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Portrait of 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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"Robert and his team are excellent."

Legal 500, 2021

""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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Lectures list

  • 2008-2016 - Chairman and presenter, the SPC Blog seminar
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  • 1996 – D. Phil , Institute of Molecular Medicine, Oxford University, Oxford
  • 1992 – Biochemistry, Oxford University, Oxford 
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Double pat­ent­ing: leg­al fact or fic­tion? (G4/19)
The En­larged Board of Ap­peal (EBA) has this week re­leased its de­cision re­gard­ing the is­sue of double pat­ent­ing. The concept of double pat­ent­ing will be fa­mil­i­ar to those work­ing in the pat­ent field. It...
In View: Life Sci­ences quarterly up­date we­bin­ar
CMS are de­lighted to in­vite you to the next in­stal­ment of our Life Sci­ences quarterly up­date we­bin­ar where CMS ex­perts across the firm will dis­cuss key in­dustry top­ics im­pact­ing, in­nov­at­ing and dis­rupt­ing...
Can­nabis law and le­gis­la­tion in the UK
Med­ic­al use It is in prin­ciple law­ful to pro­duce, sup­ply, of­fer to sup­ply, im­port, ex­port, have in pos­ses­sion or cul­tiv­ate (in the case of the plant) can­nabis products, in­clud­ing medi­cin­al products...
Life Sci­ences - The road to re­cov­ery
Cov­id-19 has put the life sci­ences in­dustry in the spot­light.The sec­tor has pulled to­geth­er to care for those im­pacted by the vir­us and in the race to find a vac­cine. There have been col­lab­or­a­tions...
3D print­ing and IP: Les­sons from the EPO’s ‘Shap­ing To­mor­row’ con­fer­ence
IP Land­scape Growth Ad­dit­ive Man­u­fac­tur­ing (AM), also known as 3D print­ing, is one of the fast­est grow­ing areas at the EPO. From 2015-2018, its av­er­age an­nu­al growth rate was 36%, 10 times faster than...
Pro­tect­ing in­nov­a­tion from start to fin­ish
The CMS pat­ent at­tor­ney prac­tice The CMS pat­ent at­tor­ney prac­tice dis­rupts the tra­di­tion­al boutique ap­proach to provide a ser­vice that sees the core val­ues of a cen­tur­ies old pro­fes­sion, work­ing for...
Santen ends Neur­im-style SPCs
The word­ing of Art­icle 3(d) of the SPC Reg­u­la­tion re­quires that the SPC ap­plic­a­tion must rely on “the first au­thor­isa­tion to place the product on the mar­ket as a medi­cin­al product”. This sug­gests...
Su­preme Court De­cision - Re­gen­er­on v Kymab [2020] UK­SC 27
Who knew a mouse could cause so much trouble? The Su­preme Court handed down its judg­ment in the case of Re­gen­er­on v Kymab this week, rul­ing that the as­ser­ted claims of Re­gen­er­on’s European pat­ent EP1360287...
CMS named amongst Fin­an­cial Times Europe’s lead­ing pat­ent law firms
In­ter­na­tion­al law firm CMS is pleased to an­nounce that the firm has been named as one of Europe’s lead­ing pat­ent law firms in a re­port pub­lished today by the Fin­an­cial Times. In ad­di­tion to ap­pear­ing...
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...
UK Can­nabis In­dustry
The glob­al fo­cus on can­nabis provides sig­ni­fic­ant op­por­tun­it­ies across mul­tiple sec­tors, in­clud­ing health & well­ness, food & ad­dit­ives, medi­cine, ag­ri­cul­ture and even tour­ism.Such op­por­tun­it­ies can, how­ever...
Life Sci­ences Pat­ents
Our life sci­ence fo­cused pat­ent at­tor­neys sup­port cli­ents from start-ups to mul­tina­tion­als and provide a full range of pro­sec­u­tion and stra­tegic coun­selling, with par­tic­u­lar ex­per­i­ence in con­ten­tious...