Withers & Rogers - Contentious Practice Group
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Our Contentious Practice group specialises in acting for clients in disputes including litigation in the English courts, opposition and appeal proceedings at the European Patent Office and appeals from the UKIPO. We particularly specialise in proceedings in the Intellectual Property and Enterprise Court (IPEC). In the court matters that we have handled, we have delivered highly cost effective litigation with the additional benefit of a high level of technical knowledge of the subject matter.

Our experience

Specialists in the team have experience of conducting litigation at the Court of Appeal, the High Court and the Patents County Court. We were the first ever Patent Attorney Litigators to win at the Court of Appeal, in Vector Corporation v Glatt Air Techniques, Inc [2008] RPC 10.

We have also successfully appealed UK Patent Office decisions on patentability of computer-related technologies to the High Court, for example in the significant case Symbian Ltd v Comptroller General of Patents [2008] EWHC 518 (Pat). We successfully defended the subsequent appeal filed by the Patent Office (the first time the UKIPO had ever lost on patentability at the Court of Appeal).

In addition, we are one of the most active firms in the streamlined Intellectual Property and Enterprise Court (IPEC), formerly known as the Patents County Court. The IPEC provides for fast track lower cost IP enforcement and dispute resolution, with caps on recoverable damages (£500k) and costs (£50k) meaning that the risk-reward trade-off of conducting litigation becomes more predictable. We have successfully handled several patent, registered design, and unregistered design right cases through the IPEC, and in April 2013, Managing Intellectual Property magazine named us as one of the three most active firms using the court.

Our expertise

Three members of the group have Patent Attorney Litigator Certificates and one is a Trade Mark Attorney Litigator.

Our experienced and expert team of European Patent Attorneys has an excellent track record at the EPO, having conducted many oppositions, appeals and oral proceedings on behalf of clients. While statistically it is true that 40% of opposed patents are revoked, some of our colleagues have never lost a patent. We believe our success is due to our extensive preparation, combined with the depth of our industry expertise.

Our aim is to provide a service that is open, accessible and commercially relevant. We try to ensure that our language is free from jargon and that our advice contains clear recommendations, not tortuous legal analysis.

Wider perspectives

As a group, we keep a watching brief on all that is happening within the courts and regularly maintain contact with a network of contentious IP solicitors. We also have strong relations with the specialist IP chambers at the Bar.

For further information please contact the group's lead attorney:

Dave Croston

Dave Croston




+44 1926 310700

Office: Leamington Spa

Nick Wallin

Nick Wallin




+44 20 7940 3600

Office: London