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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.

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"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

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    Brexit

    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.

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    Due Diligence

    Intellectual Property rights are commonly bought, sold or licensed as part of a corporate deal or transaction, and often represent a key element of a due diligence process. Our team of specialist solicitors, patent attorneys and trade mark attorneys are able to provide a commercially valuable assessment of an IP portfolio, either as part of deal process or as a stand-alone ‘health-check’. 

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    Life Sciences Regulatory

    Legal and regulatory frameworks are constantly evolving in the life sciences sector to keep up with innovative therapies, diagnostics and other medical technologies, as well as increasing services provision by manufacturers and other suppliers. In such a highly regulated and much scrutinised sector we understand you need a legal team who can proactively advise on your legal and regulatory risk.

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    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.  We also have cross-disciplinary expertise in areas such as AI and Life Sciences.

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    Patent Freedom to Operate

    The freedom to operate process generally comprises an in-depth search and review of publically available patent documents that relate to your commercial/pipeline products. The purpose is to identify whether a third-party owns any patent rights that may stop you from placing your product on the market.

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    Patent Opposition and Appeal

    Granted patents may be opposed by third parties, and our team is often sought out for their advice and representation in post-grant oppositions at the European Patent Office (EPO). We also launch appeal proceedings on behalf of our clients when they have been adversely affected by patent office decisions. A number of our attorneys have been involved in both defending and attacking commercially important patents in multi-party proceedings at the EPO. Often these proceedings have run alongside national litigation proceedings.  We also represent clients at hearings at the UK IPO.

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    Supplementary Protection Certificates

    The CMS team is at the forefront of SPC practice. We can provide strategic filing advice, benefitting from many years’ experience of managing large SPC portfolios.

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    Unified Patent Court

    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.

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