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AA Thornton

Work 020 7405 4044
Fax 020 7405 3580
London, Munich

London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

PATMA: Patent attorneys
PATMA: Patent attorneys - ranked: tier 2

AA Thornton

AA Thornton was especially active in the life sciences, pharmaceutical, energy, electronics and IT sectors, with other highlights coming from retail, medical device, agriculture and aerospace clients. The group increased its weight in the market with the partner promotions of Alex Bone, Nikesh Patel, Marianne Privett and Nick South. Adrian Bennett is the head of the engineering, physics and mechanical devices group, while Mike Jennings directs the electrical engineering, electronics, telecoms and IT department and Craig Turner leads the chemistry, biotechnology and pharmaceutical practice. Emily Cottrill joined Henkel.

Practice head(s):Adrian Bennett; Mike Jennings; Craig Turner

Other key lawyers:Lawrence King


'AA Thornton provide an excellent level of service.  Their strengths include: very high level of professional work, particularly in patent prosecution and litigation at the European Patent Office, the ability to maintain this high level even when working under high pressure, excellent communication skills (both the attorneys and the support staff), very fast response times to our email enquiries, and reasonable prices in relation to the quality of service provided.'

'AA Thornton consistently provide a highly professional service.'

'AA Thornton puts together a strong team with the necessary technical expertise based around our needs, and that teams works with us consistently, allowing us to develop a strong working relationship. Their communication and strategic approaches are insightful and consistently of great assistance.'

'The team at AAT is extremely talented with good technical knowledge and apt problem-solution approach. They are prompt in their work with proper maintenance of all deadlines. The team as a whole is comprised of attorneys that individually have superb expertise in the STEM technologies. Each team member has technical depth in their field that is intimately combined with sharp experience.'

'As a whole, the firm embraces thoughtful modern changes in practice and diversity in the workplace. This is very respected.'

'I believe that AA Thornton's value proposition for IP legal services is unique in that a very high quality of service is provided at a reasonable price.'

'Craig Turner has handled some very difficult patent cases, and has consistently succeeded in obtaining patent grant, even when the cases seemed absolutely hopeless.'

'Lawrence King and Marianne Privett are outstanding partners to work with, and they are my go-to counsel in Europe on several key IP matters.'

'The patent attorneys at this firm are personable, friendly and fun to work with. However, underneath the friendly positive attitude are driven, highly skilled individuals who get the job done. I value their honest and straightforward way of handling work and providing valuable input.'

'Lawrence King is formidable in the chemical fields, and thorough and effective.'

'Craig Turner is very capable on substantive legal issues as well as the underlying technology of various patent matters. Craig is also very responsive and importantly listens to the client's underlying business objectives and tailors his approach accordingly.'

Key Clients

Associated British Foods


Chevron Phillips Chemical Company


Halliburton Energy Services




Work highlights

  • Successfully obtained broad patent rights in several applicant countries for the product and method of use of ASA Energy Services’ reactor that uses the Fischer-Tropsch process to manufacture hydrocarbon products from carbon monoxide and hydrogen.
  • Acted for ImmutriX Therapeutics in securing registration of a patent covering carbon monoliths used in blood cleansing applications, obtaining protection for the carbon itself instead of protection just for the methods of treatment and thereby increasing the scope of the patent covering one of the client's core products.
  • Acting for Vitamix in obtaining a patent for an enclosure for a food blender whose claim set scope exceeded the scope of a previously granted parent patent in order to cover a competitor's blender and secure the client's position in the market.
  • Represented Neo-Innova Healthcare Ltd to obtain patent and trade mark protection worldwide for potentially industry-changing natural botanical insect repellent, and advised the client in related negotiations with key players in the insect repellent market.
  • Acted for Chevron Phillips Chemical Company in successfully defending a key European patent against an opposition filed by competitor INEOS.

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PATMA: Trade mark attorneys
PATMA: Trade mark attorneys - ranked: tier 1

AA Thornton

AA Thornton's caseload regularly includes high-stakes headline-grabbing cases. The team combines strength in trade mark portfolio management with proven prowess in the prosecution of trade mark applications, especially in complex cases involving particular international or legal challenges. The retail sector is a particularly busy area for the group, but the client roster reveals the practice's wide-ranging sector expertise. Ian Gill directs the practice. Sarah Darby made partner. Vanessa Lawrence became a consulting attorney for the firm.

Practice head(s):Ian Gill

Other key lawyers:Sarah Darby; Rachel Havard


'Excellent team of knowledgeable and genuinely good people.'

'AA Thornton have a strong, dedicated trade marks team.'

'Ian Gill is an excellent individual: concise, precise, personable and a good communicator.'

'Ian Gill is very client-friendly. He gives good, pragmatic advice on filing strategies and dealing with issues, he is transparent on cost and imaginative on solutions.'

'Ian Gill is a true expert and always offers sensible and commercial advice.'

'Sarah Darby is articulate and has a huge intellect, but cuts through the legal jargon to provide digestible advice.'

'Sarah Darby is fantastic, highly technical, but with a commercial focus.'

'Sarah Neil is always on hand to offer great advice and always finds the solutions we need!'

Key Clients

AB World Foods Limited

Admiral Group

Allied Bakeries Limited

CK Hutchinson

HKA Global Limited

J. Choo Limited


R. Twinings and Company Limited

STA Travel

Virgin Enterprises Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Jimmy Choo in successfully convincing the EUIPO of a reputation in a trade mark which the client had not applied to physical goods, using evidence of the extensive use of the trade mark in promotional campaigns, in the press and by the public, thereby ensuring protection of the trade mark.
  • Advised Paul Smith, the British fashion design house, on a major rebranding that involved the filing of trade mark, design and copyright applications for its new logo, which was to be used across the entire product range internationally.
  • Assisted 3 Mobile with its opposition and invalidity strategy to respond to several brand-threatening EU trade mark applications , which included extensive collating of evidence of reputation in the mark 3 Logo, as well as the numeral 3 in a number of EU countries.
  • Represented Equip Outdoor Technologies Limited in multiple oppositions to third-party applications to register confusingly similar marks to the client's trade mark 'RAB', including in the US and China. Advised the client on the set-up of its anti-counterfeiting strategy.
  • Advised HKA Global on the trade mark aspects of its international rebranding following its acquisition by Bridgepoint Development Capital in 2017, including the conduct of extensive due diligence and the development of a worldwide filing strategy.

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