Sectors

Advanced Engineering  

Advanced Engineering  

Our advanced engineering team is passionate about engineering. Our strong foundation in mechanical and automotive engineering, years of industrial experience and extensive experience of working with clients in the engineering sector makes us the perfect match for engineering businesses.

Automotive and engineering are capital intensive industries, in which products are often easily copied. There is, therefore, a clear economic incentive to discouraging copying through the use of robust intellectual property protection.

Mechanical products usually have worldwide appeal and application, with manufacturing spread around the world. Effective protection of the underlying inventions typically requires a global strategy.

Inventions in this area are often based on minor revisions to products that are generally known, and it can sometimes be a challenge to overcome a patent office examiner’s objections and to convince them that there is a protectable invention. Our considerable experience in this field and dealing with these challenges enables us to maximise your chances of getting the protection you need.

Biotechnology, Chemistry & Pharmaceuticals  

Biotechnology, Chemistry & Pharmaceuticals  

We are experts in devising overall strategies for maximising patent (and SPC) protection for a product. There are a number of challenges faced by those seeking to maximise revenue from inventions in the chemical field, in particular within pharma and biotech. Patent term is limited, generally to twenty years, although in some jurisdictions it is possible to extend protection for up to five years for specific products using Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs).

Nevertheless, it is likely that a biotech or pharma IP owner will only begin to recoup their R&D investment when a product receives Marketing Authorisation and enters the market – often ten to 15 years (or longer) into the lifetime of the patent. This means that the effective duration of the IP protection available to a biotech or pharma business is limited in comparison to that in other fields. Strong patent protection worldwide is therefore vital to ensure that a biotech or pharma IP owner enjoys the rewards of their research and development, following product launch, for as long as possible.

Further, patent protection is also important prior to launch, because for a small start-up company for example, this is likely to be the asset that is most attractive to potential investors or larger companies wishing to acquire rights in the product and/or company.

Branding & Design  

Branding & Design  

Protecting your brand does not have to cost the earth. We understand that clients often have a fixed budget and we will work with you to develop the best possible protection strategy within it.

Registering the IP behind your brand has never been more important. Not only is it key when defending yourself against third party abuse, but it is also a guaranteed way of adding value and assisting with the generation of revenue.

Cleantech & Energy  

Cleantech & Energy  

We have the depth of expertise needed to bring a multi-disciplinary approach to the project in hand. Increasing investment and research are dedicated worldwide to make technologies of all kinds more resource-efficient, less wasteful, and to develop cleaner methods of energy generation.

Cleantech and energy development can occur in any technological field and often involves multi-disciplinary innovation. So intellectual property support for cleantech and energy innovators demands a breadth and depth of technical knowledge and commercial experience.

Computers & Software  

Computers & Software  

Patent law places a number of hurdles in the path of inventors seeking protection for computer-related inventions or inventions implemented in software. In the UK and Europe, patent law excludes the grant of patents for computer programs that do not provide a technical effect.

Other countries frequently apply similar restrictions. Creative thinking is often required to write patent claims, which provide protection for what are often abstract developments in computer control or processing.

Consumer Products & Manufacturing  

Consumer Products & Manufacturing  

Our team will take a holistic view in order to protect and maintain your market edge. We will work with you to identify the key features of your invention, the story behind them and the right forms of IP protection for them. In the crowded market of consumer products innovation is often in incremental steps rather than revolutionary.

Nevertheless, commercially valuable IP protection can be obtained for small enhancements and improvements, providing applications are carefully drafted. It can be damaging to a company’s reputation and sales to have to recall a product from the market. Therefore advice on how to avoid infringing competitors’ IP is also critical.

Electronic & Electrical Devices  

Electronic & Electrical Devices  

We cover a wide range of technologies and can adapt and take on new concepts, enabling us to support clients across the whole sector. Companies in the electrical and electronic engineering sectors are continuing to develop innovative products both for standalone devices and as components for larger systems and products.

New developments need to be protected to give companies a competitive edge. This is one of the areas of industry where companies have recognised for many years the importance of patents to support their businesses. Obtaining and understanding the relevance of IP rights in all-important territories is essential to these companies to enable them to maximise sales revenue.

Financial Services & Business Methods  

Financial Services & Business Methods  

We understand the differences in the requirements for patentability between regimes such as the US and the EPO and the UK. The patent protection available for financial services and business methods varies enormously around the world.

Some countries, such as the USA, have historically permitted business methods to be protected, subject to certain limitations, while others, typified by the European Patent Office (EPO) and China, take the view that this type of invention is inherently non-technical and cannot involve the inventive step required for patent protection.

The position is slightly different in many countries. Following a recent landmark decision of the US Supreme Court the landscape in that country has shifted markedly, prompting other countries to renew their own positions.

Medical Devices  

Medical Devices  

Our medical device team have strong cross-disciplinary skills, and are adept at ensuring that the most appropriate people are involved in any matter. Medical devices are typically high-technology, high-value products. Even apparently simple devices such as stents may be formed from advanced materials, and may cost several thousands of pounds each.

Numerous companies and research institutions are simultaneously engaged in development of new medical devices, and improvement of existing medical devices. The high costs associated with development, and the number of entities engaged in active development in any particular field, mean that intellectual property rights such as patents are essential in this sector.

Large companies use granted patents to maintain the market share of their most successful products, and smaller companies need to file patent applications to obtain access to investment, and to open commercial discussions with larger companies.

Telecommunications, Broadcasting & Standards  

Telecommunications, Broadcasting & Standards  

We know cost efficiency is important and will develop a strategy to suit you and your budget, taking account of whether the invention is standards related. The telecoms and broadcasting field covers inventions in any aspect of the communication chain, from the initial generation of an audio video signal, to processing for efficient and robust transmission, reception in environments that may be imperfect, and presentation to end users.

A problem faced by many in this sector is determining if an invention is standards related. Whether an invention is essential to a particular standard has a big impact on both how and where a patent should be progressed. A very narrow patent covering an invention that is definitely within a standard provides strong protection along with certainty of infringement. If an invention is not standards specific broader protection may be appropriate.