We have one of the largest groups of intellectual property lawyers in the UK that specialises in advising on and negotiating standalone intellectual property transactions. Clients seek our support on a wide range of commercial arrangements involving the creation, development and commercialisation of their most valuable assets - their inventions, ideas, technologies, brands, designs, software and content.

We work with a wide variety of clients, ranging from start-ups and SMEs to household names and global multinationals to academic institutions, charities and government bodies. Our clients come from every business sector including life sciences, IT, electronics, telecommunications, industrial, chemical, education, charities, publishing, digital media, branding and consumer products.

We advise on many different types of transactions that involve the creation, development and commercialisation of intellectual property, the majority of which are cross-border. The matters we advise on include anything from high value research collaboration and licensing deals, the licensing and merchandising of brands, through to the intellectual property aspects of corporate or joint venture transactions. Many of our lawyers have extensive technical qualifications and industry experience.

Details on some of the areas in which we have particular expertise are as follows:

  • We regularly advise on a wide range of research and development, collaboration, joint venture and other arrangements under which new discoveries, technologies, designs and content are developed. We help clients to ensure that the risks in such arrangements are allocated appropriately, that their existing intellectual property rights are sufficiently protected, and that they secure the ownership and licence rights that they need to exploit the results.
  • One of our core strengths is advising on and negotiating life sciences partnering arrangements to help develop and bring new patient treatments and medical devices to market. We advise on agreements of all types and at all stages of a product’s lifecycle, from research and development arrangements and early stage licensing, through to manufacturing, supply and distribution contracts and consultancy agreements with healthcare professionals – working closely with Bristows’ regulatory, data protection and competition law teams to address all related compliance issues.
  • We regularly provide opinions on the interpretation, scope, enforceability and termination of licences and other agreements involving intellectual property rights, drawing where relevant on the expertise of Bristows’ competition law specialists as the application of competition laws to intellectual property arrangements is complex and nuanced.
  • Increasingly frequently, we are asked to advise on projects where digital technology and healthcare come together. We understand the specific commercial, technical, privacy and regulatory issues faced by those operating in this space. Working alongside colleagues in Bristows’ regulatory and data protection teams, we provide a “one-stop-shop” legal service for those involved in developing and commercialising digital health solutions.
  • For many years we (together with our colleagues in Bristows’ competition law team) have been advising clients on the licensing of standard essential patents. We have developed a deep understanding of the requirements of and the issues relating to offering licences on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms and are experienced in advising on FRAND licensing strategies.
  • Bristows has one of the leading intellectual property litigation practices. As a consequence we have a great wealth of expertise in negotiating complex agreements often required to settle patent, trade mark and other types of intellectual property disputes.
  • We work alongside Bristows’ corporate team to advise on the intellectual property and commercial aspects of corporate transactions, including acquisitions and disposals, joint ventures, spin-outs and investments. Our deep expertise and understanding of intellectual property and technical knowledge are key assets when carrying out properly focused due diligence and for drafting and negotiating intellectual property warranties, licences and assignments, and any supply, technology transfer and transitional arrangements, that need to be put in place in connection with such deals.

Key contact

Richard Dickinson

Contact

Experience

Negotiating a global partnering arrangement for the development and commercialisation of a ground breaking cancer therapy and pioneering digital health solutions, including advising on the related data protection and regulatory aspects.

Advising a consortium of major international technology companies in relation to the establishment of a new digital telecommunications standard and the ownership and licensing of intellectual property rights relating to the standard.

Acting for a household name on a major multi-jurisdictional disposal of a portfolio of some of its most famous consumer products, involving advice on complex matters in relation to the sale and ongoing licensing and co‑existence arrangements in respect of various iconic brands.

Advising on the intellectual property, IT, privacy and other aspects of a major government programme to develop and deliver new healthcare based upon whole genome sequencing of patients’ DNA.

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What others say

“Bristows is a class act when it comes to all areas of intellectual property. Its team bring a broad range of experience and are always on hand to answer questions; they are very responsive and highly skilled.”

WTR 1000 2024

“They are really great, client-centric, and very knowledgeable about the industry. The Bristows team comes up with pragmatic solutions, and adds a personal touch to advice. They have a solid team across the board. I do not see them as just there to make a profit. They are efficient and true partners.”

Chambers and Partners Europe 2024

“They are very strong in the life sciences area with deep understanding of the regulations and requirements. They deliver as promised, are friendly to work with and communicate clearly and openly.”

Chambers and Partners 2024

“One of the UK’s leading life sciences practices. Across the firm, there is tremendous strength in depth. Great understanding of the market through acting for a wide range of clients.”

Legal 500 2024

“Bristows is our go-to firm for any complex or high-value technology work. The team is accessible, responsive and incredibly knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with.”

Legal 500 2024

“A ‘truly exceptional’ [Life sciences] practice which assists clients with the full gamut of commercial, regulatory and IP-related issues.”

Legal 500 2024

“They are excellent, they have really good work and nice people there.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“Their reputation is well deserved.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“The Bristows team is extremely capable at balancing competing factors.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“Bristows provides very strong and pragmatic advice founded on a deep understanding of the life sciences sector.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“Bristows is known for its deep bench of high-calibre litigators with supreme expertise in contentious patent, trade mark, designs and copyright matters. The team is particularly sought after for biosimilars and telecommunications litigation, and is frequently instructed for standard-essential patent-related disputes. The Bristows IP team is also distinguished for its work on the commercialisation of IP at the vanguard of life sciences and technology, and is additionally recommended for its trade mark prosecution service.”

Chambers and Partners 2023

“With their wealth of experience, most questions can be handled with a quick call.”

Legal 500 2023

“I value the practical nature of the advice the team gives.”

Legal 500 2023

“The media and entertainment team at Bristows combines the best of in-depth practice area knowledge with pragmatic, client-focused advice. They are a fantastic extension of our in-house legal team, and whenever I reach out to them, it always makes life easier.”

Legal 500 2023

“A renowned expert on issues arising around advertising and brand protection.”

Legal 500 2023

“The practice at Bristows LLP rests firmly on its pillars of advertising, brand protection, and film/TV production where it represents clients from these sub-sectors in both contentious and non-contentious matters.”

Legal 500 2023

“Overall very pragmatic and knowledgeable.”

Legal 500 2023

“The practice has developed probably unequalled experience, notably in specific questions of IP law, such as litigating three-dimensional trade marks in different jurisdictions.”

Legal 500 2023

“Excellent overall.”

Legal 500 2023

“The intellectual property practice at Bristows LLP has one of the broadest trade mark, copyright, and designs practices, which is praised for its ‘perfect combination of legal knowledge, commercial savvy, and litigation strategy’.”

Legal 500 2023

“They are competent, efficient and very supportive.”

Legal 500 2023

“A law firm that sees its team members as a family and could teach bigger international firms a great deal about how law should be practised.”

Legal 500 2023

“Hugely experienced partners and associates, based in a full-service firm, provide a personal first class service in a friendly and cost-effective manner.”

Legal 500 2023

“Bristows remains one of the top UK-based patent litigation firms.”

Legal 500 2023

“Consistently at the forefront of the market, dealing with precedent setting cases or managing multi-jurisdictional matters, the team advises high-profile global clients in the technology and life sciences sectors on commercial, regulatory, competition, and contentious matters.”

Legal 500 2023

“Maintaining one of the broadest patent benches, Bristows LLP is praised as ‘one of the top UK-based patent litigation firms‘ with a full-service capacity.”

Legal 500 2023

“Not only is Bristows’ advice first rate (technically and commercially), but the teams are a pleasure to work with and they are continually making my life easier as the client. They have a team of amazing professionals and are constantly looking for new ways to provide the best service for their clients – whether it is staffing, billing, information sharing etc.”

Legal 500 2023

“The Bristows team members are not only exceptionally good at a professional level, but, at the same time, very easy to talk to and discuss with. They always have an open ear for the client’s needs and are happy to brainstorm.”

Legal 500 2023

“The team has exceptional knowledge of the life sciences space. It acts for a broad range of industry players and has a deep understanding of market practice.”

Legal 500 2023

“Justified reputation as one of, if not the, leading firms for IP life sciences. Excellent reputation in the UK and beyond – widely respected throughout Europe for coordinating multi-jurisdictional disputes.”

Legal 500 2023

“Bristows LLP is ‘widely respected throughout Europe for coordinating multi-jurisdictional disputes’ and has ‘a justified reputation as one of the leading firms for IP life sciences work’.”

Legal 500 2023

Recent rankings and awards

Patent Transactions - Gold

Intellectual Property: Patent Litigation (UK) - Band 1

Intellectual Property (UK) - Band 1

Recommended - Transactions

Commended for Intellectual Property

Life Sciences: Transactional - Band 2

Intellectual Property - Band 1

Information Technology & Outsourcing - Band 1

Commercial Contracts - Tier 2

Intellectual Property: Patents (contentious & non-contentious) - Tier 1

Intellectual Property: Trade Marks, Copyright and Design - Tier 1

Best Firm for Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property - Band 1

Life Sciences: Transactional - Band 2

Life Sciences and Healthcare - Tier 1

Media and Entertainment - Tier 2