other sectors, with the chemistry, consumer products, engineering and electronics sectors featuring prominently in the 2020 caseload. Nottingham-based quintet Stephen Smith, Richard Bassett, Charlotte Crowhurst, Caroline Marshall and Stephanie Pilkington are at the helm of the practice. The firm's solicitors frequently join forces with their attorney colleagues. In November 2020, the firm introduced a specialist IP consultancy division aimed at start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises and VC investors in need of assistance with commercial and corporate matters.
Stephen Smith; Richard Bassett; Charlotte Crowhurst; Caroline Marshall; Stephanie Pilkington
Other key lawyers:
Peter Finnie; Fiona Law; Mark Didmon; Darren Mitchell; Saiful Khan; Craig Brownlie
‘The team have built up trust that they have our best interests at heart and are not in the business of padding their billables. Trust is very important for me as a buyer and I know I can trust Potter Clarkson to stay on top of our portfolio and give sound, timely advice.‘
‘The strength and key capabilities of the team are particularly the professionality and the rich experiences in the related area. The cooperation with the team by Potter Clarkson is always smooth and active. The team is also very flexible to adapt the way of working depending on the requirements of the client.‘
‘Craig Brownlie is our main point of contact. He has consistently demonstrated that not only does he know our sector and our portfolio well, but has provided advice with the right level of pragmatic oversight to allow us to make proceed/halt decisions on research, patent applications and scope of portfolio.‘
Acacia Pharma Ltd.
Anyway Spray Technology Ltd.
BioInvent International AB
Douglas Scientific, LLC
Earlybird Venture Capital
The Proctor & Gamble Company
UK Grid Solutions Limited
Reddie & Grose LLP used 2020 to grow its caseload in transformative fields, with matters pertaining to artificial intelligence and autonomous and electric vehicles taking pride of place next to the prosecution of patents from the renewable energy, materials and digital healthcare areas. Under the leadership of chairman Alice Findlay and executive partner Jan Vleck, the group assists with original drafting, contentious matters, such as opposition and revocation proceedings, as well as due diligence work. Between the life sciences, electrical, electronics and software, and engineering, materials and consumer product teams, clients find a wide range of expertise. In addition to its offices in London and Cambridge the firm also has a growing office in Munich. Life sciences expert Andrew Carridge in Cambridge made partner in April 2021. Nick Marlow retired in April 2020.
Alice Findlay; Jan Vleck
Other key lawyers:
Neil Thornton; William Ponder; Nick Reeve: Pete Sadler; Robert Sackin; Paul Loustalan; Duncan Nevett; Tom Sharman; Zack Mummery; Andrew Carridge
‘The team is pragmatic and creative.‘
‘Very high level of specific technology/ IP expertise.‘
Diagnostics for the Real World
- Assisted Diagnostics for the Real World with the urgent preparation and submission of patent applications for a rapid diagnostic test for Covid-19.
Withers & Rogers's patent attorney team cover a wide range of technologies. The large electronics, computing and physics group handles prosecution matters for telecoms, software, consumer electronics and university and research institute clients as core components of its work. Aerospace, automotive and packaging product companies account for a significant number of instructions for the advanced engineering team. The chemical and life sciences practice assists with plant varieties, prosecution work for NHS trusts and for UK and international universities and spin-out companies. The practice is active before the UKIPO and EPO, with matters ranging from the drafting of patent applications to opposition and appeal proceedings. The firm also has litigation capabilities. In addition to its four UK offices, the firm also has two recently established offices in Munich and Paris. Karl Barnfather in Leamington Spa is the head of the practice.
Other key lawyers:
Stuart Latham; Adrian Tombling; James Gray; Russell Edson; Joanna Thurston; Greg Stepney; Nicholas Jones; Richard Worthington; Dave Croston; Nick Wallin
‘The practice has great strength in depth with a balance between experienced partners and talented attorneys. The diversity of the client base of W&R has allowed the team to offer a wide level of expertise in the people. The collaborative culture of the company leads to greater communication and collaborative problem solving. The company also offers pre-planned costs for greater future transparency for budgeting. The key service is the capability and knowledge of engineering in the legal arena and obtaining the best possible outcomes for the client.‘
‘James Gray has been an invaluable asset to our business. Commitment to the client, in-depth understanding of our products and a solid, no-nonsense approach to managing expectations has and continues to provide our every IP need.‘
The London-based Beck Greener LLP is described as 'an exceptional patent firm which delivers the best for each client, from application to potential disputes.' The firm impresses with its very successful EPO oppositions and appeals practice, and is regularly selected by major multinationals as adviser for European patent prosecution. In 2020, the practice grew its filing practice through a mix of new and existing clients and has also grown its designs practice. Avi Freeman, whose specialisms include computer-implemented inventions and patent prosecution before the USPTO, leads the electronics, physics and mechanical engineering practice - he is praised for 'his vast technological range', which means 'he always impresses clients with his understanding of their specific concerns'. James Stones, whose expertise includes EPO and USPTO patent prosecution, heads the chemical, pharma and chemical engineering team, while Ben Muir is the head of the life sciences practice - his experience includes transactional and licensing work in addition to original drafting and prosecution in the UK, at the EPO and in the US. The 'excellent' Catherine Jewell and 'outstanding advocate' John Hull specialise in the chemical field, while Anna Hatt is well regarded for her 'expert knowledge and ability to overcome problems'.
Avi Freeman; James Stones; Ben Muir
Other key lawyers:
Catherine Jewell; Anna Hatt; John Hull; Nick Bebbington; Jonathan Markham; Deborah Selden
‘Their practice is unique in that they provide a high level service from the person that actually does the work. They also have a team that has been together for a long time, which seems to say a lot about their culture. They also have the great ability to clarify issues in simple straightforward manner – this has lead to great success in obtaining EP patents. Their strengths include an in-depth knowledge of both EPO practice and the chemical arts that gives confidence that your matter is being handled in the proper fashion.‘
‘Beck Greener always provides an exceptional level of service, where dealing with them is a pleasure. Their system for imparting information and billing is clear, accurate and timely.‘
‘Avi Freeman – excellent availability, strategic advice and fair billing.’
‘I have worked with John Hull, and I am very impressed with his technical and legal skills. John can quickly and accurately assess various technical matters, and he has the keen acumen to make sound business and legal decisions. His advocacy skills are also outstanding. I have always appreciated his utmost professionalism and positive attitude when working together.‘
‘We work with Anna Hatt and Deborah Selden. Both are solidly reliable and knowledgeable with sharp minds, able to understand technical matters in depth and apply what is needed for success. They also don’t shy away from finding extra prior art etc when there are gaps in the argumentation. Anna plans well ahead and acts immediately on all matters, such that you really feel safe that everything and all angles of a case will have been properly considered and dealt with.‘
‘Jon Markham and Avi Freeman are both highly engaged with our business, and have a good understanding of our products and marketplace along with our expectations of service. Formal reporting is highly detailed and supported by discussions as and when required.‘
‘I work with Catherine Jewell and it is astonishing how she is able to draft a whole patent in a couple of days after just having a brief meeting to discuss the inventions.‘
‘Catherine Jewell is our contact and she provides an excellent service, anticipating our needs before we are even aware of them ourselves. Her knowledge is excellent and her ability to translate the very technical world of patent and trade registrations into our level is always spot on.‘
- Advising Tillotts Pharma on the establishment of a global patent portfolio for new drug delivery technologies involving multiple inventions in over 80 countries including South America, Middle East and Asia, in addition to successfully preserving the client’s freedom to operate.
- Advising an up-and-coming UK fintech company on the management of its growing patent portfolio and the management of global filing and patent prosecution of various cutting-edge software patents, including managing a high number of objections across the globe and overseeing a large number of local counsel in various jurisdictions.
- Advising a US satellite television company on its strategy for obtaining quick patent protection for a key technology for streaming in Europe for an important legacy case where prosecution had stalled at the EPO as well as on patent protection in countries in which to validate granted patents, and options for enforcing and obtaining licensing income.
Greaves Brewster LLP
Greaves Brewster LLP continues to grow its electronics and technology caseload while maintaining its strength in the chemistry, life sciences, materials and engineering sectors. The firm has attracted cutting edge instructions, for example in CRISPR gene editing prosecution work and artificial intelligence. From managing global patent portfolios to complex EPO oppositions and appeals work, freedom to operate analyses and due diligence matters, the practice offers longstanding experience. The firm's headquarters are in Cheddar, where practice heads Rhiannon Turner, Rachel Wallis, Jakob Bumke and David Spinner are based, with Wallis also acting from the London office and Bumke also based in Bristol.
Rhiannon Turner; Rachel Wallis; Jakob Bumke; David Spinner
Other key lawyers:
Emma Fry; Freija Glansdorp; Kate Hillis; Andy Evitt
‘Strong interest and engaged support. Attorneys are highly skilled and dedicated to their cases. Small IP law firm with dedicated partners, associates, and staff.‘
‘Regional firm with a lot of clout. Great gender diversity.‘
‘Personal and knowledgeable service.‘
‘Rhiannon Turner, Rachel Wallis, David Spinner: This is one of the finest groups of patent attorneys I have ever dealt with. They are responsive, intelligent, and creative, and it is a pleasure to work with them.’
‘David Spinner is excellent – great with clients, understands the commercial nuances and just gets it!‘
‘Jakob Bumke and Andy Evitt are both enthusiastic, professional, very responsive. They are both able to think laterally and creatively when we need to overcome problems.‘
‘Rachel Wallis – key person to make things happen.‘
Animal & Plant Health Agency – Defra (The Secretary Of State For Environment Food & Rural Affairs)
The University of Bristol
Bereskin & Parr LLP
Atlantic Therapeutics Ltd
Thomas Swan & Co Ltd
Atlantic Therapeutic Group Ltd
Epstein Drangel LLP
- Represented Entegris, Inc in oral proceedings at the EPO, securing grant of a patent despite the EPO’s initial indication that it was not possible to amend the claims in an allowable manner due to a squeeze between basis and clarity resulting from the manner in which the application was originally drafted under US practice.
- Advised Kainos Innovation Limited on how to salvage the IP for the preparation of graphene nanomaterial involving the cavitation of diaromatic hydrocarbons from a chemicals company that had abandoned the IP for the protection of the process, assisting the client with developing a new partnership and the related deals.
- Advised Novai Ltd on the drafting and prosecution of applications for technology relating to diagnostic methods involving machine learning and AI.
Keltie's UK and international client base of direct clients continued to grow in 2020. The practice covers a wide range of sectors, with a particularly impressive track record in the telecoms, medical device and engineering sectors and a well developing biotech practice, and handles a busy and successful EPO oppositions and appeal caseload. The practice heads are Devanand Crease, Judith Caldwell, Shakheel Ahmad, Michael Moore and Joanne Hopley. Director Robert McDougall joined Slingsby Partners LLP in April 2020.
Devanand Crease; Judith Caldwell; Shakheel Ahmad; Michael Moore; Joanne Hopley
‘Shakeel Ahmad – a truly impressive individual, with a vast knowledge and an enviable ability to make difficult issues easy to follow.’
Jaguar Land Rover
Camelot Group plc (National Lottery)
Bluebird Bio Inc
Esure Insurance Ltd
- Assisting longstanding client Vestas Wind Systems A/S with a substantial number of new patent drafts in addition to representing the client in EPO oppositions and appeals, including successfully securing revocation of Siemens Gamesa’s European patent concerning wind turbine blade reinforcements, patent prosecution and freedom to operate projects.
- Assisted Eaton Corporation with the preparation of multiple patent drafts for inventions developed in the UK and Europe, both for Eaton Intelligent Power Limited and for Eaton Corporation’s Electrical division.
- Assisted Arq with the management of its global patents and trade marks portfolio since the creation of the company.
Lewis Silkin LLP‘s patent prosecution practice stands out through the team’s focus on commercially integrated advice, assisting with traditional prosecution as well as with licensing and related corporate IP issues. In 2020, the firm launched a China desk under the lead of managing associate and solicitor Nicholas Buckland to better assist technology clients with their IP needs. The group shoulders a varied caseload, including matters from the energy, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and automotive sectors, and acts for patent originators and non-practicing entities. The London-based Tom Gaunt heads the practice. On the solicitor side, the renowned Antony Craggs joined the firm from D Young & Co LLP. The firm also added a partner in its Hong Kong office and a consultant for IP tech solutions in the UK.
Other key lawyers:
Graham Ablett; Antony Craggs; Paul Williams
‘Lewis Silkin have provided us with some really valuable advice and guidance on a number of tricky patent applications.‘
‘I work with a number of law firms in Europe and around the world on intellectual property matters, and among all of these, the team at Lewis Silkin has provided the best experience. They are always on top of things with timely communication and meticulous attention to deadlines and details.‘
‘A small-ish but growing and ambitious patent practice within a larger established law firm brand.‘
‘Tom Gaunt is practical, flexible to his client’s needs and always helpful and a pleasure to work with.‘
‘I have worked closely with Tom Gaunt for the last few years. Our patent applications are quite technical in nature, but Tom is excellent at distilling our briefs into an essential set of claims.‘
‘I would not hesitate to recommend Tom Gaunt to anyone needing help with intellectual property matters. He is responsive and engaged and on several occasions has gone the extra mile to assist me with complex matters. He has extensive knowledge of European and UK patent practice and has regularly provided me with excellent advice.‘
‘Tom Gaunt is a person who is friendly and easy to communicate with. He always gives me clear and concise explanations to my questions regarding European patent practice.‘
‘Tom Gaunt: Very well networked, enthusiastic, experienced.‘
Invention Investment Ireland
Nippon Steel Corp
Organics Group plc
Janssen Pharmaceutical NV
- Advised Aptiv on patent prosecution, securing a significant volume of new drafting work, as well as prosecution and advisory instructions.
- Acted for Orsted on patent prosecution matters, accompanying the client’s increase of patent activities driven by increasing deal making in the wind power industry.
- Assisting Britvic with establishing a new innovation hub and the protection of its IP generated by this.
Simmons & Simmons
At Simmons & Simmons, practice head Kevin Cordina added a second partner to the team, with chemistry, chemical engineering, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology expert Lawrence King, formerly at AA Thornton, joining in April 2021. One of the few patent attorney practices integrated into an international law firm, the team is able to join forces with its solicitor colleagues for litigation and transaction-related matters, with the experience gained in those matters feeding back into the development of the traditional prosecution matters, including EPO opposition and appeal proceedings. With the firm's international footprint, the team is an excellent choice for cross-border matters, with the Dutch, German, French, Chinese and UAE offices being frequent collaborators. Wavelength, the firm's legal engineering offering, provides data analysis, processing and presentation services. Consultant patent attorney Sam Funnell joined in September 2020, adding her expertise in AI to the team.
Other key lawyers:
Lawrence King; Frederick Nicolle; Sam Funnell
‘Kevin Cordina and team are very knowledgeable and always pick up new patent ideas quickly.‘
‘The lead partner and his team are experts in European IP practice.‘
‘I have found Simmons & Simmons to be very good lawyers. They have good patent lawyers who are reliable and intelligent.‘
‘For me, what makes this practice unique/valuable is Kevin Cordina.‘
‘Kevin Cordina has the background knowledge and aptitude to get the route of complex ideas and express them simply. His patent descriptions rarely require significant revision, which saves time all around.‘
‘The lead partner and his team know our business including our products, our products in development, and our business goals. They provide advice within this context. We have a better and more efficient work product because they understand more than just the patent document in front of them.‘
‘I truly consider Kevin Cordina to be an invaluable and irreplaceable resource. He has an incredible depth of knowledge in medical devices, which extends to my company’s products and complicated history, competitors, and IP landscape. He provides very practical and insightful advice on strategy, prosecution, and disputes (including EP oppositions). Kevin is truly an exceptional attorney.‘
- Advised 3M’s wound care division on all aspects of its European patent strategy, involving all areas of filing, prosecution, and contentious matters.
- Appointed by Leica Biosystems as its European patent attorneys, covering all areas and subsidiaries.
- Selected as Xiaomi’s European team to represent the client in three key jurisdictions (UK, Germany, Netherlands) in relation to SEP litigation with the patent attorney offering as a core part of the matter.
Slingsby Partners LLP
Slingsby Partners LLP's mainstay is the prosecution of engineering, electronics and physical sciences patents, with a growing caseload in artificial intelligence and a continuously growing client base, especially in the medical device and healthcare sectors. In 2020 the team was very sought after for litigation support, but the practice covers the full range of patent prosecution and related services, including EPO opposition and appeal matters, due diligence and licensing matters. Clients include UK and European multinationals and small and medium-sized enterprises as well as privately financed technology companies and a number of foreign firms, especially US law firms seeking European patent prosecution representatives. In April 2020 Robert McDougall, an IT and engineering specialist formerly at Keltie, joined as a director. Physics expert Stephen Turner made director the following June. Founding partner Philip Slingsby is the head of the practice.
Other key lawyers:
Paul Roberts; David King; Rosalind Fenwick; Stephen Turner; Nick Wright; Nikki Davy; Robert McDougall
‘Slingsby Partners have a strong industry focus in the hi-tech market, and this shows in their ability to grasp and handle our complex subject matter. Their case management and formalities department are a cut above the patent industry in general. They are always happy to adapt to whatever internal operating practices we insist on as a client.‘
‘Very strong practice with fantastic technical knowledge, international coverage and commercial pragmatism.‘
‘Nick Wright is very technically skilled and a hugely competent patent drafter. Nikki Davy is super-sharp and can understand even the most esoteric inventions our engineers can throw at her.‘
‘David King is stand-out, client-centric and greatly knowledgeable.‘
Imagination Technologies Ltd
CMR Surgical Ltd
SmartFrame Technologies Ltd
Huma Therapeutics Ltd (formerly Medopad Ltd)
Sirius Minerals PLC
Libertine FPE Ltd
Mo-Sys Engineering Ltd
Ranplan Wireless Network Design Ltd
- Advised CMR Surgical Ltd on the development of its extensive patent portfolio.
- Assisted Imagination Technologies Limited with the management of a large patent portfolio.
- Advised The NOCO Company on its litigation with Shenzen Carku Technology Co Ltd.
Swindell & Pearson Ltd shoulders a substantial patent application drafting caseload for electronics and engineering patents, with clients primarily coming from the automotive, mechanics, medical engineering, telecoms and electronics sectors. A stand-out feature is the firm's experience in satellite technology. The firm puts particular emphasis on securing patent grants quickly. In addition to its drafting and prosecution work, the group is also well versed in assisting with strategic portfolio development and monetisation matters. Litigation is also handled. Practice head Paul Higgin in Derby is instrumental in fostering the often long-term client relationships with the firm's many international and UK-based clients.
Other key lawyers:
Scott Harrison; Tim Gilbert; Martin Terry; Simon Foster; Christine Anglesea
‘The team takes a very measured and analytical approach to reviewing patent matters. They demonstrate great skill and expertise on European patent matters.‘
‘The quality, professionalism, knowledge, and fee flexibility of the team are superb. I would highly recommend the firm.‘
‘I have always found them extremely honest in there appraisals. They are a company that is a pleasure to deal with. All the staff I have dealt with always give very concise advice and explain the fees involved. They are very good at keeping in touch explaining where each application is and what further actions need to be taken.‘
‘The attention to detail given by Tim Gilbert has been outstanding throughout the last few years.‘
‘I worked with Martin Terry and the results of the work were highly valuable. Besides, when I requested something related to the work, he remembered and applied it to the other cases so it was really convenient and I felt that he respects my words.‘
‘Christine Anglesea: very experienced and talented patent attorney, who provides top quality attorney work even in most complex situations under tight deadlines, with excellent written and verbal communication skills.‘
‘Simon Foster is knowledgeable, responsive, and efficient. He handles patent applications in a number of different technical areas with precision and insight. An overall great attorney.‘
‘Paul Higgin is exceptionally skilful in patent drafting and prosecution. I especially appreciate his drive to develop his technical expertise in emerging technologies – this is comparatively rare in a partner at his level. Scott Harrison has a masterly grasp of commercial issues, and is highly proactive in improving the commercial relevance of our applications.‘
Hill and Smith Holdings PLC
Jaguar Land Rover
- Assisted Nokia with numerous high-value and technically very complex cases granted at the European Patent Office regarding telecommunication standards.
- Assisted Nokia with the drafting of urgent patent applications for very complex inventions as a result of standardisation committee outcomes relating to complex signalling requirements used in 5G networks.
- Acted for Accenture as one of three European patent attorney firms in patent filing and prosecution matters.
UDL Intellectual Property
UDL Intellectual Property, one of the most established IP firms in the UK, was acquired by Murgitroyd in late 2021. With a focus on building and nurturing longstanding relationships with its clients, including many very well-known multinationals, the practice successfully navigated the turbulent months following the outbreak of Covid-19. New client wins across the firm’s sector groups, namely the automotive and green technology, the chemistry and materials, the life sciences (including agriculture) and the software and telecoms sectors, and the expansion of prosecution matters for existing clients illustrate the firm’s good reputation in the UK and abroad. Active at the UKIPO and the EPO in non-contentious and contentious matters, including litigation, the firm offers a wide range of services, including for the protection of designs, an area that saw notable growth in 2020. The London-based Alison Simpson and the Leeds-based Neil Pawlyn are the joint managing partners. Andrew Alton in Leeds and Mark Green in London became consultants.
Alison Simpson; Neil Pawlyn
Other key lawyers:
Robert Orr; Ian Byworth; Simon Mitchell; Karen Fraser; Martin Neilson; Jonathan Morris; Alan Jones; Nick Burton; Mark Davies; Simon Raynor; Terence Broderick; Nicole Cordy; Martin Vinsome; Andrew Alton; Mark Green; Ian Byworth
‘UDL provided a professional, no-nonsense service.‘
‘Very responsive, clear communication, honest.‘
‘Deep understanding of the technology, pragmatic advice.‘
‘Their services have been excellent and responses to requests prompt and efficient.‘
‘Ian Byworth at UDL has a firm grasp of the intricacies of patent law and we are delighted with the outcome of his work for us in this area.‘
‘Martin Vinsome is very approachable and down to earth, but astonishingly intelligent and exhibits an excellent grasp of complex technologies.‘
Belron International Limited
Black & Decker
- Managed a significant global patent portfolio relating to animal health, pharmaceuticals, genetics and sustainable food production for Benchmark Holdings Plc, a multinational biotech company.
- Managed a significant global patent portfolio for Belron International Ltd (Autoglass).
- Managed the filing and prosecution of patent applications worldwide for medical equipment manufacturer Xiros Limited.
Wilson Gunn is primarily active for UK small and medium-sized enterprises, but also advises prestigious academic institutions, major technology players and a number of FTSE 100 companies as direct clients. The group demonstrates particular strength in the automotive sector and continues to grow its software and IT practice. Other core areas are the packaging, food technology and construction sectors. With a number of the biggest UK and European patent filers among its clients, the practice is well versed in managing and developing large portfolios. Manchester-based duo Mark Goodwin and James Robey direct the team.
Mark Goodwin; James Robey
Other key lawyers:
Michael Douglas; Mark Jolly; Ben Appleton; David Slattery; Marc Lewis
‘Small multi-specialism team who are always willing to go the extra mile. Good collaboration within the team, and well-supervised trainees. Even with pandemic-induced home-working, there has been no discernible decrease in efficiency – in fact, the opposite has been the case.‘
‘They provide a seamless service and are proactive in their approach to overcoming objections from examiners.‘
‘Michael Douglas and his team are superb. Superb attention to detail, commercial, friendly and proactive.‘
‘Good combination of technical knowledge and IP knowledge to deliver patent drafting and EP prosecution work product at a high standard of quality whilst not charging the prices of the long-established IP firms.‘
‘James Robey, Mark Jolly and their colleagues have been a massive asset to our business and their advice and expertise is, as always, extremely valuable to us. Response time is always great, and their flexible attitude towards us as client is hugely appreciated.‘
‘Ben Appleton – pragmatic, commercially sound advice, offers honest and fair opinions and is good value for money.‘
‘David Slattery is always highly responsive and grasps the R&D behind new technical issues quickly.‘
‘Michael Douglas is user-friendly, extremely knowledgeable and sharp. I wouldn’t use any other firm and always recommend Wilson Gunn.‘
Clear Edge Group
University of Exeter
University of Nottingham
- Acted for Bentley Motors on the management of its entire patent portfolio, including global filing and prosecution work.
- Assisted Mondelēz International (owners of the Cadbury brand) with European patent opposition advice in relation to key patents.
- Assisted Nottingham Trent University with the development of its patent portfolio to enable licensing and generate revenue.