Why should we expect you – our clients – to entrust us with looking after their patents and other intellectual property?
The fact is that you do and you keep coming back, so we must have got something right over the years and looking back we have done a great diversity of patent work for our clients. This is reflected in the case studies in this website.
Mostly, you want us to protect relatively straight forward engineering products. The products that we use every day never stand still. Ten years ago, I was given a Garmin GPS. It was a wonderful innovation. Nowadays, as one drives down the motorway, every other car has a TomTom stuck in the windscreen. New things appear amazingly often. They are all dreamed up by someone and that inventor or his employer wants to get the full advantage of having had his brainchild.
The patent system exists to protect brainchildren. Our job as patent agents / patent attorneys is to understand the invention, place it in its context, describe it in technical terms and define it in legal terms.
People ask what we specialise in. The flippant answer is that we are jacks of all trades. Today’s job may be packaging medical samples, last week’s computer peripherals, a fortnight ago’s plasma lights, last month’s aircraft seats, last year’s inhalers. The common theme is only a skill in understanding what is new and then getting a good patent on it by defining it with appropriate language.
I, Nigel, have been doing this for many years. I read engineering science at Oxford, spent three years as an automotive engineer, something in which I am still involved. Then I qualified as a patent agent only to find a contraction in the profession. I employed myself and my practice has grown steadily ever since.
The bread and butter of my work is writing patent specifications and filing them at patent offices around the world. On the one hand, patents are the legal right to sue infringers. On the other hand, they are “Keep Off the Grass” warnings. Sometimes, my clients find these warnings about their IP, which really means patents, trade marks, designs, copyright and know-how, being ignored by others. So part of my job is to let these people know that they have just caused a sense of humour failure and best they stop or else. That can be “job done” straight away or become very long and expensive and involve patent lawyers all over the world. As ever, the really important thing is only to fight those battles where there is a good prospect of winning. Of course, just occasionally my clients are not beyond being on the receiving end of a letter requiring them to cease and desist. Then the boot is on the other foot and reasons have to be found for the patent to be proved invalid and so on.
I believe that you can entrust your IP to us to look after, protect and enforce. It is what we are here for.
Engineering is in the Brooks genes. As a little boy I helped my father get a model traction engine working that had been made by a great uncle. The engine went with me to school and still sits in its chest in my workshop. It taught me to twiddle the knobs on the lathe, which all helped to get me to Moulton Developments before reading Engineering Science at Oxford University. During 18 months back at Moultons, I laid out Hydragas car suspension geometries. Leverages, spring rates, compliance and so on has never left me and, indeed, I still act for Anthony Best Dynamics, successors in business to Moultons. For me there followed a period with Glacier Metal. Both Moultons and Glacier were very patent aware. Sadly, there seemed little future for me as an engineer in the English car industry, but patents fascinated me, being half engineering and half law.
A position as a technical assistant to a firm of patent agents in Chancery Lane followed. On qualification, I found that the advent of the European Patent System was causing a contraction in the patent profession. So I set up on my own. More than 25 years later, I am still happily drafting patents, fighting infringing competitors for my clients, dealing with competitor patents that ought not to be in the way of my clients, battling over ownership of inventions and all the 101 things that a general practitioner such as I gets involved in.
The case studies accessible on the home page show the sort of work that I have done over the years.
Meanwhile, the engineering genes have not gone away and are to be found in my small car business, Findhorn Cars.
I look forward to helping you with your inventions.
Lesley – Finance Manager
Lesley is the part time Finance Manager who has worked with us since 2003. She is solely responsible for all aspects of finance from cash flow management, producing management accounts and completing year end accounts. She enjoys working in the small, friendly office in a great location!
Toria – Formalities Manager
Toria is the Formalities Manager. She has the pleasure of running the bespoke database via which all important patent and trade mark application dates are kept track of. She files UK and PCT applications, instructs foreign applications, sends reminders by the dozen and pays renewal fees. Toria manages it all!
Paula – Secretary
Paula is the practice’s general factotum and keeps our office going with great good humour and, as general factotum alias “Nigel’s chief Nag”, oversees the mass of correspondence coming and going and keeps us fee earners on the right cases needing attention. Every practice needs the efficiency of a Paula.
Nicky – Technical Assistant
Nicky has a varied background and came to the firm with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Post Graduate Diploma in Engineering and Finance. She is an associate member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (AMIMechE) and in her spare time likes to race classic cars. In fact, she joined us in 2016 after completing the 6th Peking-to-Paris Classic Car Motor Challenge.
She has finished her PG Cert in Intellectual Property Law at Queen Mary’s and has now returned to us to continue supporting Nigel with the patent and trade mark workload, as well as managing the website and social media aspects of the business.
For more information please visit her LinkedIn Page at: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/nickymathew