Powell Gilbert

United Kingdom (England)

85 Fleet Street
United Kingdom (England)


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Key contacts:

Intellectual Property, Partner : Tim Powell
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Intellectual Property (Life Sciences), Partner: Dr Penny Gilbert
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Intellectual Property (General), Partner: Simon Ayrton
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Quick facts:

Established: 2007
Number of Partners: 13
Number of Associates: 21
Languages: English, Finnish, French, German, Punjabi, Cantonese and Mandarin
Network Memberships: AIPPI, AIPLA, ChIPs, CIPA, EPLAW, INTA, IPLA, IPO, LES, LSLA, PTMG and support IPInclusive

Powell Gilbert LLP is one of the most innovative and most highly regarded IP teams in Europe, with unrivalled patent litigation experience and a blue-chip brands practice.

The firm includes some of Europe’s leading patent litigators, with 13 partners, 21 associates and a highly experienced litigation support team. Almost all lawyers have technical backgrounds, including many with PhDs or master’s degrees in relevant scientific disciplines. The firm advises clients across all technologies and IP rights, including advising on IP licence disputes and providing FTO assessments.

In UK litigation, the team routinely represents clients before the patents courts at all levels, including 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 multinational patent disputes, addressing issues of validity and infringement, Powell Gilbert is frequently involved in devising European patent litigation strategies, acting as co-ordinating counsel and working alongside local teams to put those strategies into effect and ensure consistency of approach. The Unified Patents Court (UPC) offers an additional forum for patent enforcement and Powell Gilbert is assisting clients in the preparation of offensive and defensive strategies. This includes the preparation of pleadings and evidence, as well as assembling the most effective teams of local counsel for the technologies in issue and the UPC division of choice.

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 on supplementary protection certificates (SPC). The firm also represents clients in smaller claims before the UK IP Enterprise Court and represents clients in European Patent Office opposition proceedings and other registry proceedings, including the UK Intellectual Property Office.

Although focused on litigation, the firm is experienced in alternative dispute resolution, including mediation and arbitration.

International experience

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

Powell Gilbert’s lawyers are familiar with the opportunities, and the potential threats for the unwary, that litigation in the UPC offers.

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 (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)
  • 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

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