IAM Research

The Patent 1000 focuses exclusively on patent practice and has firmly established itself as the definitive 'go-to' resource for those seeking world-class legal patent expertise.

Bronze - Firms: litigation

Silver - Firms: prosecution

Since its head-turning merger in 2017, CMS has gone from strength to strength on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide. The calibre of its clientele bears this out: for example, Microsoft has enlisted it for a significant volume of its original drafting work; while Microsoft-owned LinkedIn also looks to it for smart portfolio management. Taking care of both instructions are Helen Wallis and Rachel Free. Wallis is a computer hardware and software and telecommunications specialist who is “responsive, generous with her time and good at communicating with US counsel”; while AI sage Free is “efficient and precise in pinpointing issues at the heart of complex IP matters”. In the life sciences, the group has appeared in a series of EPO oppositions for Kymab under the hawkish eyes of Robert Stephen and Jane Hollywood. Leading the patent attorney group, molecular genetics PhD Stephen provides prescient counsel relating to vaccines, antibodies and antibody protection, and SPCs. Also holding a PhD – this time in plant sciences – Hollywood “has a huge amount of technical expertise. She always explains everything extremely thoroughly and gives a good overview of all the key factors”. Fellow life sciences ace Jane Evenson “comes up to speed quickly and thoroughly on the technology, and can always be counted on to be prepared and offer insightful, commercially relevant guidance”. On the contentious front, the firm recently secured a remarkable damages award in the tens of millions for Sandoz in litigation against Napp Pharmaceutical Holdings. The win was orchestrated by patent litigation head Gareth Morgan, together with Sarah Innes and Caitlin Heard. Morgan – who is as comfortable in the courtroom as at the deal table – is intimately familiar with the healthcare sector, with a fine-grained appreciation of SPC issues and pharmaceutical regulatory law. Innes previously worked in-house at a major pharmaceutical company and has a “great understanding of the generics market”; while Heard splits her time across the pharmaceutical and high-technology sectors, and acted in one of the first SEP and FRAND disputes ever heard in the English courts.

Recommended - Firms: transactions

Silver - Firms: litigation

Long esteemed for its transactional nous, the Scottish IP team of global juggernaut CMS has been ramping up its contentious capabilities since the 2019 arrival of litigator Neeraj Thomas and can now claim to be a true one-stop shop. Accredited as an IP specialist by the Law Society of Scotland, Thomas has been racking up the wins in high-stakes patent suits at the Court of Session on behalf of a legion of energy, transport and biotechnology players. For IP-rich deals, look no further than Scottish and English-qualified Carina Healy, who has spent more than two decades sewing up strategic IP licensing and commercialisation projects. She recently assisted renewables pioneer MacRebur on a range of collaboration and licensing agreements, and also has many fans in the life sciences.

Recommended - Firms

The largest law firm in Europe, CMS has more than 70 offices across the globe. In China, the skilled team is led by Nick Beckett who works closely with colleagues at the newly established Hong Kong IP practice to offer comprehensive patent services throughout the Greater China region. The group’s capacity was recently bolstered with the addition of an internationally experienced qualified Chinese patent attorney. A total of four partners and five associates are supported by a technology and innovation centre, which assists on patent analysis, freedom to operate and validity searches. What impresses foreign associates is “Nick and his team’s advice that is consistently clear and always leaves clients satisfied with the scope and the fees”, leading them to “wholeheartedly recommend their services”. Beckett himself is described as “very pragmatic and proactive with an excellent grasp of the science and relevant sector, as well as the patent prosecution process. He has the ability to bring out the key decision points without getting bogged down in the science so that non-scientists can make the best decisions.”

Bronze - Firms: litigation and transactions

“We chose CMS for its comprehensive approach and expertise within tax, competition and IP law,” enthuses one satisfied client. The holistic, joined-up counsel dispensed by the Polish arm of this eminent multinational firm has attracted the attentions of a glittering clientele, featuring the likes of Chanel, Bayer and Microsoft. The team has also been acting for HP of late in multiple enforcement proceedings against a seller of ink cartridges in a heavy-duty matter relating to the protection of eight of its patents. Tomasz Koryzma and Aleksandra Kuźnicka-Cholewa took the lead on this brief. Department head Koryzma “works practically and efficiently, with a view to keeping costs low. He responds to questions promptly and produces results that put him at the very top of his profession”. IAM Patent 1000 debutante Kuźnicka-Cholewa “is a sharp and knowledgeable lawyer who focuses her efforts on client relationships and tirelessly defends their interests”.

Bronze - Firms: litigation

A new entrant to the IAM Patent 1000 this year, CMS Albiñana & Suárez de Lezo has been making waves on the legal market since it brought former Gómez Acebo & Pombo lawyer María González Gordon on board in late 2019. Thanks to this smart move, the firm has significantly bolstered its contentious offering and carved itself a foothold in the life sciences; it is now a premier destination for those seeking holistic counsel. “In complex cases, the CMS team analyses every shred of evidence and prepares detailed reports,” observes one client, who goes on to praise its practitioners for their “quality, agility and empathy”. Eli Lilly and Company is one company which has enjoyed the full benefit of this combination of late: González has been assisting it with the launch of its new medical products and applications.

Bronze - Firms: litigation and transactions

A new entrant in the IAM Patent 1000 this year, the Austrian outpost of CMS is a vital cog in the firm’s extensive network spanning 43 countries worldwide; this enviable reach proves particularly expedient on multi-jurisdictional mandates. In Vienna, the practice is a discerning choice for patent infringement litigation and licensing briefs, courtesy of its granular understanding of SPC, SEP and FRAND issues. Leading the troop is Egon Engin-Deniz, who showcases his creative, commercially savvy instincts in cross-border disputes in the agro-pharma and electronics sectors.

Firm Profile

The pandemic that will define 2020 and 2021 has put many types of intellectual property in the spotlight – particularly in the life sciences. Who will develop an effective vaccine or vaccines for Covid-19, and how will their IP rights be balanced against the world’s urgent need to exploit those rights? The same question will be asked in relation to any drugs that appear to be effective against the virus. But 2020 has highlighted many other aspects of intellectual property.

New systems are being developed for tracking and tracing not only infections, but also the movements of individuals. Remote working on an unprecedented scale is boosting a host of related technologies. Broadcasters are finding new ways of creating content, and businesses are discovering new techniques for remote engagement with their customers. Some IP owners that has traditionally been based in the ‘old’ world are striving to find ways to monetise it online. The development of dozens of technologies has been boosted – the CEO of Microsoft believes we have seen two years of digital transformation in two months.

At the other extreme, some distressed businesses, ranging from retailers to publishers, are focusing on their IP rights because those rights are among their few remaining assets with any real value. The crisis will likely see some well-known businesses fail, but some of their brands will re-emerge under new ownership. Some franchise agreements and other contracts that include IP will unexpectedly come up for renegotiation. If lockdown or other restrictions have slowed your R&D or design development, are you at risk of losing out in a first-to-file system? Or perhaps you are running a platform that suddenly has insufficient content? Have you made the necessary technical, environmental restrictions to qualify for protection?

Whatever your opportunities or challenges may be in our strange new world, an effective IP strategy will include both commercialisation and enforcement. CMS can help you devise and execute that strategy.

Our dedicated team of over 450 specialist lawyers, scientists and patent attorneys can draw on a wealth of experience and deep understanding to meet your business needs – experience gained in acting for some of the world’s best-known brands, from banks to tech and media companies, and life science businesses to major fast-moving consumer goods manufacturers. We handle the full lifecycle of IP assets, in both contentious and non-contentious work. Whether you own intellectual property or license it, we can help you maximise the value of the assets in your portfolio, even in such difficult times as these.

Brand builders

Trademarks play an essential role for both businesses and their consumers. CMS advises on all elements of trademarks and has conducted the second largest number of UK trademark hearings over the past three years. This extensive experience enables us to advise on trademark registrations, oppositions and portfolio management, globally and locally.

If disputes arise, we are there to guide you through the litigation process, whether you are pressing or defending a claim locally or across national borders.

Innovation protectors

The CMS patent attorney practice disrupts the traditional boutique approach to provide a service that meets the needs of modern business practice.

High-profile and global life sciences and hi-tech companies trust us to manage their patent portfolios. Their portfolios are under constant scrutiny – our clients know their assets are in the very best hands. Our attorneys have long-held passions for the sectors we work in, with many having PhDs and/or industry experience in their chosen area.

Portfolios are actively managed using a CMS-built database that gives clients direct access to their data while enabling us to proactively manage every case.

Creativity defenders

Creativity comes in all forms. It may be a new manufacturing process, an innovative piece of code or how an existing piece of tech can be repurposed for improved usability. This creativity deserves the best defence. Whether it is dealing with trade secrets or applying the latest copyright legislation, the CMS team can handle all matters relating to the copyright and infringements. We establish ownership of copyrighted works and register copyright, we police potential infringements and have substantial experience in copyright litigation.

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