Our market-leading intellectual property team is the largest dedicated IP team in the UK. We house one of London’s most experienced and formidable IP litigation practices. Uniquely among large law firms, we also offer a significant patent, trade mark and design attorney team with true technical and legal expertise. And of course we help our clients in complex licensing and exploitation in the world’s most highly regulated sectors. Our team has earned multiple Band 1 ratings from legal directories.
Our team includes 130 lawyers, patent attorneys, trade mark attorneys, and specialist IP administrators and paralegals. This means our team is qualified to file complex patents in cutting-edge technologies at the European Patent Office; manage and enforce portfolios for some of the world’s biggest brand owners; and handle the most complex and technically demanding IP disputes.
We handle the full life-cycle of IP assets, including finding the best strategy for the creation, identification, registration and capture of assets, their realisation through commercial agreements and licensing, and their protection and enforcement through litigation and other dispute resolution.
A cohesive IP strategy, including both commercialisation and enforcement, will ensure that maximum value is obtained from your IP portfolio. Our team understands your business needs and objectives and has worked with some of the world’s best known brands. Our clients include organisations from banks to technology companies, pharmaceuticals to FMCG, and we help them realise their commercial goals.
We also advise on IP enforcement at all levels of UK courts (civil and criminal) and have experience litigating before the CJEU as well as many national courts of the EU and beyond in multi-jurisdictional disputes. Our patent and trade mark teams are experienced in dealing with proceedings before UKIPO, EUIPO and European Patent Office. Costs can quickly escalate in contentious proceedings, so project management is key to our service, driving forward cases, narrowing issues, and managing other service providers.
CMS UK’s EU trade mark and designs practice
CMS has moved its EU trade mark and designs practice to Poland, with all of CMS UK’s trade mark partners holding continuing representation and audience rights before the EUIPO and the Court of Justice of the European Union, as Irish qualified lawyers operating their EU trade mark business from our Polish office. This ensures that we are able to continue servicing our client’s EU trade mark needs and grow the practice further.
As a result, we will update the representation for all EU trade marks we manage to CMS Poland, (CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang Pośniak i Sawicki sp.k). All other non-EU trade mark work will continue to be provided by CMS UK.
EU Life Sciences Regulatory Advice
Gareth Morgan and his team will provide EU regulatory advice in the life sciences sector from our Polish office. Please contact Gareth or your regular CMS contact if you have any questions.
Brexit will have no consequence on UK membership of the European Patent Organisation (EPO), nor on the effect of European patents in the UK. Accordingly, CMS European patent attorneys based in the UK will continue to be able to represent applicants before the EPO.
European Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court
The process towards creation of a Unitary Patent and a Unified Patent Court has been ongoing for many years. If the Unitary Patent comes into being then it will enable the patent proprietor to request ‘unitary effect’ after a European patent is granted, thereby obtaining a Unitary Patent which provides uniform patent protection in up to 26 EU Member States. The Unified Patent Court will be a court common to the Contracting Member States and thus part of their judicial system. It will have exclusive competence in respect of European patents and European patents with unitary effect. The UK has already ratified the Unified Patent Court Agreement. However, Germany has not and launch of the new system is delayed pending resolution of certain constitutional complaints in Germany.
We are prepared for the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court whenever they might come into effect. All CMS European patent attorneys, including those based in the UK, will be able to represent applicants before the EPO and to obtain national patents or Unitary Patents granted via the European Patent Office, even after Brexit. Our team of lawyers and patent attorneys will have rights of audience before the new Unified Patent Court.
Supplementary Protection Certificates
A Supplementary Protection Certificate is a national right effectively extending the protection of patented active ingredients present in pharmaceutical or plant protection products. Current SPC law in the UK is governed by EU Regulations. In the event of Brexit, the UK government has indicated their plan to incorporate EU law into UK national law.
The CMS team is at the forefront of EU SPC practice, having been instrumental in establishing the niche ‘SPC blog’, which currently has almost 1.5m page views.
If you have any questions or require further information, please contact Robert Stephen or your regular CMS contact.
More information on the Brexit process can be found here.