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Your invention is a valuable commercial asset which should be protected by a patent
If you've had an idea and want to turn it into a commercial asset by patenting it, our team of UK and European patent attorneys are here to help you, whatever the technology. Patents provide protection for technical innovation in products, processes, materials and machinery. They can also protect software-related developments. Investment in research, development and marketing should all be protected and patents can prove particularly useful for this purpose. Although they are commonly referred to as an intangible asset, patents can generate revenue streams for their owners and can be sold or mortgaged much like any tangible asset. For instance, protecting new concepts via patent may prevent competitors from entering a particular technical space, thereby potentially giving the patent owner an edge over its competitors.
At WP Thompson, we know the value of securing a patent and how important they are as business assets. This is why our advice to clients always takes into consideration the potential financial value of your invention and underpins our approach to the scope of protection our clients require.
Licensing patents you own for use by third parties is another method to generate revenue streams which some clients employ. This is known as out-licensing. However, innovators can also turn the IP of others into commercial products by licensing third-party patents - known as in-licensing. Additionally, patent owners should consider enforcement of existing patent rights as a potential revenue stream.
Your patent portfolio - even those which are yet to reach a commercial stage - is valuable and as such, you should take steps to police it to protect your assets from possible infringement. Our skilled and experienced Patent Attorneys can offer all the help and advice you need to keep the value of your ideas safe. Our team of Attorneys offer our clients a comprehensive range of patent services across all technical disciplines, including chemistry, chemical engineering, electronics, software, fintech, AI, mechanical engineering, medicinal chemistry, medical devices, physics, pharma and biotech.
In addition to the drafting, filing and prosecuting of patent applications, we offer advice and assistance in the strategic assessment of patent portfolios, due diligence investigations, and the provision of patent audits. Our attorneys have broad experience in litigation and contentious issues involving questions of validity, infringement and ownership in particular. We also provide input in relation to commercial negotiations, particularly those involving licences and assignments. Whatever your sector or invention, we have a dedicated team who can provide help, advice and expertise to safeguard your ideas and ensure you can exploit their commercial value to the fullest.
General - 135kb PDF Senior Leaders' Pledge
General - 136kb PDF Senior Leaders' Pledge
General - 136kb PDF Senior Leaders' Pledge
General - 82kb PDF Senior Leaders' Pledge
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The majority of our team members have advanced degrees specialising in electronics and telecommunications technology areas. Some have industrial experience in the telecoms industry, and strong research, development and academic experience in relevant technical fields from the UK's top universities.
Our core electronics expertise resides in technologies including semiconductor device manufacture, fabrication and automation of PCB design, smartphone technologies, radio frequency circuitry including antenna design, GPS and IPS systems. We also specialise in touchscreen and display devices, dash-mounted digital video capture technology, multi-modal biometric systems, robotics, virtual reality and artificial reality imaging devices, and body impact based trauma sensing technology.
Our team is astute in handling high-value and complex contentious litigation and dispute matters as well as patent infringement cases. We have advised clients involved in multimillion pound legal disputes in the field of telecommunication semiconductor chip use. We provide in-depth freedom to operate opinions and help strategise patent portfolio management for a number of our electronics and telecoms clients.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a family of technologies powered by Machine Learning (ML), which has seen exceptional growth both in its development and in its application in day-to-day life.
AI technologies are typically focused around the classification of data into identified groups, typically brought to bear on problems such as pattern recognition tools or algorithms for identifications of data features - for example finding a human face in a selfie. Similarly, AI can be applied to produce new content based upon patterns which it learnt from the data it was trained on.
In the UK and Europe, the patentability of software and computer implemented inventions is a fast-evolving area with both the EPO and UKIPO issuing regular updates in their approaches to examination of not only generic software-type inventions, but also AI and ML applications.
The core technologies of ML include hardware for implementing neural networks such as dedicated neural hardware found in mobile phones, and specially developed software for applications to large and nuanced datasets.
Our approach to successful prosecution of applications based in AI or ML is to provide as rich a disclosure as possible. We achieve this by working closely with the inventor and discussing the invention in fine detail. When discussing your invention or business model, we will consider what other forms of protection may be applicable to protect your revenue streams. In the field of AI, it is often the case that ancillary elements such as the design of the user interface, the method of producing training data, or the method of training an ML framework itself may be protectable.
Our professionals have experience in drafting patent applications and successfully obtaining patents for a variety of ML-enabled technologies such as facial recognition, DNA computing, and image processing. We also have experience in prosecuting applications for devices and systems providing the requisite architecture for these technologies, such as techniques for manufacturing dedicated neural network hardware.
Expansive in scope, technically complex and highly competitive, the modern chemical industry includes everything from essential consumer goods to large-scale industrial processes, from cosmetic pigments to petrochemicals and batteries for green energy. As even the smallest innovations can make a big impact in the marketplace, leveraging IP protection has never been more important for businesses to create new revenue streams and protect existing ones.
Finding the right IP attorneys who can understand your business and its commercial needs in the sector is therefore essential. Our team at WP Thompson combines a broad base of experience in academic and industrial chemical sectors with a keen commercial awareness and understanding of domestic and international IP law, to provide world-class advice and comprehensive IP protection services for any business.
We harness our firm's experience in domestic and worldwide patent prosecution, EPO oppositions and appeals, and UK litigation to evolve and improve our innovative IP protection and portfolio management strategies. Our patent drafting and prosecution strategies provide the best possible protection for your business.
By providing up-to-date advice from our experienced team of Attorneys, along with wide-reaching expertise in patent and trade-mark protection to back it up, WP Thompson can make the difference to businesses looking to enter or maintain their position in the chemical sector.
At WP Thompson, our team of Attorneys have qualifications in a variety of areas under the engineering umbrella. We are experienced in drafting and prosecuting patent applications in a wide range of engineering technologies including automotive, electronics, subsea technology, medical devices, optics, environmental, sports and training products, materials, as well as traditional mechanical engineering technologies.
Our experts tailor their advice based on the requirements of each client, working with individual inventors and start-ups to build their IP portfolios and helping our established multinational clients to achieve a broad scope of protection for their engineering technology.
Our SME clients value our ability to identify the 'core' of their inventions and to obtain robust, enforceable patents. We work closely with the inventors to capture the fine detail of the technology and to understand what exactly they wish to protect.
As well as providing strong technical expertise, our engineering clients value our business-focused approach, which is firmly directed towards delivering tangible commercial benefit and maximising the potential of our clients' intellectual property worldwide.
Many of the Attorneys in our engineering group have experience in industry, and this first-hand experience ensures that we can offer strong technical and commercial insights to our clients.
Whilst patents generally provide the strongest form of protection for engineering technologies, we also advise our clients in protecting their inventions via registered designs, in order to ensure that all aspects of the technology are covered.
Our ability to assist clients extends to the management and enforcement of their IP after grant of a patent. Our team of Attorneys is adept in managing IP transactions to extract the maximum benefit for our clients. Our litigation experts are highly experienced in providing advice on patent infringement and freedom-to-operate, to ensure that our clients have peace of mind when exploiting their technology.
WP Thompson has a long and varied history in securing IP protection across medical technology industries. Our multidisciplinary team brings support and expertise to assist our clients with protecting all manner of medical devices and apparatus, both in the UK and around the world, whether dealing with cutting edge prosthetic and orthotic devices to simple solutions for saving lives. We work with clients in areas as diverse as surgical apparatus and drug delivery devices to novel materials for medical applications and means for ensuring patient safety and infection control.
We work with clients ranging from large multinationals selling millions of units of dozens of products each year to small start-ups with just one or two products seeking to enter the commercial world of medical technologies. Our team can provide the right level of support for you, to enable you to best develop, establish and grow your medical technologies business at all stages of its life.
From start to finish, our Team is here to provide you with all the tools you need from initial and ongoing IP strategy advice to help you plan for the future. We have expert patent drafting skills to provide you with a solid base to protect your innovation as well as tailor-made and client-led analysis of patent prosecution actions to give exactly the support you need to secure the best protection in the UK and abroad.
WP Thompson is here to help your business flourish. Our trade mark and design experts provide complementary IP protection to support your brand and product identity alongside its technological aspects; through to an active Contentious Matters Team who have a wealth of experience to help you enforce your IP rights, defend against any challenges raised to help you maintain your rights. They can also advise on the establishment of licensing contracts and settlement agreements to help you commercialise your intellectual property.
Software forms an integral part of almost every business, regardless of technological area. It is no surprise then that patent protection for software related developments is highly sought after.
The problem is that this desire to protect software is, on the face of it, at odds with both UK and European patent law which state that patent protection is not possible for computer software as such. Understandably, this is often taken to mean that software cannot be protected at all. However, this is not the case. The UK and European patent offices have developed a stable approach to the determination of software patent eligibility which yields reasonably predictable results, requiring computer software to provide a new 'technical solution' to a 'technical problem' in order to overcome the exclusion.
The term 'technical' is crucial here since case law establishes that only technical features can contribute to patentability. Unfortunately, there is no satisfactory definition of what a 'technical' feature actually is. However, there is a large body of case law which tells us what it is not, and this is where the extensive experience of our Attorneys comes in. Our Attorneys draw on their many years of experience of prosecuting software related patent applications in the UK and Europe to identify and make the technical aspects of your software invention more apparent.
Many of the Attorneys in our Software Team have a technical background in computer science, machine learning and electrical engineering, giving them an unparalleled depth of knowledge required to understand the technical processes underlying the software. As such, our Team can provide you with tailored insight as to where your software related invention falls on the patentable – non-patentable spectrum, and help to identify those technical aspects required to secure strong patent protection for your software-related invention.
The Life Sciences sector is one of rapid advancement and growth. Since the turn of the century, annual worldwide revenue in the pharmaceutical industry alone has grown by more than a trillion dollars. With the expansion of such large potential international markets and demand for products growing, novel inventions and the intellectual property protecting them can form extremely valuable additions to company portfolios.
Our team's knowledge of the sector and its various disciplines is built upon years of first-hand, international research in, and understanding of, multi-disciplinary collaborations, as well as our extensive legal expertise. With practical experience in areas from microbial wastewater management to parasitology and genomic sequencing, we offer our clients the insight, knowledge and skills that allow us to identify the key inventive concepts of their inventions. This allows us to acquire for them the broadest protection possible for everything from iterative advances to flagship portfolio products.
We have helped countless clients in the pharmaceuticals industry acquire IP protection for a wide range of drugs. These include medicaments suitable for use in treatment of genetic disorders and cancers, as well as the processes required to prepare them. Furthermore, we can help our clients benefit from the knowledge that the industry thrives on newly identified applications and dosage regimens of known drugs, thus rewarding their continued efforts to advance the various disciplines the industry encompasses.
In a field where the right market-authorised medicinal product could potentially be worth millions of pounds per day, we can also help our clients acquire and maintain Supplementary Protection Certificates to ensure maximal longevity in, and revenue resulting from, their intellectual property.
Beyond pharmaceuticals, WP Thompson has been involved in protecting biotechnological breakthroughs which have contributed to the dramatic advances made in a variety of fields over the decades. These range from human and animal disease vector disruptors, through probiotic and prebiotic compositions, to processes for isolating health supplements and food additives such as natural sweeteners.
We can also guide our clients through the delicate balance that must be struck when acquiring protection of, for example, synthetic nucleic acid and protein sequences and their uses, in order to achieve a level of protection that benefits both our clients and the advancement of their field as a whole.
With backgrounds in Materials Science, Chemistry and Engineering, our Attorney team brings together experience from both industry-leading companies and academic research at leading universities. Our expertise and experience in these fields means that not only do we understand the technology, but also that we develop inventive and commercially driven IP strategies for our clients.
We have a wide and deep range of experience in the fields of electrode materials, metallurgy, additive manufacturing, fibre-reinforced resin composites, superconductors, ceramics, semiconductors, OLEDs, fuel cells, lithium-ion batteries and biocompatible polymers and other biomaterials for drug delivery and medical devices.
Our team is experienced not only with the EPO opposition and appeal procedure, but also equally equipped to manage high volume portfolios efficiently and effectively, advising on and adopting strategies that streamline workloads and ensure cost effectiveness. Whether it be pre-grant or post-grant, our team provides advice in targeted ways that enables our clients to secure the right strategic outcomes.
From climate change and conflict to global population growth, the world is facing new challenges in terms of food security. The growing need for the development of new varieties of crops and other plants to meet those challenges, as well as simple demand for customer choice within commercial markets, is being met by plant breeders the world over. Those same plant breeders want to be sure that their rights in respect of the fruits of their labour are protected from infringement.
At WP Thompson, our Life Sciences team has years of experience in acquiring protection for plant breeders' intellectual property. Whilst more generalised methods and modifications, including transgenic species, may be eligible for patent protection, over the years many of our clients have developed specific plant varieties, which instead require an alternative form of protection.
Individual plant varieties which are distinct, uniform and stable (DUS), are not eligible for patent protection. Therefore, our clients who develop these varieties rely upon our expertise in acquiring for them the protection afforded by Plant Breeder's Rights in the UK and Community Plant Variety Rights in the EU, as well as equivalent rights in other regions.
As any plant breeder will be aware, the rigorous testing conducted by the UK's Animal and Plant Health Agency can last several years to ensure plant varieties meet the DUS criteria, as can the testing conducted by equivalent bodies in other jurisdictions. Throughout this process, we provide an open and collaborative service that ensures our clients enjoy the widest-reaching and most cost-effective protection necessary for their specific needs.
We have experience in acquiring plant breeder's rights in jurisdictions stretching from the UK to Australia. Our clients can be assured that the plant varieties in which they have invested time, resources and effort to develop, are protected and that their exclusive right to breed those varieties are in place and enforceable, both at home and abroad.
The site of Alan Turing's pioneering codebreaking achievements during World War II recently hosted another momentous gathering—the 2023 Bletchley Park AI Summit.
Held on November 1-2, 2023, and convened by the UK government, the summit brought together government representatives and industry leaders from major AI powers to address the opportunities and risks posed by advanced artificial intelligence.Full story
We at WP Thompson are proud to recognise the contributions of our Dr Julian Potter and Ranveer Riyat in the authorship of a new book titled "Artificial Intelligence and Patents: An International Perspective on Patenting AI-Related Inventions."Full story
On the 1st of November this year the European Patent Office’s (EPO’s) 10-day rule will come to an end, removing the safeguard for late filed submissions whilst providing a more consistent and simplified approach to the calculation of deadlines in Europe.Full story
A significant shift in the assessment of the validity of priority claims has been confirmed by the EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA) in the handing down of its combined decision for G1/22 and G2/22. In addition to confirming the competency of the EPO to assess the validity of Paris Convention priority claims, the new decision lessens the restrictions on the right to claim priority in European applications stemming from PCT applications which have been filed with different applicants or groups of applicants listed for different designated states, and which claim priority to an earlier application identifying only one of these applicants or groups of applicants.Full story
Superconductors are a class of materials that display a number of exotic phenomena, most famously their lack of resistivity under the right conditions, allowing them to carry electrical current with no resistance.
These materials have many scientific applications, where high currents are desired (for example magnets for MRI machines) or where high sensitivity is achieved using superconductors to eliminate noise.Full story
A referral, G1/23 has been made to the Enlarged Board of Appeal to clarify when a disclosure to the public is an enabling disclosure via the interpretation of Decision G1/92.
The established case law for deciding the extent to which the prior use of a product is “made available to the public” stems from an earlier decision of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (G1/92).
A corporate report has been published on UK IPO website outlining what users can expect with the rollout of the new One IPO patents service in spring 2024.Full story
Today, 1st June 2023, marks the long-awaited commencement of the Unified Patents Court (UPC) in Europe. As of today, newly granting European patents can be validated in the form of the new “unitary patent” (UP), as well as in the classical manner for individual EPC member states. The UP will cover 17 EU member states which have ratified the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA), namely: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, and Sweden. In the future it is hoped that more states will ratify the UPCA so as to provide an even more extensive pan-European patent.Full story
With the new Unified Patent Court (UPC) due to commence operations from 1st June 2023, and unitary patents to become available for the first time, the current sunrise period is approaching its end.Full story
On 5 May 2023 the EPO published its evaluation of the feedback on this year’s EPO Guidelines for Examination, which was discussed at the latest meeting of the SACEPO Working Party on Guidelines. The working party discussed the responses to an online survey for interested parties earlier this year. The survey gave interested parties the opportunity to comment on aspects of the new 2023 Guidelines.Full story
With more than 70 countries across the world setting net zero greenhouse gas emissions targets, there is an increasing global effort to mitigate the impact of these gases, released by human industry, into the environment. A key aspect of this goal is to identify methods of reducing levels of greenhouse gases, such as CO2, that are already present in the atmosphere.Full story
Life Sciences, Chemistry
A recent High Court decision,  EWHC 2847 (Pat), between claimants Teva and defendants Novartis provides clarity on how the inventive concept of a patent is to be interpreted under UK law.
Hacon HHJ, who heard the case, ruled that the invention of a patent is defined specifically by the claims, thus any features present in the claims must contribute to or embody the inventive concept of the invention and any features not present within the claims correspondingly cannot.Full story
Resources and guidance relating to the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court
The EPO has announced an increase in their official fees, which will be effective from 1 April 2023. The fees will increase by roughly 5-6% across the board, including the filing, search, examination, designation and grant fees. The list of the revised fee rates can be found here.Full story
ServicesPatentsTrade MarksDesignCopyrightLitigationIP CommercialisationIP StrategyUnitary Patent & UPC
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