Secerna LLP

IAM Research

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Bronze - Firms: prosecution

“The expertise at Secerna is very high and the quality of the drafting is first rate,” report commentators of this York-based prosecution shop. “Its strength is its ability to take ideas from inventors, quickly grasp and understand the concept, and turn it into a patent application with cleverly structured language.” The group is led by co-founders Jason Boakes and Charlotte Watkins. Engineering, telecommunications and medical devices are fortes for Boakes, a “very astute and knowledgeable patent practitioner who takes great care to ensure the work he produces is well thought through and accurate, and who explains concepts easily and clearly”. “He is very sensitive to cost pressure and works efficiently to maximise value for his clients.” With a focus on the life sciences, Watkins “goes above and beyond the call of duty for her clients, doing more for them than many other European practitioners. She becomes an essential part of their patent teams, puts in the effort to make herself indispensable, grasps the science easily, and is extremely knowledgeable about European practice and case law”.

Firm Profile

Secerna LLP is a rapidly growing boutique IP firm based in the United Kingdom, with proven expertise across a broad remit of technical fields and professional services. The firm has a global reach, representing and protecting the interests of multinational corporations, FTSE and NYSE-listed companies, research organisations, spin-out companies, small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) and innovators worldwide.

Secerna was established in 2011 and has offices in York and Newcastle upon Tyne. Its continued growth can be attributed to a combination of the recruitment of highly experienced qualified attorneys with deep industry and academic experience alongside a dedicated graduate recruitment and development scheme. Secerna continues to build on an established track record to recruit and retain high-quality attorneys and nurture a culture of professionalism and pride in every aspect of the work it conducts. The firm’s attorneys combine robust legal experience with technical expertise and commercial insight to deliver trusted advice. They have diverse professional backgrounds drawing from extensive private practice experience, as well as significant industry experience. The firm strives to create a working environment where all colleagues feel supported and valued.

Secerna represents clients in many aspects of IP-related matters, including drafting and prosecution of patent applications both before the European Patent Office and the UK Intellectual Property Office, and coordination of worldwide patent prosecution via close collaboration with a network of trusted attorneys in overseas territories. The firm has a reputation for excellence in coordinating large global patent portfolios and significant experience in design filing and enforcement strategies. Another area of particular focus is the delivery of in-house prosecution support for blue-chip companies.

The firm is heavily involved in the enforcement and defence of granted patent rights with a growing focus on representing clients in opposition and appeal proceedings at the European Patent Office, often in highly complex, multi-party proceedings. A key area of expertise is the provision of due diligence services, including freedom-to-operate and product clearance advice, validity opinions and support for merger, acquisition and initial public offering activities. Through its experience in exploiting weaknesses in the rights of competitors to the firm’s clients, the Secerna team can mitigate competitor risk and maximise opportunity for clients. Lessons learned at the more contentious end of its advisory work also help the firm to quickly build commercially valuable patent portfolios for start-up and early stage clients when needed.

Within the company, there is a forward-thinking approach to IP protection and enforcement, while maintaining a high-quality, client-focused outlook. The firm offers a tailored approach for clients which is continually adapted to their needs and requirements. In short, Secerna aims to offer an alternative offering to the large IP firms without any compromise. The firm aims to build long-term business relationships with clients, based on exceptional trust, teamwork and value for money. Advice is pragmatic and commercially focused, with each attorney working with clients to create and extract the maximum value from their intellectual property. These credentials make the firm a first port of call for many clients when a complex issue arises.

The firm has an international roster of clients, with world leaders in technology sectors such as green technologies, digital banking solutions, renewable energy technologies, immunotherapies, and infectious disease diagnostics featuring on its client list. The team also represents world-renowned research organisations, universities and progressive SMEs based in the United Kingdom and overseas.

Secerna is proud to support UK innovation and is actively involved in providing IP advice in the form of IP clinics, presentations and mentoring for inventors and start-up companies within the Yorkshire and North East regions.

The attorneys at Secerna have deep knowledge in a number of technology sectors including:

  • electronics and information and communication technology – particularly, augmented reality, robotic surgical systems, digital banking and retail services, financial services and business systems, digital health solutions;
  • advanced engineering, including oil and gas delivery solutions, renewable energy technologies;
  • pharmaceuticals, including conjugate technology and infectious disease therapies; and
  • biotechnology, including immunotherapies, nucleic acid diagnostics, antibody-based biologic therapies, three-dimensional printing and plant sciences.

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