Patents - Life sciences


We have one of the largest and most widely respected life sciences teams in Europe. Our superior knowledge and expertise have made us the number one choice for patent protection and advice in this area.

Patents - Life sciences

The patent attorneys in our life sciences team have technical backgrounds that span numerous biological and biochemical fields. Their unparalleled strength in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors has brought Mewburn Ellis worldwide recognition.

Number one choice for biologic drug IP protection

We were the European representatives for half of the top ten best-selling biologic drugs of 2012/2013 and we were also involved in an opposition against another. The combined annual sales for these drugs amounted to around $40 billion. We are consistently regarded as a leading choice for IP protection among the world’s top pharmaceutical companies.

In addition, we have an experienced team working to obtain Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs), which will effectively extend the protection of patented active ingredients present in pharmaceutical or plant protection products. Our Plant Variety Rights (PVR) team is also available to help those clients working in the agricultural science sector.

Whilst benefitting from our work for very large multi-national corporate clients, we also enjoy working for much smaller organisations. We are very experienced at drafting new patent applications and we often find ourselves acting for spin-out companies – companies that have been set up on the basis of technology protected by patents that we have drafted.

Excellent reputation for opposition & appeal work

Our life sciences team has an excellent reputation for its opposition & appeal work before the European Patent Office. As well as defending cases they have prosecuted, the team often work on cases that are transferred to them after prosecution by other firms because of their outstanding success rate.

It is not just our patent attorneys who have genuine technical insight. Members of our legal services team also have life science degrees. In addition to providing transactional advice, our legal services team is able to advise on IP-associated regulatory issues.

Our dispute resolution team is also on hand to offer assistance if contentious matters arise. Some of our life sciences patent attorneys have been extensively involved in UK and US litigation was well as interference proceedings.

We are actively involved in the Life Sciences committee of the UK Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) and attend regular meeting with the EPO to discuss current issues.

Obtaining and enforcing life science patents

We cover all aspects of obtaining and enforcing patents in life sciences including:

  • Obtaining patent rights in the UK and Europe
  • Defining and opposing patent rights during EPO opposition proceedings
  • Enforcing patent rights in the UK and Europe
  • Assisting with transactions involving patent rights
  • Advising on contentious matters involving patent rights
  • Searching and monitoring third party patent rights
  • Providing opinions on the validity and infringement of patent rights
  • Providing advice on the patentability of innovations
  • Providing freedom-to-operate opinions prior to market entry
  • Providing business advice on the management of existing patent portfolios and future filing strategies
  • Carrying out due diligence for vendors and investors
  • Providing training on all IP matters including patents
  • Providing in-house assistance
  • Patent renewal fee payment