16 April 2024

What a chemist needs to know about patents 2024

Organised by:

SCI's Young Chemists' Panel

SCI, London, UK

Registration Closed

This event is no longer available for registration.


Intellectual Property (IP) is one of the major outputs of all Research and Development (R&D) organisations, yet remains an area most scientists are unfamiliar with. SCI’s Young Chemists’ Panel in collaboration with UK-based patent and trademark attorneys and litigators, EIP, will hold this one-day workshop to introduce patent law and IP to those with a scientific background.


This event will bring together R&D and legal staff covering a broad spectrum of industries and is particularly relevant to those who wish to learn more about patents and IP in their field. This highly successful event has proved popular with previous attendees and speakers alike, as a chance to gain insight into the world of patents and IP from leading professionals in their field.

Exhibition and Sponsorship

For further information and prices, please email conferences@soci.org.


Dr Darren Smyth

Darren Smyth is a UK and European Patent Attorney, and was the head of EIP's chemistry practice group EIP Elements until 2023. He now holds the position of Head of Knowledge, and is known as an authoritative commentator on IP issues, having been a regular contributor to the IPKat weblog and the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice among others. He now writes a personal blog at ipalchemist.com.

Darren's clients range from multinational chemical and pharmaceutical companies to universities, spin-outs and start-ups. For these clients, in addition to patent drafting and prosecution, Darren regularly advises on portfolio management issues, handling of the invention disclosure process, validity and freedom to operate opinions, acquisition of IP, and purchaser and vendor due diligence. He is also experienced in contentious work, including oppositions and appeals at the European patent office, and litigation in the UK and other European jurisdictions.
Darren has a masters degree in chemistry and DPhil in synthetic organic chemistry from the University of Oxford, and worked in Japan for two years at the Tokyo Institute of Technology before entering the patent profession. Darren speaks Japanese and Spanish, and is conversant with French, German and Russian.

Darren is co-chair of IP Out, the LGBT+ networking group within the IP Inclusive initiative in the UK Intellectual Property professions, and was a speaker at its inaugural event.

Jared Barnard


Jared works for EIP US LLP as a Registered Patent Attorney and is based in Denver, Colorado. With a background in molecular biology, Jared specializes in preparing and prosecuting patent applications and counseling clients on biotech, pharmaceutical, and medical device related inventions. Jared has worked for a variety of law firms including international law firms and served as in-house counsel to private companies. His experience includes advising clients regarding numerous IP issues including providing freedom-to-operate opinions, advising regarding in-licensing, out-licensing, acquisition, and disposition of patent portfolios, and managing worldwide patent portfolios for biotechnology, pharmaceutical, life sciences, and medical device companies. He particularly enjoys counseling and advising clients on IP and patent issues related to mergers and acquisitions.

Dr Jen Le Miere

Jen splits her working week between working from SNIPR Biome ApS (based in Copenhagen), and consulting for small biotech companies at Merluccius IP (a company she founded in January 2023). Previously, Jen worked for Inivata Ltd, managing a small team responsible for all aspects of IP, licensing and contracts, and at Kymab Ltd (a Sanofi Company), a biotech start-up based in Cambridge which was acquired by Sanofi in April 2021. Before then, she was at GSK, supporting medicinal chemistry, inhaled medicines and the antibody technology group. In addition to the usual patent filing and prosecution work,
Jen has extensive experience of managing collaborations with academics and biotech companies and advising on all aspects of licencing, freedom-to-operate and due diligence. She enjoys the contentious side of patent work, having conducted numerous Oral Proceedings before the EPO and TBA, and been involved in UK, Irish, German and US litigation. She has conducted patent office contentious proceedings in the US (re-examinations, IPRs and interference proceedings), Australia, Japan and Korea, and been involved in depositions as part of US litigation. Of note, Jen was a key member of the litigation team in Regeneron v Kymab, from UK first instance through to the UK Supreme Court which handed down its decision in Kymab’s favour in June 2020.

Kathleen Fox Murphy


Kathleen is highly experienced in multi-jurisdictional patent litigation having acted in some of the most high-profile patent disputes of the last 20 years. Kathleen has advised clients across a variety of industry sectors, substantially in the telecoms, electronics, IT, pharma/biotech, engineering and chemical industries. This includes multi-jurisdictional litigation co-ordination, interim injunctions, infringement and validity litigation in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.


Tuesday 16 April 2024

Registration and refreshments
Introduction and welcome
What is a patent? - Dr Darren Smyth
What is a patent, how do you get one, who owns it, how long does it take, how long does it last, what rights does it give you and what does it all mean?
Inventorship and ownership of patents - Jared Barnard
Who should be included as an inventor of a patent? Issues relating to ownership of patents and the importance of inventorship and experimental records.
Patentability before the patent office - Dr Darren Smyth
What is a patentable chemical invention? What are the requirements for patentability?
Refreshment break
Patentability when you are in court - Kathleen Fox Murphy
Litigation case studies of patent validity.
Patent filing strategies; a pharmaceutical industry perspective - Dr Jen Le Mière
Relative strengths of patents; strategies to cover your product's unique selling point; how to decide which countries to seek protection; building a patent portfolio for optimum effect.
Patent specifications and chemical claims - Dr Darren Smyth
How to read and interpret a patent specification. Patents as a source of information. Varieties of patent claims used in a chemical context. Timing of patent filings for optimising protection and value.
Infringement and enforcement - Kathleen Fox Murphy
How to proceed when your patent is infringed - or you are accused of infringing. What constitutes patent infringement? Strategies to avoid infringement. Unitary Patent.
Refreshment break
US patent litigation - Jared Barnard
What happens when a patent is litigated in the US and how you can prepare now for when your patents are litigated. Discussion of the duty to disclose relevant information to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office when obtaining a U.S. patent.
Patent litigation from an in-house perspective - Dr Jen Le Mière
Before litigation: monitoring for infringement/infringers; how your (written) past may come back to haunt you & discovery; dealing with experts; managing multi-country litigation.
Panel session
Networking reception

Venue and Contact


14/15 Belgrave Square

Conference Team

Tel: +44 (0)20 7598 1561

Email: conferences@soci.org

Early bird - ends Tuesday 5 March
SCI Member - £90
Non-member - £120
Student Member - £45
After early bird
SCI Member - £140
Non-member - £170
Student Member - £65

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Organising committee
Joseph Howard, SCI / Bio-Techne
William Waddington, SCI / Pfizer
Fahima Idiris, SCI / Pharmaron