Richard has over twenty years of experience in intellectual property (IP). He started his career as an examiner at the European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich, Germany, before spending a number of years in corporate practice as an in-house patent attorney supporting businesses in the chemical, consumer product, healthcare and medical device fields. Richard has advised many clients, from small start-ups to large blue chip companies. He has extensive experience of the entire IP lifecycle, from freedom-to-operate, through IP strategy, drafting, filing, prosecuting to actively managing IP and portfolio management. He provides practical, commercially-focused IP advice to clients and regards IP as a business tool which should be made to work to achieve the aims of the business.
Richard has worked in most areas of IP, starting as an EPO examiner, before working in-house at Smith & Nephew, then at Procter & Gamble, where he rose to manage P&G’s London IP department. After a brief pause, he has since worked in private practice, advising clients from the very small to the largest blue-chip companies. For six years, Richard was a member of the electromechanics examination committee for qualifying as a European Patent Attorney. He was also a member of the IP Federation Council for a number of years as well as a UK representative on the Standing Advisory Committee of the EPO (SACEPO).
In terms of legal aspects, some highlights of his career have related to contentious work. One example was carrying out multi-country freedom-to-operate assessments for a new product and launching invalidity actions or oppositions against key roadblock patents. Also, in a case where a competitor had threatened infringement proceedings, successfully identifying invalidity arguments and invalidating the patent in question. In terms of technologies, he has enjoyed working on environmental technologies, both as an examiner at the EPO and subsequently as a patent attorney. Highlights have included an IP audit for a Norwegian carbon-capture company, a due diligence for an investor in an Italian wave power company and patent drafting for a UK-based solid oxide fuel cell company.
“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard P. Feynman