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Intellectual property

With 51 lawyers, Wragge & Co's Intellectual Property (IP) team is one of Europe's leading dedicated intellectual property practices.

The team, led by Gordon Harris, has scooped a hat-trick of awards in the last few months: 'TMT team of the year' at the British Legal Awards 2013 and the same accolade at the Legal Business Awards 2014, as well as the 'Patent Contentious' firm of the year at the Managing Intellectual Property Awards. 

These awards recognise a series of high-profile cases in the last 12 months, in particular, the team saved Zodiac airlines from a £49 million payout in a six-year battle that went all the way to the Supreme Court, overturning 100 years of law in the process.

With dedicated intellectual property practices in Germany, China, France and the UK, this 12-partner team can be found advising some of the world's biggest companies - Dyson, Iglo Foods Group, Unilever, Hasbro and Kingspan - on clearance, exploitation and enforcement of their intellectual property rights.

Specialist sub-teams in advertising and marketing, brands (including franchising), designs, high-tech and life sciences combine legal expertise with experience in specific commercial sectors. Technical backgrounds in biochemistry, physics, engineering and microbiology equip the team with practical insight into clients' needs.

The "calm and unflappable" (Chambers Global 2014) David Barron leads the High-Tech team, which is active in some of the biggest cases ever to be heard in the UK Patents Court.

The Brands team, led by Cerryg Jones, who "gives tailored and proactive advice" (Legal 500 2013), has earned plaudits for its ground-breaking work in trade mark, copyright and designs enforcement. Dr Luke Kempton is commended for the "scientific understanding" he brings to IP transactions and non-contentious work.

Patrick Duxbury has "excellent emotional intelligence in negotiations" and clients "value highly his experience, current knowledge and understanding of the evolving transactions landscape" (Chambers UK 2013). He heads "an all-round excellent" (Legal 500 2013) team of talented life sciences lawyers acting for clients at the cutting edge of this technical sector.

Chambers UK 2013 notes that team members "have a detailed and comprehensive understanding of the life sciences sector, ranging from financing through to complex partnering transactions."

The "very commercial and very experienced" (Chambers Global 2014)  Gordon Harris has more than 25 years' experience including international patent disputes, anti-counterfeiting programmes and design litigation.

In Germany, Dr. Michael Schneider and Dr. Alexander Bayer are experts in patent and utility model infringement and invalidity, brands, licensing, data protection, freedom to operate opinions, copyright, designs, unfair competition and domain name disputes.

They help clients achieve fast, cost-effective results from their base in Munich and, together with the UK and Paris team, advise on European cross-border enforcement and strategies.

Wragge & Co's intellectual property team is ranked as a first tier team in the West Midlands. But the team's expertise is not confined to Europe.

Specialists based in the firm's China office in Guangzhou, including Dr Jian Xu and director Tom Carver, provide advice on all aspects of intellectual property enforcement and exploitation in a region that is increasingly a priority to clients' business expansion and development. The increasingly international reach of the team is reflected in not only its client list but its ability to successfully handle multi-jurisdictional transactions and litigation work.

Sector specialisation, technical expertise and commercial pragmatism are fundamental to the team and its clients.

A regular supply of analysis and practical tips on the big issues affecting intellectual property keeps the team's contacts up to date with developments ahead of their competition. Articles, seminars, industry membership and speaking engagements in the UK, Germany, China, Singapore, California, Boston, Chicago, The Netherlands, Prague, Paris, Rome and Copenhagen ensure an international reputation for thought leadership.

For more about intellectual property, contact Gordon Harris (gordon_harris@wragge.com).