European patent expertise
The European patent landscape is changing, with the introduction of a new Unitary Patent and a Unified Patent Court.
Find out how this will impact your business and how we can help.
Many of our team are technically qualified and have worked in industry. They have a proven ability to grasp complex scientific issues and assess esoteric cutting edge technologies.
Our deep experience in key sectors including pharmaceuticals, technology, manufacturing and energy means that we can help clients anticipate risks and maximise commercial opportunities. We also bring horizon issues to our clients to anticipate their landscape ahead.
Our services include:
- all aspects of advice on the management of national and international patent litigation and EPO oppositions to both eliminate barriers to market entry and to defend market positions;
- advising on potential collaborations with third parties including research and development contracts;
- in and out-licensing of technology;
- patent prosecution strategy and life cycle management to protect your R&D investment;
- advising on the patent aspects of the sale or purchase of businesses;
- patent transfers as part of Group restructurings and advice on maximising tax efficiency of IP assets;
- freedom to operate/infringement/validity reviews;
- assertions of patents and negotiating licences.
In addition to technical infringement and validity advice relating to patents, we use our sector knowledge to deliver commercially relevant, strategic business advice to our diverse client base which includes: pharmaceutical companies (generic and originator), biotechs, medical device companies, technology companies, energy companies, retailers, public authorities and universities.
We can help you:
- when you have concerns about market access by providing freedom to operate opinions and strategic advice in relation to the validity of various intellectual property rights and infringement risks;
- support you throughout litigation in the UK and Europe having had extensive experience co-ordinating multi-jurisdictional patent litigations and formulating pan-EU patent litigation strategies;
- exploit your intellectual property rights by negotiating and drafting licensing agreements, assignments of intellectual property assets and funding issues;
- use your intellectual property rights to protect your investment in R&D by advising on protection strategies and IP life cycle management;
- when you have concerns about infringements by enforcing your rights against infringers in the UK, Continental Europe and China. Our team regularly provides strategic enforcement advice to clients, and has extensive experience of multi-jurisdictional patent actions.
Examples of our expertise include:
- supporting TEVA in the successful revocation of Astra Zeneca's patents for Symbicort® in the UK Patents Court and at the European Patent Office opening up the market for TEVA's DuoResp Spiromax® new inhaler device;
- successfully revoked LEO's patent for its Dovobet® combination psoriasis product in the UK Patents Court;
- advising Actavis in the referral to the CJEU for guidance on the identification/specification of products in patent claims for entitlement to a Supplementary Protection Certificate (Sanofi's CoAprovel® product comprising irbesartan and hydrochlorothiazide)
- successfully revoked Astra Zeneca's patent for a sustained release formulation of its blockbuster anti-psychotic, Seroquel®, thereby opening up the UK pharmaceuticals market for TEVA.
- advising on multinational patent litigation concerning Lundbeck's blockbuster anti-depressant, escitalopram, which concluded in the House of Lords.
- acting for the Department of Health on the transfer of the IP assets (including patents, other IP and actual key cell lines) of the BioProducts Laboratory division of NHS Blood and Transplant.
- representing a pharmaceutical wholesaler in interim injunction proceedings in the Patents Court, relating to alleged infringement of a blockbuster product patent.
- advising on various key transgenic patents of the Roslin Institute in relation to the Institute’s move to Edinburgh University.
- as one of the few UK law firms with Life Sciences intellectual property specialists in China, we are uniquely placed to advise clients based in the region and those looking to invest there.
- pursuing UK patent infringement litigation for Siemens concerning protection for electronic components, through to the Court of Appeal.
- advising the board of a leading technology solutions provider to the Pay TV and broadband services industries regarding all patent assertions against them globally and on provisioning for those claims.
- successfully acting for a number of European retailers defending patent assertions against their own brand electronics products, including tablets, TVs and wearable devices. We also have considerable expertise around standards based FRAND licensing.
- supporting and advising on a significant IP indemnity claim made by BT regarding our client's ADSL network equipment, which was the subject of UK patent litigation.
- providing strategic guidance to the management leadership team of a major international software supplier on their global IP strategy.
- defending a global provider of technology to the oil & gas industry in a confidential LCIA arbitration concerning the ownership of various patents for products maximising subsea production.
- providing strategic IP guidance for a client developing coal gasification plants in China; analysing and establishing a patent portfolio protecting the client's own technologies. We also provided freedom to operate (FTO) analysis to the client in the face of a large portfolio of third party patents asserted against them.
- advising Drax Power on the ownership and rights to use the IP in new turbine engines as part of its £100 million investment to reduce carbon emissions at the UK's largest coal fired power station.
Clare Tunstall is "regarded as one of the leading patent litigators on behalf of generic pharmaceuticals manufacturers in the country." Clare "has a very good relationship with her clients, which is really apparent to the outsider." Chambers 2015
Cerys Wyn Davies "really engages with the issues and is always calm under fire." Chambers 2015
“Deborah Bould has excellent industry knowledge right across the electronics space... Deborah and her team are proactive, bringing us horizon issues and ideas as well as finding innovative ways to make our legal spend transparent and more predictable. She is also responsive, commercial in her approach and a real pleasure to work with.” Marie Williamson, solicitor, Dixons Carphone
"Louise [Fullwood] was able to meet our requirements, which had proved difficult to secure from alternative legal advisers and would have been costly for a firm to have learned from scratch. The value added was immediate progress in a complex issue. My colleagues were delighted by having a lawyer with specialised knowledge." Board Secretary, UK Stem Cell Bank (NIBSC)