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


Myles Jelf



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

“They are highly responsive and efficient – all while working within extremely tight deadlines.”

Legal 500 2021

“The lawyers help us navigate the complex regulatory environment with ease. Their technical expertise and strategic advice are both excellent.”

Legal 500 2021

“The team at Bristows is brilliant.”

Legal 500 2021

“A great team to work with, which includes top-quality competition litigators specialising in TMT, who also have unparalleled knowledge of patent-competition crossover issues.”

Legal 500 2021

“Bristows’ competition team combines specialist expertise in competition law and litigation strategy. The team members are equally adept at representing their clients during administrative proceedings and in the courtroom. “

Legal 500 2021

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Life Sciences - Band 1
Chambers and Partners UK 2020