JUVE Patent

Rankings UK 2023

Carpmaels & Ransford – UK 2023

JUVE Comment

For many years now, the patent litigation practice at Carpmaels & Ransford has enjoyed a strong position in the London market, which extends across Europe when it comes to both patent prosecution and litigation in the life sciences sector. The firm has a particularly strong position in pharma and biotech patents, with one client attesting to its “outstanding and in-depth expertise” regarding pharma patents. The firm also has an outstanding Europe-wide reputation in SPCs, such as in its work for Janssen against Teva over Xeplion.

Another client is impressed with the number of EPO oppositions Carpmaels’ patent attorneys are involved in. Carpmaels clearly plays in the top European league with Hoffmann Eitle and Vossius & Partner when it comes to EPO oppositions and appeals. One client praised it as “a very good firm”. The firm’s patent attorneys, including Harvey Adams, Cameron Marshall, Hugh Goodfellow and Edward Oates operate at the forefront of the market. The lead partners of the life sciences team play a prominent role in EPO oppositions for core clients, such as Janssen Cilag, Gilead, Novartis and Regeneron. The firm is also well-seasoned in combining its mixed expertise for clients. For example, in the past year the firm’s litigators and patent attorneys were heavily involved in several infringement and revocation proceedings for various Johnson & Johnson subsidiaries. Another example is the work for AMO in its pan-European battle against Alcon over eye-surgery technologies. For years, the practice has also fought an intensive battle at the UK High Court and EPO for Fibrogen against Akebia and others, over an HIF stabiliser for the treatment of anaemia.

On the litigation side, the small but growing team around Ian Kirby and David Wilson focuses primarily on life sciences disputes. Only few other London litigation practices, such as Allen & Overy and Hogan Lovells, have a presence in pharma proceedings on the side of originator companies to rival that of Carpmaels. Last year, next generation litigator Camilla Balleny’s work for Bristol-Myers Squibb and Jennifer Antcliff’s work on several cases for Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals boosted the team’s market presence. This, together with the addition of Agathe Michel-de Cazotte, helps lend the team the necessary clout for future UPC cases.

Mobile communication suits do not, however, play any major role, as the firm has largely chosen not to position itself more prominently in FRAND cases. On the other hand, Carpmaels’ patent attorneys are involved in some cases related to electronics and telecoms patents.

Strengths

Pharma disputes for originator drug manufacturers, including a strong practice for EPO oppositions and appeals. Integrated approach of patent attorneys and lawyers.

European set-up

Despite having offices in Dublin and Munich, Carpmaels bundles the majority of its patent attorneys and litigation practice in London. This sets it apart from most of its direct competitors expanding in the UK, such as Marks & Clerk, or those which pursue a clear European strategy such as Hoffmann Eitle. At the same time, the mixed team is highly successful in cross-border life sciences disputes, such as for AMO over medical devices or multiple disputes for the Johnson & Johnson group. In EPO oppositions and appeals, it is one of the most active teams in Europe, with extensive work for Novartis, Johnson & Johnson, Regeneron and Gilead.

Carpmaels wants to transfer this strength to the UPC and has invested a lot to ensure it will play an important role in UPC litigation. The highly litigation-experienced European patent attorneys, although mostly UK nationals, can represent cases before the UPC. By hiring French-qualified litigator Agathe Michel-de Cazotte, a partner also experienced in German and UK patent law, the firm also now has a foot in the door at the UPC when it comes to lawyers representing clients at the court. Due to its well-established litigation team of patent attorneys and UK solicitors, it also has the power to handle large UPC proceedings.

Furthermore, Carpmaels has an office in Munich – one of the central UPC venues – although it is more of a representative office and does not focus on German work. Should this not prove helpful for the firm in continuing to play a leading role in major pharmaceutical cases involving the UPC, it may be necessary to add local trial lawyers in Munich. Its outstanding relations to the European and US life sciences industries should make Carpmaels attractive for lateral hires.

Recommended individuals

Camilla Balleny, Jennifer Antcliff, Ian Kirby, David Wilson; patent attorneys: Harvey Adams (“he is simply the best in the life sciences sector”, competitor; pharma and biotechnology, chemistry), Stephen Duffield (“simply a super patent attorney”, “the rising star in the life sciences group”, competitors; pharma and biotechnology), Hugh Goodfellow (“one of the outstanding ones”, competitor; pharma and biotechnology), Cameron Marshall (“highly experienced litigator”, competitor; pharma and biotechnology), Edward Oates (“the firm’s expert for SPC issues”, competitor; pharma and biotechnology), Gary Small (“very thorough and comprehensive”, competitor; digital communication and computer technology, electronics), James Warner (pharma and biotechnology), Daniel Wise (“knowledgeable patent attorney with a good understanding of strategic considerations in opposition proceedings”, competitor; pharma and biotechnology)

Team

14 lawyers, 89 patent attorneys

Partner moves

Agathe Michel-de Cazotte (from Hogan Lovells)

Specialties

Full-service patent prosecution practice across a broad field of technologies, including revocation cases and EPO proceedings. Litigation mostly for life sciences companies, as well as some cases in electronics and mechanics. Own practice for transaction-related IP advice.

Clients

Litigation: Fibrogen (defendant) against Akebia in revocation cases and EPO oppositions over HIF stabiliser for treatment of anaemia; Johnson & Johnson/AMO (defendant) against Alcon in revocation and infringement proceedings over eye-surgery technology; Janssen Cilag (claimant) against Amgen in revocation claim and EPO opposition regarding patent protecting antibody therapy for treating an incurable blood cancer, multiple myeloma; Johnson & Johnson (defendant) against Teva in SPC invalidity case over schizophrenia drug Xeplion; BMS (defendant) against Accord in revocation case over SPC for cancer drug Revlimid; Johnson & Johnson/Ethicon (claimant) against Meril Life Sciences over anti-wound-infection material Vecryl; Lycra (defendant) against Hyosung in revocation case regarding polymer patent; Olympus (claimant) against Cantel in infringement and revocation dispute over endoscopic device Endocuff; Regeneron (defendant) against Furo Ventures in EPO appeal over cholesterol-lowering drug Praluent; Regeneron (opponent) against Amgen in EPO appeal over chronic eczema drug Dupixent; Novartis in EPO opposition regarding patent concerning Exjade for treating an excess of iron in the blood; frequent litigation for Novartis and Teva. Patent prosecution:filing and oppositions for Amgen, AMO, Auris Health, Barclays Bank, Biogen, Baidu, Biosense Webster, BMS/Celgene, Ethicon, Ionis, Ipsen/Servier, Incyte, Gilead, Leo Pharma, Mars, Micron, Novartis, Regeneron, Raytheon, Stanford University, Sun Chemical, Takeda, as well as various Johnson & Johnson subsidiaries. Filing for DePuy, Quantum, Vertex (some public knowledge). Frequent EPO oppositions for Eli Lilly, Merk, Novocure. Advice: FabricNanon, Johnson & Johnson and Gilead on IP transactions.

Location

London