Mark Pearce

Position: Partner
Phone: +(44)(0)113 388 8264
Mobile: +(44)(0)7436 531182
Fax: +(44)(0)113 388 8441

What can I do for you?

I can help you understand how intellectual property law can help protect your business and plan a strategy with you to obtain that protection. Then we can work to exploit the rights you have, for instance if you choose to licence them to others. If a competitor seeks to benefit from your innovation by infringing those right I can enforce them for you. On the other hand, I can also help navigate a way around your competitors' IP rights, avoiding infringing their rights. If you are accused of infringement I can defend you against that claim.

Supporting my clients’ aims

A challenging but very satisfying job I worked on was for a high-tech engineering company who had been asked to build two pieces of apparatus to work together in an offshore application in the Caspian Sea. They were aware of a competitor’s patent which might be infringed by the combined control system but which was only held in certain states. Working with the client and its patent attorneys and with lawyers in several foreign jurisdictions we devised a strategy for supplying the vehicles as a kit which avoided the infringement risk. We also negotiated indemnities from the customer to protect the client in the event of proceedings being commenced. We had to give further advice on potential infringement risks involved in commissioning the equipment and training the customer’s staff to use it, again working with overseas lawyers.

Another really interesting piece of work was for a small engineering company which had been sued for patent infringement by a US based multi-national engineering company. The client wanted to fight the case but had very limited resources. Using information from another client in the same industry which had also been threatened, we were able to establish that the claimant had used the patented system in public before it applied for its patent and found photographs proving that. This made the patent invalid. We adopted a highly unusual strategy and admitted infringement, saving the costs of fighting that issue and relied only on this one piece of prior art. The result was a very quick and highly satisfactory settlement, which allowed the client to continue to manufacture and sell its product royalty free.

What do others say?

I like to think I’m very commercial in the advice I give, so I was delighted when a client told the Legal 500 that I was "exactly what you want in a lawyer – he’s responsive, he speaks plain English rather than jargon, and he always delivers”.

What else should you know?

As a physics graduate who worked in science for a couple of years before becoming a lawyer I really enjoy working with technology driven businesses. This also gives me a better understanding of businesses in the technology sector and the people that work in them. You might be interested in our technology law blog where we discuss developments relating to technology businesses, both legal and otherwise.