Clifford Chance

Expertise & Experience

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Clifford Chance's global IP Group offers both IP specialists, who typically handle transactional, advisory and disputes work, and commercial lawyers who are familiar with dealing with IP issues in the course of drafting and negotiating a wider range of transaction documents. Whether the job is standalone, or part of a larger transaction we can provide partners and lawyers with a suitable range of experience and skills.

Our lawyers focus on a variety of sectors globally and many of our lawyers who handle IP work are long-standing members of our sector focus groups such as life sciences, TMT and consumer goods and retail. Combining product and sector focus, in the context of our global law firm, facilitates knowledge sharing of a consistently high standard and helps us better to understand client needs.

We can offer our clients our practically applied IP knowledge and expertise, as well as a deep understanding of the challenges involved with conducting a market leading, international business in a constantly evolving technological environment.

Our lawyers handling IP work collaborate closely with our antitrust specialists in finding solutions to the issues that can arise from the tensions between the two areas of specialism.

Intellectual property advice

Our IP teams offer a breadth of experience in IP transactional and advisory work, covering the full range of IP subjects, in both domestic and international contexts.

Examples of our work include:

  • patent, trademark and copyright litigation
  • technology licences and joint ventures and other forms of technical cooperation and development 
  • brand licensing, sponsorship and franchising agreements 
  • copyright-based agreements across the creative industries with a particularly strong experience and focus on digital and online aspects 
  • analysis of IP portfolios and IP-related agreements in M&A and financing projects, inputting into transaction documents and preparing associated agreements and recordals 
  • IP risk assessment on proposed new ventures and advice on risk minimisation 
  • advice on best practice use and protection of IP 
  • patent licensing and cross-licensing
  • unfair competition
  • advertising

Like our IP disputes lawyers, most of our transactional and advisory IP lawyers focus on specific sectors and bring both pure and applied legal knowledge to client projects.

Intellectual property disputes and enforcement

Our IP lawyers have extensive experience of strategising, pursuing and defending IP disputes in a wide range of forums, including:

  • national and regional courts for disputes about misappropriation, infringement, validity, ownership and rights of use of all forms of IP rights
  • national and regional patent and trademark offices for disputes about registered IP rights
  • customs and national law enforcement and regulatory authorities for counterfeiting and infringement cases and border seizures
  • bespoke dispute resolution procedures (e.g. for domain name disputes).
  • arbitrations with IP subject matter

Our IP lawyers are used to dealing with technical and specialist subject matter, and many of them focus on specific sectors, giving them a more applied knowledge of how IP is exploited in practice. They frequently work with colleagues and external local lawyers in other jurisdictions to ensure claims are pursued consistently and in the most appropriate forums.

They will pursue and defend cases aggressively and effectively but are able to resolve a high percentage of disputes by negotiated settlements.