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Pharmaceuticals + Life Sciences

Pharmaceuticals as a sector is where a single patent can be the difference between market exclusivity and generic entry.  At the same time, a single product will be covered by hundreds of patents.  At Elkington and Fife, we have attorneys who specialise in this field, and can deliver the advice you require.

To work effectively as an attorney in the pharmaceutical sector, an understanding of the business sector is particularly important. That means being strong on the technical side, as well as having an understanding of realities of the pharmaceutical business.

Some issues which are most often encountered in this sector are: 

Leader in biotech, medical devices and pharmaceuticals patent work”


  • When drafting and prosecuting applications, it has to be kept in mind that there is an ever-present likelihood that the eventually granted patent will be challenged. Robustness can often be more important than scope, statements made during prosecution in one country can be used against the applicant/patentee in another, and portfolio management and divisional filings can be critical.
  • Opposition and appeal work is common in the industry. Your contact at Elkington and Fife will have extensive experience of this work. We are well-known and respected for our extensive work handling pharmaceutical oppositions.
  • Opposition and appeal work often overlaps with national litigation. We are used to working with solicitors and counsel, offering support where needed.
  • Infringement and validity opinions are not an academic exercise. They are often put to the test, and have to be right!
  • Freedom-to-operate analyses can be well-defined. Pharmaceutical products can be broken down and analysed in terms of route of synthesis, formulations, API modifications, medical indications and combinations. A structured approach helps guide you through the issues. Devices are analysed for conventional features and features which need to be cleared. We work with you to focus the advice.
  • Other barriers to completion must be considered such as the technical barrier and the regulatory barrier. Other issues are data exclusivity, SPCs and other IPRs such as trade marks, designs and passing off.

At Elkington and Fife, you will find professionals who are recognised leading experts in this sector, and who have demonstrated on countless occasions that they can provide sensible and to-the-point advice that has helped our clients to strengthen their businesses.

Meet the team
Oliver Kingsbury
A qualified European and UK Patent Attorney since 2002, Oliver has experience in providing a broad range of IP support.
Richard Gillard
Richard has 20 years of experience in the full range of patent services, including drafting, prosecution, opposition and opinion work.
Richard Cooke
Richard joined E + F in October 2005 and qualified as a Chartered Patent Attorney in 2008 and a European Patent Attorney in 2010.
Glyn Truscott
Glyn's practice spans a wide range of biotechnology subject-matter, from combination immunotherapies to PCR-based diagnostic assays.
Lee Mullen
Lee prosecutes patent applications for a wide range of clients before the EPO and UK Patent Office, handling a diverse range of subject-matter.
Henrietta Rooney
Henrietta specialises in the life sciences, with particular expertise in biotherapeutics. Henrietta joined Elkington and Fife in 2016.
Paul Brookes
Paul enjoys working on a broad range of chemical subject-matter. Specialising in synthetic chemistry and pharmaceuticals.
Andy Nicoll
Andy specialises in pharmaceuticals and nutrition. He has experience prosecuting patent applications in many major jurisdictions.
our patent sectors
Whilst our work spans a wide range of subject areas, the majority falls within the following sectors: