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. CMS was Awarded ‘Best Law Firm in IP, IT & TMT’ at the Trends Legal Awards in 2019. 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.

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


    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.

    Read more

    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’. 

    Read more

    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.

    Read more

    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.

    Read more

    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.

    Read more

    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.

    Read more

    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.

    Read more

    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.

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


    Show only
    August 2019
    How block­chain will re­volu­tion­ise the gam­ing in­dustry
    27 Mar 20
    Man­aging clin­ic­al tri­als un­der COV­ID-19: New EU guid­ance is­sued for...
    The COV­ID-19 pan­dem­ic has had a dra­mat­ic im­pact on European health sys­tems, whose pri­or­ity first and fore­most is the treat­ment of pa­tients suf­fer­ing from this dis­ease both in the in-pa­tient and out-pa­tient...
    August 2019
    Game­play on-the-move
    What's next for mo­bile es­ports?
    27 Mar 20
    Coronavir­us and Force Ma­jeure in the Sports In­dustry
    Dis­rup­tion caused by coronavir­us The break­out of coronavir­us has already had a pro­found im­pact on the UK eco­nomy and one of the sec­tors that has been most af­fected is the sports in­dustry; matches in the...
    19 Aug 19
    Will fans pay per view for ex­clus­ive es­ports con­tent?
    20 Mar 20
    UPC fal­ters again - a boost for ar­bit­ra­tion
    As many of you will know, this morn­ing the Ger­man Con­sti­tu­tion­al Court ruled against the pur­por­ted rat­i­fic­a­tion by Ger­many of the European Agree­ment on a Uni­fied Pat­ent Court. This after the in­dic­a­tion...
    CMS Ex­pert Guide to Post BEPS In­tel­lec­tu­al Prop­erty...
    19 Mar 20
    Works of Artist­ic Craft­man­ship: IPEC con­siders CJEU Cofemel de­cision
    The Cofemel (C-683/17) de­cision saw the Court of Justice of the European Uni­on (“CJEU”) hold that there were two re­quire­ments for copy­right pro­tec­tion un­der Dir­ect­ive 2001/29/EC (the “In­foSoc Dir­ect­ive”):...
    14 Jun 18
    Vir­tu­al ad­vert­ising enters the game
    18 Mar 20
    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...
    17 Mar 20
    Dis­clos­ure Guid­ance un­der the Pi­lot Scheme in The Chan­cery Di­vi­sion
    In the Mc­Par­land case which I have re­cently already com­men­ted upon, the judge tried to give guid­ance on what is and what is not dis­clos­able un­der the Pi­lot Scheme. One point he made is that, just be­cause...
    16 Mar 20
    Coronavir­us – EUIPO and UKIPO pub­lish guid­ance on ex­ten­sion of dead­lines
    The UKIPO and EUIPO have today pub­lished guid­ance on the ex­ten­sion of dead­lines. This fol­lows the an­nounce­ment of the WHO that the out­break of the coronavir­us dis­ease (COV­ID-19) can be char­ac­ter­ised as...