Avoiding litigation is usually a better option than defending it. With their fingers firmly on the pulse of how the courts assess infringement and validity of rights, our contentious IP teams are ideally placed to assist in assessing the risks involved in any new project, no matter what the sector or technology.

Launching a new product or using a new process is seldom risk-free. At least a part of that risk can be managed by an assessment of the IP landscape. Whether the issue arises in a sector where the IP rights concerned are brands, or one where only patents are in issue, we can provide specialists in those areas. For international clearance we can coordinate advice as necessary.

If general freedom to operate advice is required, our contentious IP teams can arrange for relevant searches to be conducted, and then examine the results through the eyes of experienced litigators. Our regulatory team has extensive experience helping clients navigate regulatory requirements and exclusivities. If a particular risk has already been identified on which specialist advice is required, we can provide a bespoke opinion.

If a particular risk is identified, we can advise on the magnitude of that risk, how it might be lessened (for example by modifications), or whether pre-emptive steps might be taken to challenge existing rights and/or seek a declaration of non-infringement. Of particular concern may be that a product launch may be met with an application for an interim injunction. Again our wealth of litigation experience is crucial in giving the right advice.

In some cases it may be desirable to seek a licence to operate. In such cases, our commercial & IP transactions team can advise on the right type of arrangement and conduct, or help in the conduct of, negotiations as required.

In all cases we offer pragmatic, practical advice. We are also happy to accommodate the inevitable budgetary constraints by showing flexibility in fee arrangements.

Key contact

Ian Gruselle

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Myles Jelf

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Experience

Global oil company: review of competitor patents in the fuel additive space prior to the launch of a new fuel product

Major innovative pharmaceutical company

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What others say

“The ‘highly responsive, commercial’ Marek Petecki is a ‘standout partner’ who ‘finds and communicates practicable solutions to issues, and tailors his work carefully’; he is noted for his strength in M&A involving IP and technology. Petecki’s highlights included advising AstraZeneca on the £135m sale of its pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Avonmouth to Avara, and assisted Diageo with its acquisition of a stake in a joint venture established by Piers Adam to develop a new whisky brand.”

Legal 500 2017

“Commended for its ‘excellent service’ and ‘good value for money’, Bristows LLP’s department is strong in the TMT and life sciences sectors; it also has notable experience in the consumer goods space.”

Legal 500 2017

“Life sciences expert Mark Hawes, who heads the group, acted for Albireo on its NASDAQ listing and its $200m reverse merger with Biodel.”

Legal 500 2017

“Corporate partners Mark Hawes and Marek Petecki…are recommended” in the Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology sector.”

Legal 500 2017

“Bristows LLP advises clients across a range of sectors, but has notable expertise in technology, IP and life sciences”

Legal 500 2020

Recent rankings and awards

Life Sciences - Top tier
Chambers and Partners UK 2017