Oct 13, 2023

Meet Potter Clarkson

When innovation moves faster than the law – meet the solution, meet Potter Clarkson! We had the pleasure to sit down with Asraa Ziadi, Gabriella Westerberg and Chris Cadman to learn more about how innovation and collaboration serves as the heart of their business.

Before heading into the present and future, let’s dive into the past: Potter Clarkson is the pioneering intellectual property law firm with roots dating back to 1889 when William Potter, a patent agent in Nottingham, established the firm. Initially focused on supporting and safeguarding innovation within the lace manufacturing sector, Potter Clarkson’s legacy has evolved over time, now standing as one of Europe’s largest full-service intellectual property law firms.

With offices spanning the UK, Denmark, and Sweden and boasting a team of over 100 professionals, the firm is dedicated to assisting companies in safeguarding their innovations across diverse sectors. This year (2023), Potter Clarkson became a member of Epicenter Stockholm.

How Innovation Serves as the Heart of Their Business 

Potter Clarkson’s journey is characterized by innovation and proactive engagement. “Innovation has always been at the heart of our business. Patents, filings, and trademarks all stem from various forms of innovation,” Chris asserts, highlighting their commitment to innovation-driven endeavors. The passage of time has accentuated the multifaceted nature of innovation, inspiring the firm’s continued evolution and growth. Delving deeper into what innovation means to them, Gabriella continues:

“The firm has always been involved with high profile inventions, from helping Laszlo Biro patent his ballpoint pen back in 1938 to protecting Sir Peter Mansfield’s work with the MRI scanner. That’s innovation in a way that’s easy to grasp. And innovation to us means a lot. Therefore, it can as well be doing old things in new ways, finding new solutions to existing problems or just finding differentiation driving society forward in a way or another.”

Enabling Commercial Worth 

Central to their mission is enabling companies, organizations, and individuals to comprehend, generate, safeguard, and champion the commercial worth of their innovations globally through intellectual property rights. Potter Clarkson’s approach involves deeply understanding clients’ needs and businesses, facilitating the alignment of intellectual property strategies with long-term objectives. Their proactive stance and integration into clients’ operations set them apart, positioning them as internal intellectual property legal advisors rather than external service providers.

When developing patent strategies for innovative technologies that have potential to disrupt markets, Chris clarifies: 

“Effectively securing and protecting IP requires an incredibly forward-looking approach with a global outlook. New innovative technologies often take years, sometimes decades, to reach the market and truly be disruptive, but a strong IP position needs to be developed over this time. Therefore, a key consideration is making sure that you have an IP strategy in place and a team of trusted professionals who will, over the many years, work together alongside you to put you in the best position possible because let’s face it, if you are successful and truly disruptive then competitors will want to encroach on your market share and protecting your IP effectively is the best way to stop them from reaping the rewards of your hard work.”

Driving Impactful Changes

Though confidential, Potter Clarkson’s strategic initiatives have drived impactful changes within various industries, particularly SMEs (small and medium-sized companies). The firm’s prominence in the life science sector in the Nordics underscores their important role in pivotal cases that yield profound shifts. Chris stresses the importance of forward-looking global patent strategies to protect intellectual property and address market challenges from disruptive technologies.

Potter Clarkson leverages its expansive team to delve deep into specific fields or niches, ensuring comprehensive coverage and staying updated. Asraa continues; “What this allows is for our attorneys to become incredibly expert within these fields and it is not uncommon to find our attorneys at specialist conferences to stay up to date on recent advances and some attorneys are even on the boards of companies.”

Blurry Lines and Transformative Innovations 

When innovation moves faster than the law – how to succeed and excel? For Potter Clarkson, it’s clear that collaboration and partnership lie at the core of executing patent strategies for transformative innovations. The firm’s enduring relationships with clients underscore the importance of trust and shared success. Chris continues:

“In terms of internal collaboration, the lines between technology areas are becoming more and more blurred, especially in this digital age. For example, with the advent of AI we see a lot of transformative change in digital therapeutics in the pharmaceutical sector. Our pharmaceutical attorneys do not, however, have the requisite expertise in AI, but with specialists having such expertise drawn from different areas, we are uniquely placed to provide collaborations to clients having specialist attorneys in place on particular cases.”

Finding the Next Generation of Companies

Speaking of collaboration and innovation, words that Epicenter strongly stands by, we had to finish off this interview by asking Potter Clarkson why they joined Epicenter: 

“We are always looking for energy and a positive and professional atmosphere. At Epicenter we found all of that. The possibility to meet and mingle with likeminded people is both fun and giving. At our core, our “why” centers on being on the journey with our clients from the very beginning when there are just a few people all the way to when they enter the market and be the next unicorn. With Epicenter being a hub for new and innovative companies, it is a natural environment for us to find the next generation of companies that will truly make a difference and help them get there.”


Thank you for sharing the story of Potter Clarkson, Asraa, Gabriella and Chris! Explore more here: https://www.potterclarkson.com/ 

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