Darren Smyth

Partner, UK and European Patent Attorney, Design Attorney, UPC Representative

Darren Smyth

Darren has technical expertise in a range of fields, including pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, food chemistry, polymers, oligonucleotides, organic LEDs, semiconductors, metallurgy, batteries, and process chemistry.

He has 20 years of experience in private practice, having joined EIP from a position as Partner at the largest IP practice in the UK. Darren has considerable experience in handling difficult cases, contentious matters, and complex advisory work. He has particular experience of opposition and appeal hearings at the EPO, and has advised in relation to patent litigation in the UK and other European countries. Darren also has recognised expertise in the field of registered designs.

Within EIP, Darren is Head of Knowledge, ensuring that that all our attorneys and support staff have the most up-to-date information about legal developments, and overseeing continuous improvement in our internal systems.

Darren is on the editorial board of the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, to which he also frequently contributes. He blogged for The IPKat from 2012 to 2017 and also maintains a personal blog as IP Alchemist. Darren is a founding committee member of IP Out, the LGBT+ networking group within the IP Inclusive initiative which promotes diversity and inclusion within the UK Intellectual Property professions, and was a speaker at its inaugural event. Darren is well placed to advise clients on the new Unified Patent Court (UPC) - see further details at EIP Amar, our alliance created to support clients in any litigation before the UPC.


  • Representation of Applicant before Enlarged Board of Appeal in G2/08 - Patentability of dosage regimes (link)
  • Technical consultancy for Tate & Lyle in patent revocation and infringement action concerning crystalline maltitol Tate & Lyle Technology v Roquette Freres (link)
  • European patent concerning appetite suppression by resistant sugar polymers successfully revoked in Opposition at EPO (link)
  • Technical consultancy for Daiichi Sankyo in CJEU case C-6/11 - Supplementary Protection Certificates for drug combinations (link)

Recent work

  • In 2016 assisted a major medical device manufacturer in 10 oppositions at the EPO.
  • Advises Tate & Lyle in relation to a number of technology acquisitions under Open Innovation strategy (link)
  • Continues to develop patent portfolio and protection strategy for the high intensity sweetener sucralose

Published articles

  • July 2024
    EIP Amar, Paris local division revokes DexCom patent (link)
  • June 2024
    EIP Amar , Defective opt out allows revocation action to proceed at the UPC (link)
  • May 2024
    EIP Amar, Security for Costs (link)
  • May 2024
    EIP Amar, UPC allows intervention by Licensee (link)
  • May 2024
    EIP Amar, Interpretation allowed only at party’s own cost (link)
  • May 2024
    EIP Amar, UPC Court of Appeal Confirms no Provisional Injunction for VusionGroup (link)
  • May 2024
    EIP Amar, Unchallenged claims of patent cannot be amended (link)
  • May 2024
    EIP Amar, Language change not allowed if not language of the patent (link)
  • May 2024
    EIP Amar, Language change refused by the UPC (link)
  • May 2024
    EIP Amar, Splitting proceedings in respect of multiple defendants in different jurisdictions (link)
  • May 2024
    EIP Amar, UPC Court of Appeal Confirms Deadline to Appeal Orders (link)
  • April 2024
    EIP Amar, UPC emphasises importance of formal service (link)
  • April 2024
    EIP Amar, Error in Defendant not Fatal to Revocation Claim (link)
  • April 2024
    EIP Amar, UPC Refuses to Admit Further Amendment Requests (link)
  • March 2024
    EIP Amar, (Non)-Bifurcation at the UPC (link)
  • February 2024
    EIP Amar, Access to documents – representation (link)
  • October 2023
    EIP Updates, European Patent Office liberalises rules on priority (link)
  • October 2023
    EIP Amar, 10x Genomics not successful second time around (link)
  • October 2023
    EIP Updates, Farewell to the 10 day rule (link)
  • October 2023
    EIP Amar, Termination of Proceedings (link)
  • September 2023
    EIP Amar, Determining Date of Service and Corresponding Time limits (link)
  • September 2023
    EIP Amar, 10x Genomics v NanoString (link)
  • June 2023
    EIP Updates, Advanced Bionics v Med-El – Court of Appeal upholds invalidity of patent (link)
  • June 2023
    EIP Updates, Sandoz v BMS – Court of Appeal grapples with plausibility again (link)
  • April 2023
    AIPPI Japan Journal, Protection of fashion design in Europe (in Japanese), 欧州におけるファッションデザインの保護 (link)
  • April 2023
    EIP Updates, EU Commission Announces Major Reforms to Supplementary Protection Certificates (link)
  • 9 December 2022
    IP Inclusive, Keeping the Conversation Going Beyond Black History Month (link)
  • January 2022
    AIPPI Japan Journal, The Design Corpus and Degree of Freedom of The Designer in European Design Law and Practice (in Japanese), 欧州意匠法及び実務における, 既存の意匠群(Design Corpus)と意匠創作者の自由度 (link)
  • March 2021
    AIPPI Japan Journal, UK system for registered and unregistered designs (in Japanese), 英国における登録意匠及び登録のない意匠の制度 (link)
  • March 2021
    Intellectual Property Magazine, Reaching out during the pandemic (link)
  • March 2021
    JIPLP, Final decision from a UK Community Design Court clarifies how to interpret a registered design (link)
  • February 2021
    WIPR, Five minutes with… Darren Smyth, EIP (link)
  • February 2021
    IP Inclusive, LGBT+ History Month 2021: Darren Smyth Reflects (link)
  • January 2021
    The Law Society Gazette, Supplementary Protection Certificates in the UK (link)
  • October 2020
    CIPA Journal, Walter de Havilland - An Englishman in Meiji Japan (link)
  • June 2020
    Lawyer Monthly, LGBTQ+ in The IP Sector – Where Are We Now, Where Are We Going, And How Do We Get There? (link)
  • May 2020
    AIPPI Japan Journal, Registered Designs in EU and UK after Brexit (in Japanese), 英国 EU 離脱後の EU及び英国における登録意匠 (link)
  • March 2020
    Intellectual Property Magazine, Making Waves (link)
  • May 2019
    The Law Society Gazette, Protecting IP rights pre- and post-Brexit (link)
  • June 2018
    British Medical Journal, Pregabalin: what the patent litigation means for doctors and drug companies (link)
  • June 2018
    British Medical Journal, The clinician impact and financial cost to the NHS of litigation over pregabalin: a cohort study in English primary care (link)
  • May 2018
    GRUR Newsletter, Leadup to the pregabalin litigation - why did the SPCs lapse? (link)
  • September 2017
    JIPLP, A creative account of intellectual property law in India (link)
  • January 2017
    JIPLP, Standard disclosure takes centre stage in robotic lawn mower case (link)
  • September 2016
    JIPLP, More pain for Pfizer - second medical use claims not infringed (link)
  • July 2016
    JIPLP, Pain for Pfizer—claims of pregabalin patent deemed insufficient (link)
  • April 2016
    JIPLP, To Infinium and beyond! Questions regarding partial priority referred to the Enlarged Board of Appeal (link)
  • April 2015
    JIPLP, Pain for Pfizer: skinny Actavis lacks subjective intent to infringe, but ground-breaking relief settles 'Lyrical' patent dispute (link)
  • March 2015
    LexisPSL, Regulating the Nagoya Protocol (link)
  • March 2015
    JIPLP, There is a balm in Gilead: Idenix's patent infringed but invalid (link)
  • February 2015
    JIPLP, Novelty does not necessarily mirror infringement: product-by-process claims (link)
  • February 2015
    WTR Daily, Registered design for ice cream van held to be valid and infringed (link)
  • February 2015
    JIPLP, Novelty does not necessarily mirror infringement: product-by-process claims (link)
  • January 2015
    JIPLP, Rage against the (translation) machine (link)
  • July 2014
    Intellectual Property Magazine, What a lawyer needs to know about the Nagoya Protocol (link)
  • May 2014
    Chemistry World, We need to talk about Nagoya (link)
  • March 2014
    JIPLP, Two gaps instead of one: the CJEU's effect on SPC jurisprudence? (link)
  • February 2014
    JIPLP, Can springborad injunctions be awarded in respect of non-infringing acts? (link)
  • November 2013
    JIPLP, Patent law decisions from Supreme Courts: how can non-specialist judges decide this field of law? (link)
  • October 2013
    JIPLP, Any evidence of plausibility admissible - but not enough (link)
  • October 2013
    JIPLP, Insufficiency finally upheld as ground for invalidity of antibody claim (link)
  • July 2013
    Chemistry World, Book Review - How to invent and protect your invention (link)
  • May 2013
    Chemistry World, Compulsory licenses: necessity or threat?
  • May 2013
    JIPLP, The EPO's approach to antibody and polymorph claims (link)
  • May 2013
    JIPLP, Publicity orders in intellectual property cases (link)
  • May 2013
    Spicy IP, The IPKat's 'despair' with Supreme Court's judgement in Novartis v Glivec (link)
  • April 2013
    Class 99, Three ways of improving the RCD system
  • February 2013
    JIPLP, Publicity orders in intellectual property cases—When are they granted and how must a party comply (link)
  • February 2013
    JIPLP, How is the scope of protection of a registered community design to be determined? (link)
  • October 2012
    JIPLP, Wounded patent survives (link)
  • July 2012
    WTR Daily, Samsung v Apple – how similar does an alleged infringement have to be? (link)
  • July 2012
    JIPLP, Samsung v Apple – how does the Judge become an 'informed user'? (link)
  • June 2012
    JIPLP, Lions in the path or paper tigers? (link)
  • June 2012
    JIPLP, When must a patent be plausible? (link)
  • June 2012
    Controlled Release Society, UK Patents Court Finds Sustained-Release Quetiapine Patent Invalid
  • June 2012
    JIPLP, A principle of general application? (link)
  • April 2012
    Chemistry World, Be careful what you wish for (link)


Darren's educational background is in chemistry, with his postgraduate study and post-doc focusing on synthetic organic chemistry.

  • European Patent Attorney
  • UK Chartered Patent Attorney
  • 1996 — 1998
    Post Doctoral Fellowship, Royal Society and JSPS, Tokyo Institute of Technology
  • 1992 — 1996
    Doctor of Philosophy, New College, Oxford University
  • 1988 — 1992
    Master of Arts, New College, Oxford University

Career history

  • 2012 — present
    Partner, EIP
  • 2003 — 2011
    Partner, Marks & Clerk
  • 1998 — 2003
    Associate, Marks & Clerk

Awards and recognition

  • WIPR Leader 2024 (link)
  • IAM Patent 1000:“a wonderful lawyer who is detail oriented, comprehensive, practical and understands the business of his clientele. He handles and advises on patent prosecution, licensing and opposition proceedings.” (link)
  • IP Star 2024 (link)
  • Ranked as 'Diversity Champion' by WIPR Diversity, 2024 (link)
  • IAM Patent 1000, 2023. “Darren is a wonderful lawyer. His detail-oriented approach and comprehensive, practical and business-centric counsel are highly recommended.” (link)
  • Ranked as a 'Patent Star', IP Stars 2023
  • Recommended in JUVE Patent UK rankings 2023. (link)
  • Recommended in Who's Who Legal, IP - Patent Agents & Attorneys 2022 (link)
  • IAM Patent 1000, 2022. "Darren is responsive, comprehensive in his analysis and thoughtful in his advice." (link)
  • Ranked as a "Patent Star", IP Stars 2022 (link)
  • Recommended in JUVE Patent UK rankings 2022. (link)
  • Legal 500, 2022 (link)
  • Recommended in Who's Who Legal: IP 2021. (link)
  • Ranked as 'Diversity Champion' by WIPR Diversity, 2021 (link)
  • IAM Patent 1000, 2021. Darren "has a pristine contentious track record and is “intelligent, detail oriented and articulate, while also being affable and an absolute pleasure to workwith”". (link)
  • Ranked as a "Patent Star", IP Stars 2021 (link)
  • Recommended in JUVE Patent UK rankings 2021. (link)
  • Legal 500, 2020. Darren ‘is extremely clever and knowledgeable, as well as being down-to-earth and approachable. The creme de la creme of patent attorneys in the UK.’
  • IAM Patent 1000, 2020. Darren "boasts in spades. His expertise ranges from life sciences to semiconductors." (link)
  • Recommended in Who's Who Legal Patents, 2020. (link)
  • Recommended in Who's Who Legal: IP - Patent Agents & Attorneys 2022. (link)
  • Ranked as a "Patent Star", IP Stars 2020 (link)
  • Ranked as a "Patent Star", IP Stars 2019 (link)
  • Recommended in Juve Patent, 2019 (link)
  • IAM Patent 1000, 2019. "The “commendable” Darren Smyth leads the elements practice group, possessing expertise in most chemistry fields out there." (link)
  • Recommended Patent Attorney, Legal 500, 2018
  • Ranked as a "Patent Star", IP Stars 2018
  • Admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, 2018
  • IAM Patent 1000, 2018. "Smyth has technical expertise in an impressive range of fields, notably agrochemicals, food chemistry and medical devices."
  • Honorary Research Fellow, Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, University of Oxford, 2018. (link)
  • Legal 500, 2017
  • IAM Patent 1000, 2017. Darren "lends his extensive IP expertise" to e-cigarette leader British American Tobacco.
  • IAM Patent 1000, 2016. Darren "has technical expertise spanning an array of areas, including organic LEDs, semiconductors, metallurgy, batteries and process chemistry".
  • Ranked in IP Stars 2016
  • Recommended as leading individual in 'The IAM Patent 1000' 2015.
  • Highly recommended as "knowledgeable" in the Legal 500 rankings.
  • Selected as one of the "Faces of Chemistry" by the Royal Society of Chemistry (link)
  • Selected to speak and chair session at OHIM conference "10 Years of the Community Design" (link)
  • Rejoined editorial board of the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, published by Oxford University Press.
  • Chartered Chemist and Chartered Scientist, 2002

Speaking engagements

  • January 2021
    CIPA/EPO Seminar, Oral Proceedings and Examiner Interviews
  • 9 November 2019
    APAA 2019, Strategies for Representation of Designs at the EUIPO (link)
  • 3 June 2019
    CIPA/AIPLA/FICPI -UK Roundtable, Supreme Court decision on patentability of dosage regimes (tadalafil)
  • 13 March 2018
    Future Healthcare UK 2018, 20 IP Mistakes To Avoid (link)
  • 5 November 2017
    APAA 2017, Using Partial Designs and Copyright to Protect Icons and GUI Gadgets (link)
  • 15 July 2016
    UAL Graduate Futures Week, You own your ideas: protecting your work and intellectual property (link)
  • 23 June 2016
    Biotech & Pharma Patenting Conference 2016, Enablement and Sufficiency (link)
  • 14 March 2016
    C5's 8th Conference on Pharma & Biotech Patent Litigation, Case law round up on Supplementary Protection Certificates (link)
  • 26 November 2015
    JIPLP's 10th Anniversary Conference, Second medical use claims: why are they so difficult to understand? (link)
  • 3 June 2015
    One Nucleus BioWednesday, Developing and Commercialising Cell-based Platforms (chair) (link)
  • 20 November 2014
    RSC Law Group IP Case Law Seminar, UK and EU Implementation of the Nagoya Protocol (link)
  • 2 October 2014
    IPAG Conference 2014, Utility Models (link)
  • 4 September 2014
    IPKat , Darren Smyth talks to Christopher Rennie Smith (link)
  • 4 September 2014
    The IPKat, A Kit talks to a Kat (link)
  • 3 April 2014
    Society of Chemical Industry, What a Chemist Needs to know about Patents (link)
  • 4 October 2013
    CIPA Congress 2013, Taking a Broad View of Designs
  • 12 September 2013
    AIPPI UK - The UPC and what it means for your practice, The Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court: the choices and how to make them (link)
  • 26 June 2013
    C5 Conference Maximising Pharma Patents, SPC Workshop
  • 12 June 2013
    IPKat 10th Birthday Seminar, Panel Discussion
  • April 2013
    10 Years Community Design, (link)
  • 22 January 2013
    JIPLP - GRUR Seminar, Secondary Protection of Innovations (link)
  • June 2012
    EIP Elements Seminar, A Mock EPO Opposition
  • June 2012
    C5, 11th International Forum of Pharma Patent Lifecycles (link)
  • April 2012
    CIPA Seminar, Japanese Patent Law and Practice in biotechnology and pharmaceutical technology
  • March 2012
    EPO Seminar, Developments in European design law
  • January 2012
    SCI Event, What a chemist needs to know about patents (link)