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Our approach will take you on a journey that begins with a conversation to find out what you want to achieve. We’ll then work with you to develop a strategy and deploy the necessary tools to maximise your chances of achieving your commercial objectives.


Our business is roughly divided into two main areas: IP Consulting (the bit where we work out what you need, why you need it and how to do it); and Attorney Services (where we do the work that is needed). Some clients need our help in both areas, whereas others don’t. Whatever your needs and aspirations, we hope to be able to work with you to deliver real value and tangible results.


We work with local and international businesses, corporations and in-house IP departments and our track record for delivery on-time and on-budget is exemplary.



Due to an ever-increasing workload, we are currently recruiting recently-qualified or nearly-qualified patent attorneys.  

In particular, we are seeking candidates with a strong general engineering, materials science, or surface coatings background that are keen to have lots of direct client access and original drafting work.  Experience with contentious proceedings would also be beneficial.

PCT fee changes

As of 1 October 2014, the search fee for PCT applications, filed at the UKIPO, will reduce from £1582 to £1490.  The remaining fees (transmittal fee, international fee, e-filing reduction, certified copy fee, etc.) will remain the same.  Applicants also have the option to request that the UKIPO transmits to the European Patent Office (the competent International Searching Authority for PCT applications filed at the UKIPO) a copy of an earlier search carried out by the UKIPO.  A new fee has been introduced for this, which is a mere £5, however, the (free) option of manually attaching a copy of the earlier search report will remain.


Unitary patents court

The latest updates to the Unitary Patent can be found on the EPO’s web site (here).  However, it is anticipated that the ratification requirements for the commencement of the UPC will be complete by early 2015, after which point it will be possible for applicants to opt for a single “European Patent”, rather than having to go through the validation process in selected EPC member states.


We are Intellectual Property experts  

We help businesses to identify, protect and use their most valuable assets: the ideas and innovations that keep them ahead of the game

+44 1704 320 084

57 Hoghton Street | Southport | PR9 0PG | United Kingdom

WHAT CAN WE DO FOR YOU?

Our approach will take you on a journey that begins with a conversation to find out what you want to achieve. We’ll then work with you to develop a strategy and deploy the necessary tools to maximise your chances of achieving your commercial objectives.

Our business is roughly divided into two main areas: IP Consulting (the bit where we work out what you need, why you need it and how to do it); and Attorney Services (where we do the work that is needed). Some clients need our help in both areas, whereas others don’t. Whatever your needs and aspirations, we hope to be able to work with you to deliver real value and tangible results.

We work with local and international businesses, corporations and in-house IP departments and our track record for delivery on-time and on-budget is exemplary.

NEWS

Case law roundup 2014

On 8 & 9 October 2014, Tom Hutchinson will be attending a conference at the EPO in The Hague relating to the latest developments in the EPO’s Boards of Appeal Decisions.  This is an excellent opportunity for us to stay bang up-to-date on the latest developments at the EPO and to be able to provide the very best legal advice to our clients.  If you are going to be in The Hague between 7 and 9 October 2014, and would like to meet with Tom, then please let him know by sending an e-mail.


Need a speaker?

We are more than happy to give IP presentations on a range of subjects.  Please contact us for more information, or if you are looking for speakers at business events, particularly those in the North of England

FIXED FEE SERVICES

INFORMATION

If you’re looking for information about IP and how it impacts your business, you’ve come to the right place!  

We can tell you how to protect your innovations, how to deal with an allegation of infringement, how to stop a competitor from using your IP and we can give general advice that is relevant to your particular commercial circumstances.

Our approach is results-focused, which means that we try to understand what you want to achieve before advising you on what to do.  This approach has proven to deliver results quickly, cost-effectively and with the minimum of fuss.

We have compiled some information leaflets, which can be downloaded from here, which cover some of the most commonly-asked questions.  Alternatively, you can call us or arrange an initial consultation without obligation.  We’re here to help!

EVENTS


Wherever possible, we provide services on a fixed-fee basis.  This includes drafting and filing patent applications, dealing with search and examination reports, attending hearings, conducing IP reviews and audits.

For more open-ended projects, such as litigation, we can work on a time basis, but we can also scope-out and “chunk” the job with fixed fees at different points on the decision tree.

We think that fixed-fees are what our clients want - they help them to forecast, and budget for, costs.  It helps us too because we can simplify our internal systems and focus on doing top quality work, rather than recording every minute of time spent on a case.  

In addition, our “out of town” location, and our fully-computerised, paperless systems enable us to  reduce our operating costs substantially.  The result is very best quality service at some of the lowest rates in the UK market.

HOT TOPICS

Unitary patents

In early 2015, it is anticipated that it will be possible to opt for a “unitary patent” upon grant of a patent by the European Patent Office.  A unitary patent will be a single patent that is effective throughout all of the EPC member states.  This will avoid the need for “validation” in each individual country (significantly reducing translation costs) and a single renewal fee will need to be paid each year, rather than separate renewal fees in each country in which the EP patent has been validated.  On the flip side, unitary patents can be invalidated, so if (say, as a counterclaim for infringement), the validity of the patent is at issue, you risk central revocation.

The Unitary Patent has a long history associated with it.  The existing “compromise solution” of validation in each member state was brought about by the inability for the EPC member states to agree on matters of translation and enforcement.  However, with modern machine translation systems being readily available, many of the reasons for not having a single, Europe-wide, patent are now moot.  With regard to enforcement and invalidation, a new Unitary Patents Court is being established, which will be competent to try infringement and validity centrally.

Of course, the Unitary Patent will not be for everyone.  For example, if you need to segment your market and would prefer not to have complex licensing agreements in place; or if you are doubtful of the validity of a patent and do not wish to be exposed to the risk of a “central attack”, then you may prefer to obtain separate patents in each country by the existing “validation” procedure.

There is lots of information available online regarding the Unitary Patent, and a good place to start would be at the EPO’s dedicated portal site (here) on at the UPC web site (here).  We are also happy to answer any questions you might have on this subject (here).

JOBS

We are currently seeking to recruit top-notch attorneys to join our team in Southport.

Read more here.

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