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Commercialisation of Intellectual Property

We have considerable experience of protection, commercialisation, strategies and means of exploitation of all forms of intellectual property rights.  

This includes a leading practice in the field of all intellectual property transactions, ranging from acquisitions and disposals, through to licensing and joint collaboration agreements.  

Effective commercialisation of ideas, products and services usually involves having the rights to a suitable combination of intellectual property rights which underlie those ideas, products and services, although the precise rights usually depend significantly on the industry concerned.  During the life of those intellectual property rights the original owner (whether it be a large multinational corporation or a smaller more local entity) will often wish enter into transactions with a third party to (1) dispose of those rights (either in whole or in part), (2) to acquire further rights, (3) to develop the ideas, products or services, and/or (4) to exploit those rights in collaboration with that third party.  Such transactions often accompany the acquisition or disposal of the whole or part of a business, but can arise on many other occasions such as at the time of mergers and reorganisations.  Many such transactions are cross-border, where the laws of other countries will impact on the proposed arrangements.

In any such transaction, not only is it important to consider what is being included but what is not included.  For example an intellectual property right owner may often wish to impose restrictions on a third party acquiring rights under or to that intellectual property – perhaps by granting restricted rights under a licence or by imposing restrictive covenants. 

In any event it is also important to ensure that any such transaction is carried out in a tax efficient manner and that the agreed terms comply with, for example, antitrust and competition law. 

Accordingly such transactions can be exceedingly complicated (especially when they are cross-border), and our considerable experience is acknowledged to be invaluable in identifying and dealing with the issues.

Areas where we have considerable expertise include the following:

  • technology, including electrical and mechanical disciplines (including IT), chemicals and biotechnology. We also deal with clients whose businesses and technologies straddle a range of disciplines
  • brands, ranging from fashion and design to restaurants and other forms of leisure, to life sciences, healthcare and IT
  • databases, including highly sophisticated and complex industry databases in disciplines ranging from fashion to DNA and environmental statistics
  • media, including all forms of publishing, especially digital media
  • fine art and heritage.

Our work in these areas include:

  • advising on all forms of transactions and agreements relating to the commercialisation of all forms of intellectual property, including acquisition, disposal and licensing
  • advising on intellectual property holding structures and re-structuring, in the context of business re-organisation or corporate tax planning
  • joint ownership agreements
  • protocols for management of intellectual property, including jointly owned portfolios or pools of property
  • related agreements such as research and development agreements, confidentiality undertakings
  • franchising, merchandising, sponsorship and other forms of business based on brands.

However, the expertise of the firm does not simply extend to transactions and agreements involving intellectual property; it relates to all aspects of its commercialisation and beyond.  

In the area of patents and technology, our top-ranked patent team is recognised as being expert in complex patent disputes and strategic issues, often with an international and cross-border dimension.  It is also often asked to advise on other matters such as strategy (ranging from basic patent strategy through to an overall intellectual property strategy of a client, or an analysis of that of its competitors) and other technology related issues.

We are one of the few leading City law firms which has the commitment and ability to provide a holistic approach (and a complete ‘one stop shop’) to meet the intellectual property needs of clients in relation to brands and designs and associated matters.


Patents and know-how

Advising a multinational pharmaceutical company on in-licences for its pipeline, including advice on the intellectual property position and complex provisions in respect of ongoing multiparty research, all in the context of the commercialisation strategy for the technologies concerned.

Advising a funding body on principles for the commercialisation and management of a considerable intellectual property portfolio as well as associated agreements for funding, licensing and joint research. This included related competition law and State Aid aspects.


Advising on the commercialisation of the HMS Victory Brand, together with related artefacts.

Advising on the acquisition of a portfolio of trade marks and the licensing (including cross-licensing) of related rights in respect of a well-known magazine title.


Advising a major broadcaster on the acquisition of rights relating to a new broadcasting platform.


Advising on the protection, development and licensing of two national asset databases.