Mark joined Symbiosis in 2017 and was appointed as a co-director in 2020. He is a qualified UK Chartered Patent Attorney, Registered European Patent Attorney, Registered Unified Patent Court (UPC) representative and UK Patent Litigator.
Mark’s patent practice protection in diverse areas including: pharmaceuticals, including sustained release drug formulations; influenza vaccines; cancer therapeutics; medical devices such as drug eluting stents; small molecule chemistry; catalysts; speciality polymers; nanoparticles; DNA analytics; semiochemical molecules and the use thereof in pest management; biosensors; pesticides and pesticide resistant crops; microbicidal compounds and compositions; and plant-derived medicaments and extraction processes.
How do you help clients?
I provide pre-filing patentability advice, freedom to operate advice, strategic filing advice and innovation development advice to maximise claim scope and support broad, protectable, claims.
My work involves drafting new patent applications, prosecuting them in multiple jurisdictions and defending granted patents against third party attack across diverse subject areas.
I also work to resolve any identified freedom to operate issues, by the commercial negotiation of mutually beneficial licence(s) and/or, where appropriate, invalidation of conflicting third-party patents in multiple jurisdictions.
I am particularly experienced in European patent opposition and appeal, having spent over a decade representing, both alone and in a leading role alongside in-house patent counsel, multinational chemical companies during complex and highly litigious cases involving multiple parties and multiple interrelated patents. This experience means that I can apply a pragmatic and commercial perspective when advising on the relative strength of a client’s position and/or on the resolution of disputes with third parties.
- Established important EPO case law precedent relating to the assessment of inventive step, in particular reformulation of the objective technical problem, that has since been used successfully by third parties during examination and opposition. This arose from prosecuting a series of six interrelated and commercially important patent applications directed to synergistic microbicidal combinations. Refusal of all six cases by the Examining Division led to Appeal proceedings, which were heard consecutively over a period of three days, with all decisions being overturned and patent protection being granted for all the commercially important combinations.
- Represented a large government research entity during the opposition of a European Patent directed to targeted photoimmunotherapy complexes and the use of such complexes as anticancer therapeutics. Following oral proceedings, the patent was maintained with minimal amendment, securing composition of matter and medical use protection for all commercially relevant subject matters.
- Provided advice to a university client in relation to a granted EP patent directed to regenerative medicine and cosmetic treatment methods that had not yet been commercialised and had been opposed by third party. Instead of surrendering the Patent, the University successfully defended the Patent in opposition, whilst opening up negotiations with the opponent with a view to licensing, and so commercialising, the technology for the first time.
- Advised a university client on an existing patent family, directed to novel therapeutic compounds and the use of such compounds in the treatment of metastatic cancers, following refusal in multiple national patent offices. Significant issues with the prosecution strategy were identified but a plausible route to allowance, through the filling of divisional / continuation applications, was identified. As a result of this advice, I took over representation for the entire patent family, and quickly implemented the proposed strategy, obtaining granted patent protection in all available jurisdictions (Europe, USA, Australia, Canada, Japan, and Hong Kong (with grant shortly expected in China)). The technology has recently been licensed to a third party and is now a commercial success for the University.
- Involved in several due diligence investigations prior to business acquisitions, including Venture Capital Deal of the Year for the investment in Apitope Technology Limited as part of the Wales Dealmakers Awards 2016.