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.
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With both patent attorneys and solicitors stationed in four offices across the country and a fifth in Munich, Venner Shipley is a persuasive one-stop shop for innovators of all sizes from all corners of the globe. It knows all the right plays in administrative proceedings and currently has 458 ongoing oppositions and appeals in train; it has also become an elite player in the AI space, processing more patent applications in the field than any other European firm. The group has been filing for the Samsung Group for the best part of 40 years; today, this account is entrusted to the capable hands of managing partner and electronics and software head Jan Walaski. A dual-qualified patent attorney and solicitor, he works across a broad base of technologies and increasingly appears in contentious proceedings both before the EPO and in the UK courts. Another key client is British American Tobacco, which the firm has represented since 2007; Siân Gill plays a key role in directing its global patent programme. She heads up the chemical and life sciences team and also puts in resonant performances in oppositions and appeals. Building the portfolio of pharmaceutical start-up Inflazome – and guiding the company through its acquisition by Roche – are Allie Elend and Stephen Johnson, who both hold doctorates in organic chemistry from the University of Oxford and receive glowing feedback: “Allie and Stephen are incredibly knowledgeable, diligent, dedicated and also personable and fun to work with.” Another notable life sciences client is Sanofi, which has engaged software don Paul Derry and mechanical engineer Alex Brown to handle a huge volume of patent applications in relation to injector pen technology. Derry brings insight both from time spent in-house at an electronics and defence company and as a former UKIPO examiner; while Brown’s broad technical acumen covers everything from automotive and aerospace technology to manufacturing and industrial machinery. Also with electronics and engineering know-how are PhD physicists Richard Kennedy – who has a solid understanding of AI and deep learning-based technology – and Pawel Piotrowicz, who “provides thoughtful, practical advice for good value”. He recently represented Douglas Connor (now Bentley Systems) in the first EPO appeal to be livestreamed to the general public. EPO oppositions are likewise the metier of Tim Russell, who stands out for his “wide technical experience and strategic business advice”, and often assists on parallel administrative proceedings across continents. Anchoring the litigation side is barrister James Tumbridge, who “can get up to speed on any patent matter, has a solid knowledge of UK and European patent law, and is skilled at settling cases in a cost-effective way”.