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Robert Stephen

Robert Stephen

Patent Attorney, Co-Chair Life Sciences & Healthcare Sector

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
Cannon Place
78 Cannon Street
United Kingdom
Languages English

Robert is a UK Chartered Patent Attorney and European Patent Attorney with over 20 years' experience, and is qualified to act before the European Patent Office and the Unified Patent Court. He focusses on the biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and digital health spaces, and is ranked in band 1 in the Chambers legal directory in the UK. Robert is well known for his opposition and appeal practice at the EPO, and also as the co-founder of the SPC Blog, which leads the debate on issues relating to patent term extension in Europe. Robert has a first class degree in biochemistry and a D.Phil. in molecular genetics from Oxford University.

The patent attorney team, which Robert leads, has a focus on helping clients develop and exploit their IP to maximise commercial value. The team provides a complete range of services, including patent drafting and prosecution, licensing, strategic counselling, pan-European litigation and EPO opposition and appeal work. The team also advises on patent term extensions/SPCs, orphan exclusivity and data exclusivity.

Robert has experience in drafting, filing and prosecuting patent applications before the UK and EPO, patent licensing, global patent strategy, patent term extensions and portfolio management. He has been involved in over 50 EPO oppositions and appeals. Robert has a particular interest and expertise in inventions made in the fields of medical devices, pharmaceuticals, biochemistry, biotechnology, cell biology, genetics and immunology, including protein- and peptide-based medicines, vaccines, antibodies, nucleic acid-based medicines, diagnostic methods and diagnostic apparatus.

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""Leading lawyer" Robert Stephen is a life sciences specialist of particular distinction for his guidance on IVF and vaccination applications. He is also noted for his work in opposition hearings."

Chambers, 2017

Relevant experience

  • Kymab on their EPO prosecution, opposition and appeals against Regeneron, in the field of mouse genetics and antibodies.
  • Vectura on managing its patent portfolio concerning inhaled glycopyrrolate, with multiple patents opposed by Teva.
  • Progyny on managing its patent portfolio concerning IVF treatments, with multiple patents opposed by Unisense .
  • Insmed on managing its patent portfolio concerning inhaled antibiotic treatments, with multiple patents opposed by Mylan.
  • 3 major international pharmaceutical companies on EPO opposition and appeal proceedings.
  • BP on managing aspects of its patent portfolio before the European patent office.
  • The Wellcome Trust on work originating from the Sanger centre in the UK.
  • GlaxoSmithKline on the management of its vaccine portfolio, in particular vaccines for cervical cancer and influenza.
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  • 1996 – D. Phil , Institute of Molecular Medicine, Oxford University, Oxford
  • 1992 – Biochemistry, Oxford University, Oxford 
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Lectures list

  • 2008-2016 - Chairman and presenter, the SPC Blog seminar
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Show only
20 April 2020
CMS Ex­pert Guide to a Leg­al Roadmap to Can­nabis
18 March 2020
European Pat­ent Of­fice - coronavir­us up­date
In light of the on­go­ing coronavir­us situ­ation the EPO has is­sued guid­ance re­gard­ing its dead­lines. Time peri­ods ex­pir­ing on or after the date of pub­lic­a­tion of their no­tice are ex­ten­ded for all parties...
15 May 2019
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...
27 March 2019
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...
20 December 2018
Launch of Life Sci­ences Sec­tor Deal 2
The In­dus­tri­al Strategy – Life Sci­ences Sec­tor Deal 2 re­port is broken down by themes with each identi­fy­ing what pro­gress has been made by each of the sec­tor and Gov­ern­ment. A sum­mary of these themes...