Patent litigation

Patent litigation across a range of technical areas, working directly with EIP’s prosecutors.

Patent litigation combines complex legal and technical issues, and a patent litigant should expect its legal team to be well versed in both disciplines. EIP's combination of litigators and prosecutors provides extensive legal and technical experience and skill across a broad range of technologies, making EIP a natural choice for patent litigation.

Our litigators are experienced in representing clients across a broad range of technologies, fighting their corner before first instance, appellate and higher courts.

Our patent prosecutors, assisted by our search team, are highly skilled in assessing the validity and infringement of patents and drafting such analyses for litigation across the globe. Furthermore, their experience before the USPTO, UKIPO, EPO, and in ITC proceedings, complements our litigators' contentious experience and ensures that wherever litigation and opposition run in parallel, our clients' strategy is consistent.

With a single point of contact for all professionals and a team used to working as a single cohesive unit, we can make a significant positive difference to our clients.

SPCs (Europe)

Supplementary Protection Certificates, one of the most complex, niche areas of law.

The law surrounding the validity of Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs) is one of the most complex areas of European IP and pharmaceutical law.

Uncertainty in the way in which terms of the underlying legislation can be interpreted results in frequent referrals from national courts to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). Each reference, however, only opens the door to another question, leaving the pharmaceutical industry continually second-guessing the law's future development.

Furthermore, following the CJEU's ruling in AstraZeneca v European Commission, the continual uncertainty surrounding SPC validity means that great care must be taken to avoid opening the door to anti-trust allegations and an investigation from the European Commission.

EIP's litigators are well-versed in SPC legislation, case law, and the specialist procedures surrounding cases before the CJEU. They regularly advise pharmaceutical clients on complex SPC issues, and have experience of taking questions of legislative interpretation up to the CJEU.

Standards and FRAND/RAND

Standard-essential patents and the fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms of patent licensing.

The enforcement of standard-essential patents is a niche area of patent litigation requiring specialist technical knowledge to assess the relevant technical specifications, sharp legal knowledge to traverse the FRAND/RAND and associated contractual and anti-trust issues, and expert technical and negotiating skills for potential licensing discussions.

EIP's rare combination of prosecutors and litigators, alongside EIP's strength in electronics and telecommunications, makes EIP Legal a natural choice for this sphere of patent litigation.

EIP Legal regularly advises and writes on standards disputes and FRAND litigation, and is currently representing the patentee in an extensive standards-related patent dispute before the High Court of England & Wales and the Landgericht (District Court) in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Copyright

Infringement, enforcement, and all aspects of copyright.

We have a strong commitment to the arts and are proud to have a close relationship with Europe's largest specialist arts and design university, University of the Arts London—sponsoring its showroom space, offering pro-bono IP advice through its Own-IT clinics, and advising recent graduates on IP issues through a mentoring program. EIP has also worked with Chicago's Lawyers for the Creative Arts, offering support for US and European copyright disputes in the film and music industries.

Our copyright team are experienced in advising a wide range of creative professions (artists, authors, sculptors, photographers, copywriters, designers, directors, musicians, and more) on copyright infringement and related issues. Our litigators' experience includes high-profile copyright disputes before the High Court of England and Wales.

Brand protection

Litigation protection for your brand, working with EIP’s in-house trademark lawyers.

A brand is a key asset for any business, but one which is open to attack from a number of quarters. Many of EIP's litigators have participated in pre-eminent brand cases and we regularly advise on matters involving trademark infringement, passing off, unfair competition, and cybersquatting.

Our litigators also work directly with EIP's in-house trademark attorneys who provide further depth to our team.

We regularly publish articles on brand protection in publications such as the World Trademark Review.

Confidential Information and Trade Secrets

Litigation – skilfully and sensitive – over the misappropriation of confidential information and trade secrets.

Litigation over the misappropriation of confidential information and trade secrets is one of the most acrimonious areas of IP, as the nature of cases will often centre on the credibility of key witnesses and what they did or did not do. A legal team must have the sensitivity to handle such cases, as well as knowledge and skill in legal and procedural matters.

Our team has an unprecedented intimacy with this field of IP law. Our litigators' experience includes acting in one of the leading confidential information cases in the UK (Vestergaard Frandsen v Bestnet).

EIP's litigation team also has the technical skills to handle the most complicated of trade secret cases, particularly as our litigators can call upon the specialist technical expertise of EIP's patent prosecutors and the broad spectrum of fields in which each of them is qualified to advise.

Multi-jurisdictional IP services

Managing multiple territories, firms, procedures, and timetables.

The formalities involved in any form of litigation will prove to be a distraction from a party's day to day operations – an even greater distraction, and burden, in cases involving more than one jurisdiction. Successful management requires an understanding of different court rules and procedures and the administrative burden of managing multiple law firms and the associated co-ordination of cases. The issues involved are particularly prevalent in pan-European litigation, where an overarching understanding of European law may also be required.

Through its offices in the UK, US and Germany, EIP can offer its clients litigation services in three key IP jurisdictions. Through the management experience of its litigation team (both private practice and in-house) the firm can also shoulder a wider burden for its clients by managing litigation teams in other jurisdictions.

Choosing the 'right' jurisdictions for a particular case can be a key strategy decision in itself. Our litigation team's experience of multijurisdictional litigation and knowledge of the interplay between different national procedures puts EIP in a prime position to advise on these issues.

Design rights

Working with EIP's European Design Attorneys to advise individual designers and companies on design right infringement.

The design of a product is more often than not a key driver in determining its market power. It is a key asset for any designer or manufacturer.

However, in the digital age the promotion of products and design portfolios online is commonplace and has led to an increase in infringement (globally) due to the ease of identifying and copying works. The resultant cross border nature of many design-based infringements turns enforcement of design rights into a complex task, particularly for the individual designer and for SMEs.

EIP’s litigators regularly advise individual designers and companies on matters of design right infringement, including in relation to wider issues arising out of an infringement stemming from importation of infringing products from outside of the EU.

EIP’s litigators are equally comfortable advising designers and companies facing allegations of design right infringement. One key aspect of any design enforcement or defence is the identification of the design corpus with which to compare the design being asserted (to assess its validity). The ability of EIP’s litigators to interface with our in-house European Design Attorneys provides EIP Legal with access to a significant resource not found in traditional practices allowing for a quick and robust assessment of issues relating to validity and also the freedom of the nominal designer the purposes of assessing infringement (or defences thereto).