Home / Expertise / Intellectual Property
padlock hanging from turquoise painted wooden doors

Intellectual Property

United Kingdom

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.

If you have any questions or require further information, please contact Sarah Wright, Louise Gellman or your regular CMS contact in our trade mark team.

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. 

European Patents 

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.

If you have any questions or require further information, please contact Robert Stephen, Helen Wallis or your regular CMS contact.

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.

If you have any questions or require further information, please contact Gareth Morgan, Robert StephenHelen Wallis or your regular CMS contact.

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.

Read more Read less

"CMS' intellectual property department is 'excellent for high level and complex questions', and offers 'a good mix of very sound legal advice and practical tips'. The 'personable and easy to work with' team comprises of 25 partners, following the merger of CMS, Nabarro and Olswang in May 2017, and attracts praise for its 'good pragmatic commercial advice' across the spectrum of IP rights."

Legal 500, 2019

“Among firms in London, CMS is virtually unrivalled in terms of the breadth, depth, international reach and technical sophistication of its brands practice.”

World Trademark Review 1000, 2019

Choose area

    Patent Drafting and Prosecution

    Our large patent attorney team is made up of specialists in a range of technical areas with a particular emphasis on the High-Tech field and Life Sciences field. Our attorneys have degrees and PhDs in areas such as artificial intelligence, communications, and physics through to genetics, biology and pharmacology, to name a few.

    Read more
    Law-Now: In­tel­lec­tu­al Prop­erty
    Vis­it Law-Now for leg­al know-how and com­ment­ary


    Show only
    Florentin Sanson
    Vir­tu­al ad­vert­ising enters the game
    The EUIPO de­liv­ers its ver­dict on the long­stand­ing dis­pute between...
    EUTM Can­cel­la­tion Ac­tion: (1) Pro­mote Ice­land, (2) The Iceland­ic Min­istry for For­eign Af­fairs and (3) SA – Busi­ness Ice­land v. Ice­land Foods Lim­ited. Back­ground Three Iceland­ic au­thor­it­ies (“Iceland­ic Ap­plic­ants”) filed an ap­plic­a­tion for a de­clar­a­tion of in­valid­ity.
    SPC Man­u­fac­tur­ing Waiver to come in­to ef­fect 1 Ju­ly 2019
    Gen­er­ics com­pan­ies will soon be able to man­u­fac­ture SPC-pro­tec­ted drugs for ex­port out­side the EU un­der new man­u­fac­tur­ing waiver pro­vi­sions. In the last six months of the SPC life­time, it will also be al­low­able to man­u­fac­ture gen­er­ics for stock­pil­ing for “day.
    EPO's strict ap­proach to de­cid­ing if a com­pos­i­tion can be­ne­fit from...
    The EPO Tech­nic­al Board of Ap­peal (TBA) re­viewed the law around nov­elty of use, and de­term­ined that in the case of Car­di­oPoly­mer, Inc. 's European pat­ent ap­plic­a­tion (EP07837908. 8), the claimed chem­ic­al en­tity did not qual­i­fy as a 'sub­stance or com­pos­i­tion'.
    Singa­pore to fast-track AI pat­ent ap­plic­a­tions
    The In­tel­lec­tu­al Prop­erty Of­fice of Singa­pore (IPOS) has re­cently launched AI2, an ini­ti­at­ive for Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence (AI) which provides an ac­cel­er­ated ap­plic­a­tion-to-grant ser­vice for pat­ent ap­plic­a­tions re­lat­ing to AI.
    The Broad In­sti­tute’s CR­IS­PR Pat­ent Ap­peal at the EPO
    The Broad In­sti­tute of MIT and Har­vard owns sev­er­al key pat­ents re­lated to the CR­IS­PR tech­no­logy. One such pat­ent is EP2771468 (“EP ‘468”), which relates to a fun­da­ment­al as­pect of the CR­IS­PR tech­no­logy in eu­k­a­ryot­ic cells.
    A new age for copy­right reg­u­la­tion in the EU di­git­al mar­ket - Part...
    The Dir­ect­ive on Copy­right in the Di­git­al Single Mar­ket (the “Dir­ect­ive”) has now been ap­proved by the European Par­lia­ment and once ad­op­ted by the Coun­cil of the EU it will form part of the EU Mem­ber States’ na­tion­al le­gis­la­tion by the end of the im­ple­ment­a­tion.
    A new age for copy­right reg­u­la­tion in the EU di­git­al mar­ket - Part...
    The European Par­lia­ment voted on 26 March in fa­vour of the Dir­ect­ive on Copy­right in the Di­git­al Single Mar­ket (the “Dir­ect­ive”). If, as ex­pec­ted, it is ad­op­ted by the Coun­cil of the EU (rep­res­ent­at­ives of Mem­ber State gov­ern­ments) in mid-April, it will be­come.
    Say what? The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment con­sults on re­form to the Scots...
    The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment is cur­rently con­sult­ing on re­forms to the Scots law of de­fam­a­tion, the area of law which aims to pro­tect in­di­vidu­al and busi­ness repu­ta­tions from false state­ments. In an era of on­line re­views and vir­al shar­ing of opin­ion, pro­tect­ing.
    European Pat­ent Of­fice 2018 An­nu­al Re­port
    The European Pat­ent Of­fice (EPO) 2018 An­nu­al Re­port was pub­lished this month show­ing cur­rent trends in the use of the sys­tem, as well as how the sys­tem is per­form­ing against qual­ity con­trol mark­ers. The US con­tin­ues to be the greatest user of the sys­tem in.
    Judg­ment on Ab­rax­is C-443/17; 21st March 2019
    The CJEU de­livered its judg­ment last week on the case of Ab­rax­is v Comp­troller Gen­er­al of Pat­ents con­cern­ing Sup­ple­ment­ary Pro­tec­tion Cer­ti­fic­ates (SPCs) for new for­mu­la­tions of medi­cin­al products. The Court has ruled that Art­icle 3(d) of Reg­u­la­tion No 469/2009,.
    ASA snap­shot – ASA de­cisions pub­lished in Feb­ru­ary 2019
    Sum­mary of in­ter­est­ing ASA rul­ings pub­lished in Feb­ru­ary Food fea­tures in a num­ber of the rul­ings un­der­lin­ing the im­port­ance of not over­stat­ing any claims as to en­vir­on­ment­al be­ne­fits, as well as em­phas­ising the im­port­ance of care­ful com­pli­ance with the EU.