Powell Gilbert

United Kingdom (England)

85 Fleet Street
United Kingdom (England)


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Key contacts:

Intellectual Property : Tim Powell
Intellectual Property (Life Sciences): Dr Penny Gilbert
Intellectual Property (General): Simon Ayrton

Quick facts:

Established: 2007
Number of Partners: 13
Number of IP Practitioners: 32
Languages: English, Finnish, French, German, Punjabi, Cantonese and Mandarin
Network Memberships: AIPPI, ChIPs, CIPA, EPLAW, INTA, IPLA, LES, LSLA, PTMG and support IP Inclusive.

Powell Gilbert LLP is a specialist London-based IP law firm dedicated to serving clients across the full spectrum of knowledge-driven industries, from cutting-edge tech and life sciences companies to creative and brand-driven businesses. The firm is one of the largest, most innovative and most highly regarded IP teams in the UK, with unrivalled patent litigation experience and a blue-chip brands practice.

The firm advises clients across all technologies and all IP rights, including advising on IP licence disputes and providing freedom-to-operate assessments.

Powell Gilbert’s IP litigation team includes 13 partners, 19 associates and a highly experienced litigation support team.

The firm includes some of Europe’s leading patent litigators and the technical expertise at Powell Gilbert is second to none. Almost all lawyers have technical backgrounds, including many with PhDs or master’s degrees in relevant scientific disciplines.

The team appears regularly in cases before the UK patents courts at all levels, including representing clients on appeal before the UK Supreme Court, where it has appeared in a number of precedent-setting cases in recent years.

With a wealth of experience gained from acting in multi-national disputes, Powell Gilbert is frequently involved in devising European patent litigation strategies, acting as co-ordinating counsel and working with local teams to to put strategies into effect and to ensure consistency of approach.

Practice areas

The firm advises across the full spectrum of IP rights, including patents, brands, design rights, copyright, passing off, confidential information and plant variety rights. Its experience in patent litigation ranges across all technical fields, from acting in the earliest biotechnology patent cases to involvement in the smartphone wars and leading cases on FRAND licensing disputes. It has appeared in many of the most technically complex and legally challenging cases in the UK patent courts and has also represented clients in referrals to the European Court of Justice and the European Free Trade Area Court in relation the requirements for the grant of SPCs. The firm also represents clients in smaller claims before the UK IP Enterprise Court.

Although focused on litigation, the firm is also experienced in alternative dispute resolution, including mediation and arbitration, particularly in relation to patent and technology licences.

International experience

A distinguishing feature of Powell Gilbert is the expertise and experience of its lawyers in coordinating complex cases and successfully guiding clients through multinational patent litigation, devising and coordinating pan-European strategies.

The firm has played a central role in cases before many overseas courts, including in continental Europe, Scandinavia, the United States (district court and International Trade Commission proceedings), Australia, China, Korea and Japan.

The firm also frequently represents clients in European Patent Office opposition proceedings and in other registry proceedings, including representing clients before the UK IPO.
With an eye to co-ordination strategies, Powell Gilbert’s lawyers are familiar with the opportunities, and the potential threats for the unwary, that litigation in the Unified Patents Court (UPC) may offer, should it come into effect. Members of the firm were actively involved in commenting on the rules of procedure of the UPC and have contributed to training materials for UPC judges, including participation in mock trials.

Key cases:

  • Warner Lambert v Actavis (pregabalin)
  • Regeneron v Kymab (antibodies/transgenic mice)
  • Unwired Planet v Huawei (smartphones/FRAND)
  • Eli Lilly v Human Genome Sciences (neutrokine alpha/SPC)
  • Ocado v AutoStore (robotics)
  • Philip Morris v Nicoventures (heat-not-burn tobacco)
  • lllumina v MGI (gene sequencing technology)
  • Edwards Lifesciences v Meril / Abbott v Edwards (transcatheter heart valves)
  • Advanced Bionics v MED-EL (cochlear implants)
  • Royalty Pharma v Boehringer Ingelheim (licence dispute – German law)
  • Vestel v HEVC Advance (HEVC codec/FRAND)
  • IPCom v Xiaomi (telecoms/FRAND)
  • Biogen v AbbVie (adalimumab)
  • GSK v Fibrogen (anti-anaemia drugs)
  • Merck v GSK (pneumococcal vaccines)
  • Chugai v UCB (patent licence dispute, antibody technology)
  • Illumina v Ariosa (non-invasive pre-natal testing)
  • Boston v Edwards (heart valves)
  • CommScope v SOLiD (digital distributed antenna systems)
  • Promptu v Sky and Comcast (voice recognition systems)
  • Coloplast v Salts (ostomy devices)
  • Garmin v Philips; PulseOn Oy v Garmin (wearable tech)
  • Rovi v Virgin Media (cable television)
  • Apple v Nokia; HTC v Apple (smartphones)
  • LG v Sony (Blu-ray disc technology)
  • Nuance v Vlingo (voice recognition)
  • Mölnlycke v BSN medical (wound dressings)
  • Philips v Alba (MPEG-2 digital compression)
  • Nichia v SSCL (LEDs)
  • Monsanto v Cargill (genetically modified soy beans)
  • Aerotel v Wavecrest (computer programs)
  • Dr Reddy’s v Eli Lilly (olanzapine)
  • Yeda v ImClone (Erbitux – entitlement; SPCs)

Key IP Areas
Patent contentious, Life sciences IP, Intellectual property (contentious), Copyright & related rights, Designs, Patent, Trade mark

Key Sector Expertise
Telecommunication, Technology hardware, Semiconductors, Robotics, Retail, Renewable energy, Pharmaceutical, Medical device, Mechanical, Life sciences, Furniture, Food & beverage, Fashion & luxury goods, Electronics, Automotive, Biotechnology, Chemical, Artificial intelligence