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Dr Penny Gilbert

Work +44 (0)20 3040 8020
Powell Gilbert LLP

Work Department

Intellectual property.


Partner specialising in advising on IP rights including patent litigation, licence disputes and freedom-to-operate issues particularly in life sciences. Particularly experienced in advising on multi-jurisdictional patent litigation strategy. Has represented clients before UK High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, European Patent Office, UK Intellectual Property Office and on references to the CJEU and EFTA court.  Solicitor advocate and qualified mediator.


MRC research student 1982-85; Departmental demonstrator, Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, Oxford 1985-86; technical assistant Bristows 1986-87; trained Bristows 1989-91; qualified 1991; partner Bristows 1998; founding partner Powell Gilbert LLP 2007.


Past president and advisory board member of European Patent Lawyers Association (EPLAW); AIPPI; LSLA; IPLA; LES; editorial board Bio-Science Law Review.


Colfox School, Bridport; Brasenose College, Oxford (MA Biochemistry; DPhil Molecular Biology); College of Law, London (CPE; LSF); Bristol University (Diploma in Intellectual Property Law and Practice).

London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Intellectual property

Within: Leading individuals

Penny Gilbert - Powell Gilbert LLP

Within: Intellectual property

With 'outstanding experience in the coordination and planning of complex international patent litigation' Powell Gilbert LLP has been singled out as 'one of the the best' in this field. The 'strong team' attracts praise for its 'responsive and pragmatic approach' and is jointly led by Penny Gilbert and Simon Ayrton - who is described as 'intellectually brilliant and a master strategist'. It is instructed by Huawei Technologies in the high profile, multi-jurisdictional patent and FRAND dispute with Unwired Planet, and has been highlighted as 'amongst the first ports of call for IP and telecoms crossover disputes, especially in the FRAND context'. A team, led by the 'truly phenomenal' Ari Laakkonen and the 'technically astute' Peter Damerell successfully defended Garmin in unregistered and registered design infringement allegations brought by PulseOn in relation to fitness watches with optical heart rate sensors. The practice also has a strength for litigation in the pharmaceuticals and biotechnology sector, and represented Actavis in a dispute with Warner Lambert before the Supreme Court concerning infringement of second medical use claims. Other key names to note include Tim Powell, Zoe Butlerand Bethan Hopewell.

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Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology

Within: Leading individuals

Penny Gilbert - Powell Gilbert LLP

Within: Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology

Powell Gilbert LLP’s 'key advantage is its strength in depth' where 'although it isn’t a large firm, it has a very large number of very able lawyers of uniformly very high quality'. Patent litigator Penny Gilbert jointly heads the team and recently defended Biogen against actions brought by AbbVie in relation to the client's biosimilar of AbbVie’s drug Humira. Fellow practice head Tim Powell is also an expert in patent litigation and recently acted for Illumina, whose patented foetal diagnosis technology was allegedly infringed upon by Premaitha, The Doctors Laboratory and Ariosa Diagnostics. Other notable names include Bethan Hopewell, who acted for Actavis in its dispute with Warner Lambert regarding infringement upon the latter's drug Lyrica; Alex Wilson, who advised Vivagro on a contractual dispute with Oro Agri International; and Tim Whitfield, who acted for Napp in a patent infringement case against Sandoz, whose product infringed upon its analgesic transdermal buprenorphine patch product.

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