The automotive industry is undergoing a period of unprecedented change, from rapid technical developments in electric vehicles and autonomous driving, to the disruption and opportunities resulting from the widespread incorporation of connectivity and AI into vehicles. This is presenting new IP legal challenges for automotive companies.

Our team have the technical capabilities and industry knowledge to guide you through the IP-related challenges that result. We have experience in advising clients on software copyright issues and automotive-related patent disputes, as well as FRAND licensing in the automotive sector.


The strength and depth of our expertise in the biotechnology sector is second to none, with our lawyers having been involved in some of the most high-profile cases in the UK and across Europe from the earliest developments in the field. In the UK, our team have played a central role in the key patent disputes in the sector, successfully representing Human Genome Sciences and Kymab in the two leading UK Supreme Court decisions in the biotech field.

We have represented Illumina in a series of complex cases involving enforcement of patents for non-invasive prenatal diagnostic testing and for nucleic acid sequencing technologies. We have acted for Biogen in litigation relating to the launch of biosimilar Humira in the European market, for example, and provided advice on European litigation strategy for a range of biosimilar products.

Other cases have involved monoclonal antibodies and their methods of production, protein purification technologies, formulation chemistry, enzyme inhibitors, enzyme replacement therapies, CRISPR, RNAi and gene therapy, sequencing and analytical methodologies, agricultural biochemistry and vaccine manufacture (from sub-unit vaccines to mRNA platform technologies).

Many of our lawyers have degrees in chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, immunology and biological sciences – including at doctorate level. As a result, we have unmatched technical expertise and industry knowledge, plus a genuine interest in the technologies at issue.


Literally everything involves chemicals – and our experience in the chemicals sector spans across chemicals, pharmaceuticals, veterinary products, display and battery technologies and industrial processes, to name but a few of the areas in which we have supported leading advanced technology clients.

Our team has advised and represented clients on a diverse array of chemical-related matters, covering petrochemicals, nutritional lipids, polymers, adhesives, industrial catalysts, processes of organic synthesis, agrochemicals, speciality chemicals, plastics and polymer processing. Our work in this area extends from strategic advice and FTO projects to multijurisdictional patent litigation, as well as disputes arising from contractual/licensing issues.

We are perfectly equipped to tackle the complexities of the technical aspects of the issues faced by clients in the chemicals sector, due to the scientific expertise of our team, which includes lawyers with degrees and postgraduate qualifications in chemistry, chemical engineering and biochemistry.

Consumer Goods

From washing powder to high end watches, protecting the value and image of a brand is integral to commercial success. Our expertise in the field of consumer goods includes advising on food and drink products, household items (such as washing powders, cosmetics, razor blades, shampoos, toothbrushes and batteries), fashion and luxury goods (such as watches, perfume and clothing).

Seeking urgent injunctive relief is often essential in such disputes, and we have been involved in numerous interim injunction applications, applications for search orders and asset freezing orders. Our team also has particular strength in matters involving parallel trade, counterfeit and lookalike issues, and non traditional trade marks.

Our experience includes advising a leading global consumer products company – boasting a portfolio of brands with many of the world’s best known household names – on a range of issues related to counterfeit, parallel trade and lookalike disputes. In addition, we have represented an internationally renowned university to secure its rights in relation to the use of its name on merchandise, as well as advising furniture designers on – and challenging – legislation regarding the protection of their designs 


As telecommunications technologies continue to develop at great speed, IP disputes in the telecommunications sector show no sign of slowing down.  The demand for higher bandwidth and lower latency communications technologies drives innovation in this sector, and as traditional implementers transition to becoming innovators, the SEP landscape is shifting radically.

Our team – many of whom have degrees in physics, engineering and computer sciences, some at doctorate level – have years of experience in advising on IP disputes in the telecommunications field, for both implementation patents and SEPs/FRAND licensing.  


We advise a broad range of clients in the pharma sector, ranging from University spin-outs and SMEs to some of the largest, multinational companies. We can assist clients through the various stages of the product life cycle including freedom to operate assessments and risk mitigation, patent validity and infringement actions, SPC disputes, inventorship and entitlement claims, as well as trademark and re-packaging issues. We also represent clients in disputes over the payment of royalties under patent licences, both in arbitration and litigation.

Our reputation for pharma patent litigation is second to none. We represent both claimants and defendants, understanding the available strategies from both perspectives, including in the context of the relevant regulatory frameworks for medicine approval.

Our work includes representing clients in high-stakes patent cases before the UK courts, whilst also pursuing parallel EPO opposition proceedings and multi-jurisdictional litigation. We are often called upon to devise and co-ordinate European strategies to support our client’s commercial objectives.

We have successfully represented clients in cases before all levels of the UK Courts, up to the Supreme Court, and on referrals to the European Court of Justice and the EFTA Court on SPC issues.

Many of our lawyers have degrees in chemistry, biochemistry, physiology, neuroscience and biological sciences – including at doctorate level – and our team includes a medically qualified doctor. As a result, we have unmatched technical expertise and industry knowledge, plus a genuine interest in the technologies at issue.

We have a wealth of experience in advising on patents protecting NCEs, pharmaceutical formulations, purification technologies, enantiomers and crystalline forms, combination therapies, medical uses and dosage regimens.

Medical Devices

Innovation in the medical devices sector is allowing millions of people to live healthier, more productive and independent lives. As technology develops and treatment options expand, IP disputes are more common, particularly with the increasing integration of high tech into medical devices.

Powell Gilbert has been involved in some of the leading cases in the medical devices field, including those at the interface between protecting patentee’s interests and ensuring the public interest in having continuing access to potentially life-saving treatment options. We have a deep knowledge of how markets for medical devices operate, and work closely with our clients to advise on pan-European strategies in the context of relevant legal, regulatory and commercial considerations.

Our team – many of whom have degrees in the life sciences, engineering, chemistry and computer sciences, some at doctorate level – have years of experience of advising clients to the medical devices sector, including in relation to stents, cochlear implants, heart valves, blood pressure monitors and surgical instruments.

Information Technology

Computers are the workhorse of the modern economy and underpin all industries and sectors. Increasingly, general purpose computing resources such as cloud services are used in unique and innovative ways, many of which can interplay with IP rights.

Further, developments in computing technology, such as the much anticipated commercialisation of quantum computing, and the continued development of artificial intelligence technologies, will revolutionise how we interact with computers and how we approach complex computing problems in product and service development and delivery.

Our team comprises experts in computer science and quantum computing who have been at the cutting edge of litigation in the field of computing and IT, in particular in relation to the patentability of computer software and the nexus of software implemented products and services and competing IP rights.


We have a wide range of experience in the engineering sector at all scales, spanning oil and gas, shipping, automotive, catering equipment, engineering plant design, heavy industry, precision tooling and engineering, semiconductor fabrication and various manufacturing industries. Our work in support of other sectors – such as medical devices, chemistry / biotechnology and energy – often draws upon our expertise in engineering when issues of manufacture and technology deployment arise.

Our team – many of whom have degrees in engineering, including at doctorate level – have advised on a wide range of IP disputes in the sector ranging from large-scale multinational arbitrations to patent, copyright and design litigation.

Energy & Clean Tech

As the need for cleaner, more sustainable and more secure sources of energy to meet the demands of industry and consumers becomes ever more apparent, so the need arises for robust intellectual property to incentivise and protect innovation and investment in the energy sector. Similarly, the range of technologies developed for protecting the environment and reducing negative environmental impacts continues to grow, and these are areas where sophisticated clients are increasingly paying attention to their IP needs.

Long-established industry players as well as ground-breaking start-ups alike, rely on our expertise in these fields. Our advisory and multi-jurisdictional litigation experience ranges from offshore oil platforms to involvement in biofuels, numerous wind turbine-related issues, as well as pioneering gas-to-liquid and battery technologies and their uses.

Many of our lawyers have qualifications and degrees in relevant areas, such as chemistry, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering and physics, giving us invaluable technical know-how in this sector.