In an increasingly competitive and complex environment, our UK and European patent attorneys make your key priorities our key priorities: namely, to protect your invention, enforce your rights to your technology and commercialise your assets.
Today often the most substantial value of a business is based on its intangible assets. Intellectual property plays a key role in obtaining a competitive advantage. If you’re looking to protect your product, by registering the right patent you will be able to prevent others from exploiting your inventions or provide a substantial barrier to market access.
As a leading patent attorneys, we understand that your success can depend on the calibre of the patent granted, and with our combined technical and commercial expertise, we can ensure you are at an advantage from the very beginning with being assigned a specialist IP patent attorney. Our UK and European patent attorneys are knowledgeable in patent law and both UK and European patent registration, and are skilled in creating cohesive IP strategies, including both commercialisation and enforcement, that will ensure the maximum value is obtained from your IP.
From our Madrid office, we can offer Spanish representatives to present European patents to the Spanish Patent Office. No matter which office whether in the UK, Germany or Spain, each individual you work with will not only have a vast knowledge of the law behind the case – as an EU trademark firm, but of the industry relevant to your patent requirements. As a leading IP patent firm, a patent attorney at Boult Wade Tennant can guide you through the full process of filing a patent, from before an application is filed, when the scope of the invention is still to be defined, to after grant, when the patent may need to be protected against third parties. For consistent patent protection and reliability, view more information on patent renewals here. We have a track record of carrying out a successful patent protection service by successfully opposing or otherwise invalidating a third party’s patent, carrying out Freedom to Operate searches and other due diligence work.
Patents can stand or fall by the quality of the first patent application, so excellence in drafting has always been a key focus for us. Our specialist patent attorneys write original patent specifications for a wide range of European companies and individuals as well as for an increasing number of overseas corporations. Such a wide client base means we are adept at fitting in with the range of patent drafting approaches. Some of our clients can provide us with a detailed Invention Disclosure document, setting out the invention over several pages with detailed drawings, a summary of the known prior art and some ideas for claim scope. Other clients do not have the resources or infrastructure to provide such detail and instead look to us to work with the inventor(s) to prepare the draft patent application. We have the technical experience and flexibility to meet each client’s preferred way of working when patent drafting.
In addition to technical content and assessment of the appropriate legal scope of the patent application, our patency drafting will always take into consideration the legal requirements of jurisdictions outside Europe, and we will tailor the patent specifications accordingly. We will also address commercial considerations such as any licensing or cross-licensing strategy, and structure claims in the most appropriate manner to accommodate them. We are also able to prepare patent drawings as required, both informal for initial patent filing and formal to meet patent office requirements around the world.
Filing and prosecution
Boult Wade Tennant offers an imaginative approach to patent prosecution and has enjoyed much success in having patents of commercially useful scope granted for clients worldwide.
With our offices in Germany, we file thousands of European patent applications each year at the European Patent Office, as well as UK patents at the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office from our four UK-based offices. Through local representatives, we filed international patents at national patent offices around the world. With seven offices worldwide, we have plenty of experience filing patents and offering patent prosecution advice throughout Germany, Spain, the UK and further afield. If you’re looking for patent prosecution advice, contact your usual advisor or any of our Boult Wade Tennant attorneys. The patent prosecution process involves overcoming objections which can arise when registering a patent and when an application is examined by the patent authorities, before a patent is granted. At any time we have responsibility for over 10,000 patent applications at various stages of prosecution. In order to meet these demands, we have invested in the latest systems and the operation of an online docketing system ensures that we meet all due dates for action.
Infringement and validity
Boult Wade Tennant has a wealth of experience providing both infringement opinions and validity opinions. Infringement and validity opinions can be provided on the basis of a specific patent (or design) right, or as part of, for example, a freedom-to-operate project. Freedom-to-operate projects provide an assessment, in advance of a proposed commercial launch of a product or process, of the intellectual property landscape and help to quantify the risks associated with third party’s patents and, if appropriate, designs.
A critical step in the process of preparing any infringement or a validity opinion is to thoroughly understand the technology. Our team has expertise in a broad range of technologies, so we can work directly with technical and business staff alike. The combination of technical experts and industry experience enables our firm to provide cost-effective pragmatic assessments of risk.
In protecting your intellectual property, Boult Wade Tennant is well placed to guide you on enforcement so that you enjoy the commercial exclusivity that your patents are intended to provide. Should you become aware of a possible infringement, we will advise a practical strategy for resolving the situation. Ultimately, if it is necessary to commence proceedings, you have the confidence of knowing that our IP patent attorneys are experienced in providing litigation support in patent law. We work with the best IP litigators and barristers to ensure success for our clients in the UK Courts and overseas. We will build with you a winning litigation team that will not lose sight of your commercial objectives.
Choosing the right team to handle contentious matters is crucial. If you need to defend yourself against an accusation of infringement, or if you wish to challenge the validity of a third party patent, then you need to have confidence in your attorneys with your patent protection. Boult Wade Tennant is well placed to provide the litigation support you will need. Our patent attorney specialists have active and long-standing relationships with leading barrister and solicitor firms. We have the ability to put together a winning team that will work with you to bring matters to a successful, timely and cost-effective conclusion, whether that is in the UK Courts or overseas.
Opposition and appeal
Most days of most weeks you will find one or more of our European Patent Attorneys representing clients at Oral Proceedings before the European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich, The Hague or Berlin.
We have an enviable reputation for winning difficult opposition and appeals, providing you confidence in the protection of your patents. This has resulted in our patent attorneys being instructed to represent clients in cases of enormous value. Indeed, such is our reputation that we are often instructed on matters where the initial prosecution was handled by a different firm. Where the case merits it, we will put together a team of patent attorneys to work on the opposition or appeal, both during the written procedure and at the Oral Proceedings. We find that winning is about meticulous preparation and clear and confident advocacy.
Oral Proceedings by Videoconference The EPO announced that all Oral Proceedings before Examining Divisions will be held by videoconference from 2 April 2020. Under a pilot project, the EPO are also holding all opposition Oral Proceedings by videoconference under 15 September 2021. Although this is a fairly recent development, we have already had a number of successes at videoconference proceedings before each of the Examining Divisions, the Opposition Divisions, and the Boards of Appeal.
In our offices we have purpose-built videoconferencing suites that can hold up to six people. Each office is equipped with a minimum of 2 x 200 Mb/s leased line connections offering ISP connections with different service providers. Therefore, if one internet provider suffers an outage, the Oral Proceedings can still continue by relying on the connection provided by one of our other service providers. Our IT team also provides physical on-site support in our offices for the duration of the Oral Proceedings.
Our videoconferencing suites have two large screens, typically measuring 65 inches. High-definition cameras are provided under the screens for visibility of the participants and are also mounted to the ceiling such that any documents on the table may be viewed on screen. Screen sharing capabilities are also provided to facilitate discussions during the Oral Proceedings.
Boult Wade Tennant are therefore fully equipped to provide the highest quality of presentation at video conference oral proceedings and so intend to maintain our impressive level of success whether in-person at the EPO or from our own offices around Europe.
Due diligence strategy
Our attorneys are well placed to carry out due diligence investigations over a wide range of technologies and for all types of businesses. Our attorneys are regularly asked to review portfolios in preparation for acquisitions, mergers, fundings and re-financings.
A specialist activity in which we have become increasingly involved is the provision of IP due diligence reports for inclusion in company prospectus documentation for listings on the London Stock Exchange. Our knowledgeable patent agents in London can assist in determining a reasonable scope for the report by indicating the areas which should be investigated and by considering the relevance of different IP rights in relation to the actual commercial activities of the business concerned. We are also experienced at contributing to stock market flotation reports. Characteristic of these exercises is that they need to be done to a budget and generally within very short time frames. Boult Wade Tennant is geared up to meet these requirements.
Our attorneys understand the commercial value of a well-managed IP portfolio. We work with clients to develop patent and trade mark portfolios, advising on filing or prosecution strategies and foreign filing programmes. We actively review existing portfolios to ensure that they are up-to-date and offer the maximum value possible.
While we obviously maintain a comprehensive record of all the patents or trade marks for which we are responsible, we also offer a docketing service of cases handled by third parties, so that clients can be confident of the integrity of the data before them. Flexible reporting allows clients to see their portfolio in a variety of different formats, while BoultView provides secure, searchable online access to your cases within our records.
The reliable maintenance of our clients’ hard-earned patent portfolio is crucial. We ensure that annual fee payments are made on time and accurately no matter what the portfolio size. Clients are kept up to date by the sending of payment reminders while budgetary forecasts are available on request. An AutoPay option is also available. We use our buying power to secure cost reductions wherever possible and, where details of the working of a patent or trade mark must be submitted, our dedicated team will also attend to that.