Karl Barnfather

at Withers & Rogers LLP

Karl Barnfather is a senior attorney at Withers & Rogers LLP, a leading firm of IP specialists, and a member of its electronics, computing and physics group – one of the largest specialist groups in Europe. He is the immediate past chair after nine years in the role.

The use of intellectual property to help to maximise the commercial value of a business is at the core of Dr Barnfather’s advice to the boards of forward-thinking businesses. In his words, intellectual property “is only a means to an end – namely an enabler for the exploitation of a company’s hard-won innovation”. Dr Barnfather has been at the heart of Withers & Rogers’ development of strategic engagement for companies, recognising that what really counts are commercialisation (in whatever form) and the ability of a company’s IP counsel to use the IP system – from concept to commercialisation – to best meet the company’s objectives.

With his significant technical experience, Dr Barnfather’s practice predominantly focuses on software (especially financial instruments and web-based systems), telecoms and medical devices, but also includes aerospace, photonics, high-performance automotive components and sports equipment. His creative approach means that he is particularly adept at taking on difficult software and computer-implemented inventions. He acted as a judge for many years in the electronics category of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Innovation Awards.

Dr Barnfather has represented companies ranging from high-tech university spin-outs to multinational organisations such as Moog Inc, Mitsubishi and WarnerMedia. Across all client sectors, he seeks to ensure that the most appropriate IP protection is obtained to meet clients’ expectations and needs.

Dr Barnfather is regularly invited to speak at international and domestic conferences such as at PraxisUnico and the IET’s inaugural commercialisation and innovation conference. He has chaired panel sessions at American Bar Association and Licensing Executives Society conferences and continues to speak at various meetings – especially on thorny software patent issues and increasingly on AI.

IAM says

Highly accomplished patent practitioner Karl Barnfather is hailed as one of the most innovative thinkers in the IP world. He understands business and strategy as well as he understands the nuances of the law – at the deepest level – and provides creative advice and solutions.

Professional associations

  • CPA
  • EIP
  • LES


  • IP management consultancy
  • Legal
  • M&A
  • Technology transfer

Firm details

Withers & Rogers LLP
2 London Bridge
United Kingdom

Contact details