Intellectual Property

Advising clients on enhancement of their IP strategy to maximise benefits while managing and mitigating risk.

Maximising benefits while managing and mitigating risk is our core focus when advising clients on their intellectual property (IP) strategy. Whether our clients are looking to create, exploit or enforce IP rights, our group is well-positioned to advise.

We understand the importance of approaching IP with a commercial mindset. We work closely with industry focussed experts across pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and healthcare, financial institutions, technology, telecoms, media, sport, consumer goods and retail to ensure we have a deep and strategic understanding of the industries in which our clients operate.

We regularly advise on:

  • Patent, know-how, copyright and trade mark licensing, distribution agreements, sponsorship, franchising and other IP-related commercial agreements. Our specialist Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology and Healthcare team deals with licensing, collaboration and research and development agreements.
  • Strategies in relation to the management and commercialisation of IP portfolios;
  • Transactional work across M&A, joint ventures and financing matters, which frequently involve establishing sophisticated licensing structures, conducting complex due diligence on IP portfolios and risks, and advising on the creation and enforcement of security interests over IP assets;
  • Multi-jurisdictional disputes across the full spectrum of IP rights, including litigation strategies, registry and court proceedings, settlement negotiations and alternative forms of dispute resolution;
  • The increasingly complex interaction of IP issues with Competition law, in conjunction with our leading Competition team, including developing IP-based defences to Competition actions and advising on the role of IP issues in the regulation of the technology industry;
  • The IP issues in relation to emerging technologies including AI, blockchain/DLT, NFTs, fintech, data analytics and quantum computing.


Reckitt Benckiser on IP licensing

We advised Reckitt Benckiser on the licensing of various IP rights by its subsidiary, MJN U.S. Holdings LLC, to Azotic Investments Holding Limited on a perpetual basis as part of Reckitt’s related divestment of its infant nutrition business in Asia.

John Lewis Partnership and Waitrose Limited’s agreement with Shell

We advised John Lewis Partnership and Waitrose Limited on a long-term arrangement with Shell for the operation of Waitrose branded areas at Shell’s UK petrol station forecourt estate.

ASOS on a brand portfolios purchase

We advised ASOS on the purchase of the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands along with selected assets from the Arcadia group (in administration). The deal represented a significant shift in the UK fashion marketplace and supports the ambitious multibrand platform strategy of the ASOS business.

Virgin Group’s Trade Mark Licence Agreements

We advised Virgin Group in relation to different aspects of various of their Trade Mark Licence Agreements with Virgin businesses for use of the Virgin brand, including the restructuring of the Trade Mark Licence Agreements with: (a) Virgin Money following its takeover by CYBG to reflect the fact that the combined group would use the Virgin Money brand; and (b) Virgin Active following its court sanctioned restructuring plan.

SC Ventures partnership with BC Technology Group

We advised SC Ventures, the innovation and ventures unit of Standard Chartered, on its partnership with BC Technology Group, Asia’s leading digital asset company, to launch a cryptocurrency brokerage and exchange platform for institutional and corporate clients in the UK and Europe.

The Africa Union on a procurement programme

We advised the Africa Union on all aspects of its programme to procure COVID-19 vaccines, over and above the vaccines they are securing through the COVAX Investments Limited facility and other programmes including in respect of IP related issues.

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