Introducing Our New Materials Team

Haseltine Lake Kempner prides itself on its specialists. We have formed a new Materials Science team, bringing together attorneys from across the firm, all of whom have a wealth of knowledge and experience in materials science – many having doctorates and/or years of professional experience in the area. With the discipline being of increasing importance to many of our clients, we wanted to introduce you to the team, which is led by partner Alex Rogers and senior associate Michael Ford.

First, a brief explanation of why we have formed this group. We realised, looking across our traditional teams – which are split into Chemistry and Life Sciences, Engineering and High Technology subject areas – that quite a number of our attorneys are materials science specialists. We wanted to bring them together, so they can share knowledge, keep a focus on best practice and deepen our capabilities further in this important area. Each attorney, while being a specialist in materials science, therefore has the benefit of knowledge of another discipline, enabling them to give advice that is finely tuned to the needs of our clients. Collectively, the attorneys in the team work with clients across a diverse range of sectors, including aerospace, automotive engineering, electronics, oil and gas, nuclear power, renewable energy, medical devices and healthcare products.

The group is skilled in the drafting and prosecution of patent applications relating to new material structures and compositions, manufacturing methods, engineering applications and characterisation tools. Members also have substantial experience of representing clients in oppositions and appeals before the EPO, as well as advising on patent infringement, validity and freedom-to-operate.

In addition to representing our clients in Europe, we will be producing articles and bulletins on materials science IP issues and running specialist seminars to enhance the knowledge and skills of our clients in the area – watch this space!

Materials Team Members

Alex Rogers

Alex is a partner in the firm and co-leader of the Materials team. He has over 20 years’ experience in the patent profession working with clients on technologies such as materials for use in prosthetics, hydrogel and hydrocolloid materials for use on human skin, new food materials, synthetic diamonds, carbon fibre materials, mineral materials and their use in plastics and paper, new printing materials, including 3D printing and electrophotographic printing areas, and new materials for use in Li-ion batteries. Alex also has considerable experience in oppositions and appeals at the European Patent Office. He has a first class honours MChem degree from Oxford University.

A recent testimonial in the Legal 500 read: “Alex Rogers is technically excellent, very responsive, and knows our business needs very well”.

Michael Ford

Michael is a senior associate in the firm and co-leader of the Materials team. With a first-class MEng and a DPhil in Materials Science from the University of Oxford, he works with patent applications across the whole spectrum of materials. He has particular experience in drafting and prosecuting applications relating to metals and alloys, minerals, electrochromics, semiconductor device fabrication and fibre-reinforced composites, and works with SMEs, universities and multinationals. He also advises on freedom-to-operate and has experience of EPO opposition proceedings. Michael has a special interest in the use of computer modelling in the development of new materials and carried out research in this area at the University of Oxford, the Ruhr-Universität Bochum and the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Chloe Farrar

Chloe is a trainee patent attorney in the firm. She has a first-class MEng in Materials Science from the University of Oxford, in which she completed a research project focused on measuring the mechanical properties of ceramic matrix composites for nuclear power applications. As part of her degree, she studied the mechanical, electronic and optical properties of materials, including polymers, composites and semiconductors. During her time at HLK, Chloe has assisted in drafting and prosecuting applications involving composites, semiconductors and nanocrystalline materials, in fields ranging from aerospace and safety equipment to packaging and consumer goods.

Iain Robertson

Iain is a patent attorney in the firm. He has a Materials Science MSci degree from the University of St Andrews. It covered a range of topics, with a focus on ceramics and material structure characterisation. He has an interest in renewable energy, having done a research project on materials for rechargeable batteries. His degree also included a year working at EMPA, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, studying materials for solid oxide fuel cells. His PhD, also from the University of St Andrews, was in polymer solar cells, and it included a visit to the synchrotron at Stanford University to obtain polymer XRD data.

Joanne Addison

Jo is a senior associate in the firm. Having an MSci in physical chemistry with research involving aluminosilicates, Jo works on a wide range of materials technologies. She works with SMEs, start-ups, universities and multinationals and has particular experience in drafting and prosecuting applications relating to functionalized fabrics, fiber-reinforced composites, batteries, diamond technologies, fuel cells and semiconductor device fabrication. Jo advises on all stages of the life cycle of a patent, from the initial drafting and examination of patent applications to post-grant validity challenges such as EPO oppositions. She also advises on freedom-to-operate and infringement issues.

Luke Dent

Luke is a trainee patent attorney in the firm. He graduated with a First in MEng Materials Science from the University of Oxford, where his master’s thesis on a novel method of ceramics sintering earned him a nomination for a national award. Luke has experience in industrial research, including the manufacture and characterisation of synthetic diamonds, and the degradation of nuclear steels. Luke has worked on drafting and prosecuting patent applications across a broad range of materials technologies, including graphene-enhanced materials, spintronic sensor devices, carbon-carbon composites, polymer packaging processes, and nuclear fusion technologies.

Magnus Johnston

Magnus is a partner in the firm. He works with many multinational corporations, including major energy companies, large steel producers, smart glass manufacturers and speciality minerals producers, all of whom value Magnus’ years of experience in the patent profession and his deep knowledge of their technologies. He has a BSc in Chemistry with New Materials Technology and a PhD in the synthesis of novel acentric open-framework crystalline materials containing transition metals.  Magnus has a considerable case load of European oppositions and appeals, helping clients defend key patents in their portfolio and also helping them challenge the validity of competitors’ patents.

Stephan Schultes

Stephan is a senior associate in the firm, where his PhD and industry research experiences into the thin film properties of a range of inorganic and organic semiconductor materials have proven invaluable in understanding the technologies of clients working in areas such as photovoltaics, data and energy storage, semiconductor manufacturing and sensors. He provides practical advice on all aspects of patent and other IP rights, from developing an initial IP strategy through to post-grant proceedings. He also has extensive experience advising on validity and infringement matters.

Nina Szamocki-Hoffman

Nina is a senior associate in the firm, with a particular focus on materials with mechanical applications. She has experience drafting and prosecuting patent applications relating especially to composite materials such as fibre-reinforced composites and to methods of manufacturing with specific materials. She works with businesses of all sizes including start-ups, SMEs and multinationals, and her secondment with an in-house team of a multi-national corporation together with her MBA degree gives her a special insight into the challenges faced by in-house counsel and commercial drivers which impact decision making.

Greg Sharp (né Dykes)

Greg is a senior associate in the firm. Having obtained a Masters in Mechanical Engineering, he works with patents relating to the engineering aspects and practical applications of materials. He has significant experience in drafting and prosecuting UK and European patent applications in these fields, along with expertise in the opposition and defence of granted patents before the EPO and UK IPO. Greg has a particular interest in the design and applications of composite materials, having focussed one of his major university projects on the use of fibre-reinforced plastics in dynamic structures and the effects of differing fibre orientation on their behaviour.