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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.

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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 Attorneys

    The CMS patent attorney practice disrupts the traditional boutique approach to provide a service that meets the needs of modern business practice.  Using proven, robust and efficient processes to manage portfolios through the patenting process, we pour care and attention into every detail, whether a portfolio’s value comes from its size or from the key nature of one or a small number of cases.

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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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    Law-Now: In­tel­lec­tu­al Prop­erty
    Vis­it Law-Now for leg­al know-how and com­ment­ary
    Pat­ent At­tor­neys - Ex­plore

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    May 2020
    Ad­apt­ing reg­u­la­tion for a health emer­gency
    Rachel Cooper and Nata­sha Ri­cioppo write an art­icle on "Ad­apt­ing reg­u­la­tion for a health emer­gency".
    22 April 2020
    CMS Ex­pert Guide to COV­ID-19's Im­pact on IP Leg­al Tim­ings
    As in all as­pects of busi­ness, COV­ID-19 is im­pact­ing the world of IP and the po­s­i­tion is con­stantly chan­ging. To help you pri­or­it­ise and plan, the Glob­al IP prac­tice at CMS has put to­geth­er an over­view of COV­ID-19's cur­rent im­pact on pro­ced­ur­al timetables be­fore courts, na­tion­al in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty of­fices and key in­ter­na­tion­al IP in­sti­tu­tions.
    03 June 2020
    COV­ID-19 – UKIPO re­views and ex­tends peri­od of ‘in­ter­rup­ted days’
    The UKIPO has re­viewed and again ex­ten­ded the so-called peri­od of ‘in­ter­rup­ted days’ which star­ted on 24 March 2020 to at least 22 June 2020. An ‘in­ter­rup­ted day’ is defined as “a day in which...
    28 April 2020
    EPO Fee Changes 1 April 2020
    EPO Fee Changes 1 April 2020 in­form­a­tion from the CMS Pat­ent At­tor­ney team. Find out more.
    30 April 2019
    CMS Ex­pert Guide to Post BEPS In­tel­lec­tu­al Prop­erty Tax­a­tion
    Com­par­is­on between the dif­fer­ent IP boxes
    29 May 2020
    3D trade marks news: over­view of re­cent judg­ments in the Göm­böc and Ru­bik...
    The in­ter­pret­a­tion of pro­vi­sions reg­u­lat­ing shape marks of­ten raises vari­ous doubts on both the EU and na­tion­al level, es­pe­cially re­gard­ing the con­di­tions un­der which re­gis­tra­tion of shape marks can be...
    15 April 2020
    CMS an­nounces 41 new part­ners in 2020 glob­al pro­mo­tions
    In­ter­na­tion­al law firm CMS is pleased to an­nounce the pro­mo­tion of 41 new part­ners glob­ally in 2020, span­ning 15 cit­ies across Europe, Lat­in Amer­ica and Africa. The UK ac­counts for just un­der half of glob­al pro­mo­tions with 18 new part­ners ap­poin­ted.
    26 May 2020
    European Com­mis­sion must ad­dress in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty and AI
    The Com­mit­tee on Leg­al Af­fairs (JURI) of the European Par­lia­ment has pub­lished three draft re­ports re­lat­ing to ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI). This note is about the draft re­port on in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty...
    1 April 2020
    CMS Hol­born Asia ap­points lead­ing IP, Tech and Data Pri­vacy part­ner in...
    CMS Hol­born Asia ap­points lead­ing IP, Tech and Data Pri­vacy part­ner in Singa­pore. Find out more.
    26 May 2020
    European Pat­ent Of­fice COV­ID-19 pro­vi­sions - as at 25 May 2020
    The EPO has re­cently is­sued fur­ther in­form­a­tion re­gard­ing or­al pro­ceed­ings be­fore ex­am­in­a­tion and op­pos­i­tion di­vi­sions and be­fore the Boards of Ap­peal. This art­icle sum­mar­ises all of the EPO’s COV­ID-19...
    31 March 2020
    COV­ID-19's im­pact on dead­lines and pro­ced­ur­al timetables be­fore courts,...
    COV­ID-19's im­pact on dead­lines and pro­ced­ur­al timetables - courts, na­tion­al in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty of­fices and key in­ter­na­tion­al IP in­sti­tu­tions. Find out more.
    22 May 2020
    Re­tail store lay­outs – Itali­an Su­preme Court ap­plies CJEU de­cision in Cofemel...
    In a de­cision that will be wel­comed by the de­sign­ers (and op­er­at­ors) of re­tail concept stores, the Itali­an Su­preme Court has con­firmed that the design of a store lay­out may at­tract copy­right pro­tec­tion...