Patent Agents 2016: Analysis

We are pleased to feature, for the second time, a list of the world’s leading patent agents. We recognise 319 agents from 145 firms across 30 countries who handle the preparation and filing of patent applications, in addition to prosecuting patents with the relevant patent offices. Gowling WLG, Marks & Clerk, Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh, D Young & Co and Bird & Bird are among the most highly rated firms in our research. 

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Ravi Srinivasan JA Kemp, London
Peter Finnie Gill Jennings & Every, London
Micheline Gravelle Bereskin & Parr, Toronto
Folke Johansson Papula-Nevinpat, Helsinki
Stephen Carter Mewburn Ellis, London
Christopher Bown Gowling WLG, Ottawa
Karri Leskinen Boco IP, Helsinki
Rohan Setna Boult Wade Tennant, London
Ronald Faggetter Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh, Toronto
Brian Kingwell Gowling WLG, Vancouver

Gowling WLG leads the way in our research with an impressive 21 practitioners identified. In Canada, the firm’s Ottawa office boasts the “hugely respected” Christopher Bown. He has over 10 years’ experience of strategic IP portfolio management, as well as expertise in drafting, and prosecuting patent applications in the technology, life sciences, biotechnology and mining industries. He receives particular recognition for his “distinctly client-oriented approach”. Anthony Creber is a “truly stand-out practitioner”. He focuses his practice on patent litigation across the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, and is recommended for his “vast experience” and “clear vision”, which makes him “highly sought after” by clients. The “extremely talented” Michael Crichton acts for both domestic and international clients from the technologies and communications sectors. He is particularly praised for his “focused approach” that “consistently achieves results”. Hans Schroeder is “technically excellent”. He provides strategic advice to chemical, pharmaceutical, life sciences and biotechnology companies regarding patent protection. Constance Too is a “much sought-after” practitioner in the industry for her “sensational litigation skills” in the pharmaceutical, chemical and mechanical fields. Kent Ledwell is described by clients as a “top-notch practitioner”, specialising in patent drafting and strategic advice for technology, electronic and telecommunications companies. James Baker is known among clients and peers for his “practical and authoritative advice” particularly concerning complex patent drafting and prosecution issues. Christopher Van Barr acts for international industry-leading clients, who recommend him for his “personal service” and “high standard of client care”. John Harris is an “exceptionally creative and instinctive practitioner”, and very experienced in handling patent matters relating to the high-tech, mechanical and electrical sectors.    

In the Toronto office James Longwell currently heads the intellectual property department, and enjoys a “well-deserved market place reputation for achievement”. His “distinguished clientele” includes a broad range of companies, from start-ups and small businesses to universities and large corporations from across the computer and information technologies sector. He is joined by Selena Kim who focuses her practice on intellectual property litigation and patent prosecution. She is particularly lauded by clients for her “in-depth knowledge” and “distinguished work”. Grant Tisdall is the leader of the firm’s patents group and described as the “adviser of choice” by clients. He counsels them on the strategic global aspects of intellectual property across Canada, the US, Russia and Europe, receiving praise for being “highly effective” and “user-friendly”. Omar Nassif has “extensive experience” drafting and prosecuting patent applications, with clients saying his “broad knowledge and high level of skill make him an asset” to any firm.

The firm’s office in Vancouver is home to Brian Kingwell, who has an “impressive practice”. He brings over 20 years of experience to his work which centres on patent prosecution and strategic patent portfolio counselling for clients involved in molecular biology, genomics, biochemistry, chemistry and medical devices. He is joined by Konrad Sechley who is described by clients and peers as is a “splendid professional”. Having worked in the life sciences sector for over 20 years, he focuses his practice on patent prosecution and is praised for providing “insightful advice” combined with “brilliant commercial acumen”. The “brilliant” Clare Salisbury is a “top name” in the market. She advises a broad range of clients from various industries including agriculture, biotechnology, oil and gas and manufacturing, who describe her as “a firm favourite” in the legal market. Stephen Ferance has been called “one of the all-time greats”. With significant expertise in the high-tech invention sector, he is recommended for “always offering a straightforward and considered approach to complex issues”.

Elsewhere in Hamilton, Peter Milne is “recommended without a second thought” by clients, particularly for his “celebrated practice” in patent prosecution. Benoit Yelle joins him in Montreal and is known in the industry for his “expert drafting skills”. In Calgary Doak Horne is particularly skilled at handling disputes involving ownership of intellectual property rights, and is recommended by clients and peers for his “hands-on technique”. In Guangzhou in China Jian Xu has particular expertise in the chemistry and life sciences sectors with a reputation amongst peers for being a “consummate professional”.

Marks & Clerk follows closely behind in our research, with 17 individuals highlighted. The firm boasts a particularly impressive team in the Singapore office with four practitioners listed. Jim Greene-Kelly is “naturally gifted” and “as smart as they come”. He has developed particular expertise in relation to the mechanical engineering, electrical and electronics, and control engineering sectors, and stands out in our research for his “excellent client manner”. Daniel Poh joins him, praised by clients and peers for his “distinguished practice”. With a “long-standing reputation for excellence”, he counsels major clients across the industries of information technology, software, data storage, computer engineering, and electrical and electronics engineering, among others.

Three further patent agents are listed from the Hong Kong office, including Eric Lam who is a “leading authority” on patent law relating to electronics, telecommunications, and computer hardware and software, among others. He is joined by Mike Flint and Michael Lin who impress clients with the outstanding quality of their work. 

Further west in the firm’s London office, Will Nieuwenhuys is an expert in small molecule organic and pharmaceutical chemistry. With an “exemplary reputation in the market”, his practice comprises all aspects of patent law, including drafting, prosecution, worldwide portfolio management, and the preparation of opinions and freedom to operate analyses. Alongside him Will Arends specialises in handling inventions in the life science sector, as well as also being “vastly experienced” in mechanical engineering and the protection of industrial designs. He is praised by clients and peers for being “commercially astute and very knowledgeable”.

In Canada Hetal Kushwaha is described as “truly outstanding, innovative and technically gifted”. His practice focuses on the drafting and prosecution of patent applications in the fields of mechanical, electronic, and computer implemented systems. She is joined by the “fantastic” Ian Clark whose practice is predominantly in the areas of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and chemistry. He has earned a reputation for being “very attuned to clients’ needs”.

The Canadian firm Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh also stands out in our research, with 10 practitioners recognised. The “terrific” Ronald Faggetter in Toronto is “responsive, hardworking and practical”. With more than 25 years of experience, he centres his practice around the telecommunications, robotics, computer systems, optics, and mechanical control systems industries. Yoon Kang joins him, recommended by peers for being “an innovative and dedicated practitioner”. She advises global pharmaceutical innovators and research institutions on all aspects of patent rights, with an emphasis in her practice on litigation and patent prosecution. They are joined in Vancouver by Christopher Robinson, “an internationally recognised leader in the field”. He has “a wealth of industry experience” from his 25 years in practice, representing innovative biotechnology and chemical companies, specialising in biologics and pharmaceuticals, and agricultural technologies. John Knox continues to impress clients and peers with his “depth of commercial insight”. His practice focuses on patent and industrial design protection of electrical, electronic and computer-related inventions in Canada, the United States and globally. Alongside them in the Montreal office Stephan Georgiev is known for having “a particular talent for providing unique insight into difficult legal matters”. He acts for “a wide range” of high-profile clients”, and his practice has an emphasis on prosecution, client counselling, and patent portfolio growth and utilisation.

Seven impressive individuals are recognised from the England-based D Young & Co. Clients describe Zöe Clyde-Watson as being “in a class of her own”. Her practice involves drafting, prosecution, oppositions and appeals and freedom to operate opinion work, and receives praise for “bringing real value to a matter”. The “incredible” Simon O’Brien is widely recognised as “one of the most pre-eminent patent agents in the UK”. He advises on all aspects of patent law, and in particular has developed niche expertise in vaccine patents, handling the world wide vaccine patent portfolio for a major pharmaceutical company. Kirk Gallagher is highly praised by clients for his “meticulous advice” and willingness to “always go the extra mile”.  His “diverse practice” includes advising a range of clients including multinational companies, SMEs and academic institutions on matters relating to the fields of organic chemistry and especially pharmaceuticals and nutrition. He is joined by the “superb” Ian Harris whose main areas of expertise include the computer technology (including hardware, software and business-related inventions) automotive and aerospace fields. Widely regarded as a “leader in the market”, he has an “enviable client list” of national and international companies.

Bird & Bird garners seven listings in this chapter. The firm has an impressive team in Germany with Daniela Kinkeldey standing out in our research for her “world-class expertise”.  She represents prominent clients in the life sciences industry, with the focus of her practice being mainly in the field of organic and pharmaceutical chemistry. Sources “think very highly of” Michael Alt who “skilfully” advises and represents clients across the fields of medical technology and food technology, and has been described as the “go-to lawyer for clients”.

In the Singapore office Hui Leng Tan is praised for her “creativity” and “professionalism”. Her practice includes the full spectrum of patent law services, including searches, drafting of patent specifications, and the filing, prosecution and registration of patents in Singapore and overseas. Alongside her, Silvia Mati in Italy is “highly sought after”. She is described as a “great resource” for clients in the fields of electronics and mechanics, who recommend her for her “impressive understanding” of these markets.

London-based Carpmaels & Ransford likewise receives seven listings in this chapter. John Brunner comes particularly praised for “keeping the bigger picture in mind without losing sight of the detail”. He specialises in IT and telecommunications-related technology, with a “strong track record of success” in procuring valuable patents for a variety of software and IT businesses. Hugh Goodfellow stands out in our research for his “commercial know-how”.  He has niche expertise in stem cells, transgenics, biofuels, complex immunology and nan-biotechnology. They are joined by Cameron Marshall who impresses clients with his “high level of commitment, wealth of experience and all-round technical excellence.” The “hard-working and dynamic” Edward Oates practises in the life sciences field, with an emphasis on pharmaceuticals and small molecule inventions through to later stage developments. Clients and peers recommend him particularly for his ability to “effectively tailor his advice to the industry.”

Gill Jennings & Every in London is home to six listings. Peter Finnie has “brilliant, in-depth knowledge” of patent law across all fields of engineering, and most particularly in information technology, telecommunications and medical devices. Clients are impressed with Arnie Clarke’s “wealth of experience” from having worked across the fields of pharmaceutical, medicinal, industrial, food and organic chemistry. He has particular expertise in small molecule pharmaceutical chemistry, secondary formulation of pharmaceutical products and industrial formulation chemistry. They are joined by Stephen Haley who has a reputation for being“truly outstanding, innovative and technically gifted”. His practice comprises the technologies industries including software-related inventions, optical recording media, avionics, telecommunications, packaging and air conditioning technologies.

EIP earns six listings in this edition. Based in London Jerome Spaargaren is a “highly esteemed” practitioner with “comprehensive experience” from 23 years of international patent prosecution and litigation experience. He acts for a wide range of technologies in the electronics sector including mobile communications, computer systems, high-tech optics and medical technologies, with clients praising his “intricate knowledge” and “commercial flair”. He is joined by Darren Smyth who “stands out amidst the competition” for his “broad multidisciplinary practice”. His clients include major international and national corporations, who praise his “talented handling of intricate issues”. Alongside them Heather McCann is known in the industry for her “expert advice”. She is widely regarded as a “leader in the field and regularly advises Silivon Valley tech start-ups, SMEs and US law firms on European patent filing and prosecution strategy.

The following notable practitioners stand out for being among the most highly regarded in our research. Ravi Srinivasan from JA Kemp leads the way in our research. He has over 20 years’ of experience working in the industry, handling cases in the organic and inorganic chemistry sectors with particular expertise in the pharmaceutical field. Micheline Gravelle at Bereskin & Parr is described as “a powerhouse of knowledge”. Her practice focuses on assessing new technologies, preparing and prosecuting patent applications worldwide and conducting due diligence analysis on patent portfolios.  From Papula-Nevinpat, Folke Johansson is a “thoroughly impressive practitioner” who “inspires confidence in clients”. His practice focuses on telecommunications, electronics, semiconductor materials and designs, and optoelectronics, among others. Mewburn Ellis boasts Stephen Carter who is known to be “a true professional”. He “expertly handles” patent-related matters in the engineering and electronics, computing, and physics fields with particular experience in transport, structural and mechanical engineering, and computer software. From Boco IP Karri Leskinen is praised by clients and peers for his “direct, clear and effective” approach. He handles both Finnish and international patent applications, and specialises in inventions related to the food and process industries. At Boult Wade Tennant clients are impressed with Rohan Setna’s ability to “grasp the detail incredibly quickly”. He specialises in patent work relating to semiconductor and electronic materials, semiconductor processing, metallurgy, ceramics and glasses, and composites, among others.

Heinz Goddar at Boehmert & Boehmert has particular expertise relating to polymer physics and is “a favourite among clients” for his “commitment and enthusiasm” when working on complex legal matters.

Ian Stevens from Potter Clarkson provides “top-tier” advice to a range of companies and academic institutions, with particular expertise in handling oppositions and appeal hearings before the European Patent Office.  

At Wuesthoff & Wuesthoff Hendrik Wichmann advises and represents national and international clients across the biotech, chemistry and pharma industries, who recommend him for his “unsurpassed knowledge of patents law”.

Martin Grund from Grund Intellectual Property Group has particular experience across the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, life sciences and stem cell technologies industries, among others. Clients have recommended him for his “hands-on and friendly approach”.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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