In some acquisitions, intellectual property rights are not key assets; in others, they are crucial. In one case that Justin advised on, a single patent family was the only significant asset of the investment target. The invention had been made during a collaboration between government and university institutions researching the use of nano-particles for the targeted delivery of chemotherapy drugs. Justin helped his client, an investor, understand the target’s entitlement, what distinguished the technology, and the scope of the monopoly that might be available under members of the family in different jurisdictions.
Justin has also advised on matters where freedom to operate technology, rather than the scope of a patented monopoly, was a critical factor. Justin’s client was interested in developing a new business program, involving the imaging and inspection for defects of components moving at high speed, using specialist cameras and machine vision algorithms. For the company, a high profile and litigation adverse multinational, it was important to have a robust assessment of the risk and merits of possible litigation by one or more of the incumbents in key jurisdictions. Justin had the necessary experience and technical understanding to advise his client fully about third-party patent portfolios in several different technical fields.