European Patent Attorney at Hynell Patenttjänst AB
Barry Franks graduated from the University of Bath in 1983 with a degree in engineering. He immediately started working in intellectual property and has pursued an exceptionally broad career – both geographically and operatively. After 10 years as an examiner at the European Patent Office (EPO) in The Hague, Mr Franks relocated to Sweden, where he spent two years as an entrepreneur before returning to the IP field as a patent attorney – first in Stockholm, then in Uppsala. After five years’ experience of drafting, prosecuting and using intellectual property for small, medium and large companies in fields as diverse as nappies and fuel rod extractors for nuclear power plants, he was headhunted by global healthcare company Amersham Pharmacia Biotech, which subsequently became part of GE Healthcare. Mr Franks spent seven years there as in-house counsel – first in Sweden and subsequently in the United Kingdom – and was responsible for the company’s European hardware IP portfolio. The commercial outlook and pragmatic decision making skills that he acquired in industry have been put to first-rate use since he returned to Sweden and re-entered private practice as the local manager of an office of 20 people. In addition to advising clients on freedom to operate, due diligence, IP strategy and IP management, Mr Franks began to specialise in oral proceedings before the EPO. As recognition grew of his enthusiasm for – and skill in winning – difficult oral proceedings, he relinquished the role of manager to concentrate on IP matters full time.
In addition to a good working knowledge of French, Dutch and German, Mr Franks is fluent in Swedish – which is much appreciated by local clients when it comes to advising them on the finer points of IP law or discussing strategies.