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 the 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

Matthew Warren

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 remains very visible in litigation concerning SPCs.”

Juve UK 2021

“[The SEPs and FRAND team] has a raft of experience.”

Juve UK 2021

“Team [is] well set up for future cases regarding SEPs and FRAND.”

Juve UK 2021

“UK market leaders.”

Juve UK 2021

“[Bristows’] UK team often coordinates parallel proceedings across the continent. This has proven to be so effective that it has allowed the firm to win instructions away from the London courts.”

Juve UK 2021

Bristows has “one of London’s largest patent litigation practices.”

Juve UK 2021

Bristows has “a great team doing an excellent job.”

Juve UK 2021

Bristows “reputation as a market leader remains as strong as ever.”

Juve UK 2021

“A leading destination for advice with regard to digital health and medtech, and associated data privacy issues.”

Chambers and Partners 2021

“Excellent advice on UK and European regulatory frameworks and also commercial and corporate transactions for emerging innovators as well as giants of the life sciences industry.”

Chambers and Partners 2021

“Superb patent litigation and IP practice.”

Chambers and Partners 2021

“Another client describes the team as ‘very knowledgeable and experienced’.”

Chambers and Partners 2021

“‘They immediately understood the issues at hand and really pulled out all the stops for us,’ reports a client.”

Chambers and Partners 2021

“They are intellectually sound, rigorous and bear in mind the commercial consequences for the clients – they take a good overall holistic approach.”

Chambers and Partners 2021

“Distinguished for its work on the commercialisation of IP at the vanguard of life sciences and technology.”

Chambers and Partners 2021

“Bristows is a prominent player in intellectual property.”

The Times Best Law Firms 2021

“A top-tier practice”

Legal 500 2021

“Bristows LLP is a premier name for copyright, design and digital disputes.”

Legal 500 2021

“There’s a style to the firm which enables them to be hard-headed and charming at one and the same time.”

Legal 500 2021

“Their client service is of the highest quality and they are very easy to deal with.”

Legal 500 2021

“Truly impressive”

Legal 500 2021

“Unsurprisingly, Bristows has a blue-chip client base, especially in the pharmaceutical and biotech markets and is at the forefront of every legal development.”

Legal 500 2021

“It [Bristows] has a high number of eminent practitioner partners that are genuine experts in their fields. This is especially true in the patents space. However, below partner level, the lawyers are equally impressive.”

Legal 500 2021

“The thing that sets Bristows apart is the depth of talent.”

Legal 500 2021

“They bring a strong risk management perspective to the advice that they provide.”

Legal 500 2021

“In a regulatory and commercial environment fraught with uncertainty, the Bristows team help their clients navigate through issues in a practical way with a clear road map towards a solution which is in line with the client objective.”

Legal 500 2021

“Good team with specialist life science expertise, brings commercial/IP and corporate side together well on transactions.”

Legal 500 2021

“They always had an open ear for my needs, were open for discussions and brainstormings and are very easy to work with.”

Legal 500 2021

“Bristows stands out among the many exceptional patent law firms in the UK. The attorneys pay great attention to detail, while also observing the big picture and giving spot on advice.”

Legal 500 2021

“Bristows has a ‘first-rate life sciences team’.”

Legal 500 2021

“Bristows has brilliant IP lawyers that understand the intricacies of patent disputes and transactions, particularly in the TMT and life sciences sectors.”

MIP IP Stars, 2020

Recent rankings and awards

Intellectual Property: Patents (contentious & non-contentious) - Tier 1
Legal 500 2021

Intellectual Property: Trade Marks, Copyright & Design - Tier 1
Legal 500 2021

Top Firm for Intellectual Property
The Times Best Law Firms 2021

Intellectual Property - Band 1
Chambers and Partners 2021

Life Sciences: Transactional - Band 2
Chambers and Partners UK 2021

Technology, Media and Telecoms - Commended
The Times Best Law Firms 2021

Intellectual Property - Tier 1
Legal 500 2020

Commercial Contracts - Tier 6
Legal 500 2020

UK Trademark Contentious
Firm of the Year, MIP Awards 2020

IAM Patent 1000 2019
Highly recommended - Transactions