A patent is an intellectual property right that protects an invention, giving its owner the right to prevent anyone else from using, importing or selling the invention without its consent in the country where the patent was granted for a limited period of time.
Patents can be extremely valuable assets for their owners, whether they choose to work the monopolies themselves or license others to do so. However, the existence of third party patents can also be a significant obstacle to a company wishing to expand its product line or develop business in new areas.
We advise clients on all aspects of their patent strategy, including obtaining, licensing and enforcing their own patent rights, as well as identifying, assessing and seeking to alleviate the impact of patents owned by third parties. Advising on patents often involves understanding complex technology relating to the subject matter of the inventions, as well as difficult legal issues. Several of our team have technical backgrounds, having obtained scientific degrees prior to studying law (including in life sciences and physics), which gives them an invaluable advantage in being able to grasp the technical issues quickly.
We also advise on the full range of patent disputes, including infringement, validity, ownership and licensing disputes. Patents are national rights and patent disputes often involve parallel litigation in a number of jurisdictions. Our team has experience of working with, and coordinating, legal teams in a number of jurisdictions, including across Europe, North America and Japan.
Patent matters and cases in which members of the team have been involved include advising:
- Acro Aircraft Seating in relation to a multinational patent dispute and coordinating patent infringement proceedings in Germany
- A listed international healthcare company on potential patent infringement and freedom to operate, as well as licensing arrangements, in relation to one of their leading products
- A multinational biotechnology company on its contractual arrangements with one of the largest generics companies and the payment of royalties under patent licences
- A global pharmaceutical company in relation to experimental and Bolar exemptions to patent infringement in relation to batch testing and product analysis of pharmaceutical drugs, and the use, testing and importing of pharmaceutical drugs in the UK
- One of Europe’s leading manufacturers of biodegradable polymers in patent infringement claims against 14 potential defendants in the UK
- Australian wine maker Barokes in a claim for Judicial Review against the UKIPO concerning the EPO opposition procedure.