Intellectual Property

William Fry boasts Ireland’s leading Intellectual Property Group with dedicated Intellectual Property lawyers dealing on a full time basis with contentious and non-contentious cases for clients.  The Intellectual Property team prides itself on its expertise and experience.  The Firm’s commitment to Intellectual Property as a core practice area is recognised internationally with William Fry being consistently ranked as Ireland’s premier law firm in the area.

William Fry was awarded Ireland Trademark Firm of the Year 2018 at the Global IP Awards 2018 and awarded 'Irish (Contentious) IP Firm of the Year' at the Managing IP Global Awards 2017.

The Firm’s reputation in this field is evidenced by its experience.  Whether in contentious or non-contentious matters it has represented clients in all key Intellectual Property deals and reported case law over the last five years.

Areas of Expertise Include:

  • Patents
  • Trade Marks
  • Passing Off
  • Copyright
  • Designs
  • Databases
  • Confidentiality Agreements
  • Franchising Agreements
  • Licensing and Royalty Agreements
  • Agency, Distribution and Merchandising Agreements

We are assertive and solution oriented in the boardroom and in dispute resolution, whether by arbitration, mediation  or in the Courts.  Our commitment to providing clients with an unrivalled professional service has made us Ireland’s leading practitioners in Intellectual Property.  Our focus is always on delivering results for the client.

William Fry is proud to have three of its leading lawyers listed in the 2019 edition of WIPR Leaders, which ranks the leading IP lawyers globally. Partners Leo Moore and Laura Scott and Consultant Carol Plunkett are included in the listing.  William Fry is the only big 5 Irish law firm to have more than one expert listed.

Laura Scott has been ranked in IP Stars 2019 as one of the Top 250 Women in IP globally. Laura is one of only three people ranked in Ireland this year and the only person in Ireland to have been listed both in 2019 and 2018.  



We act for major domestic and international clients in all sectors, recently including:

  • Bord Gáis Energy, an Irish utility supplier, on its sponsorship agreement with the GAA 
  • DCC Healthcare Limited, a leading healthcare business, during its acquisition of Medisource Ireland Limited. Medisource Ireland Limited is a pharmaceutical procurement business. The William Fry Technology team advised on some complex aspects of the transaction involving intellectual property and licencing arrangements 
  • PrePayPower in Irish Patents Office proceedings and recently successfully concluded Commercial Court passing off proceedings against Airtricity.  
  • Boehringer Ingelheim in the defence of patent revocation proceedings and in defence of supplementary protection certificate revocation proceedings.
  • ResMed on its technology and IP licensing deal with a global technology/entertainment company, as an integral part of it next generation platform.
  • GlaxoSmithKline in its trade mark infringement and passing off action against Rowex Limited (part of the Rowa/Sandoz group) in the Irish Commercial Court relating to one of its biggest selling pharmaceutical products, SERETIDE, a treatment for asthma and COPD. The case relates to the use of the colour purple by the defendant in respect of its AirFluSal Forspiro inhaler product. 
  • X-Celeprint in relation to complex patent licensing arrangements and research and development agreements relating to its market leading technology and on IP arrangements with partner companies.
  • Brown Thomas, Ireland’s leading exclusive high end lifestyle store, on a trade mark infringement and passing off action.
  • the RDS on all aspects of a complex long term stadium branding sponsorship agreement with a well known European Cup rugby team and a major world player in the insurance market.  We are assisting with all negotiations and drafting of the sponsorship agreement.
  • the Afilias Group, on copyright and other IP considerations in the development of an software products connected to its mobile device recognition software.
  • Premier Lotteries Ireland Limited, a joint venture between Ontario Teachers Pensions Plan and An Post, on IP and commercial aspects of its acquisition and implementation of the Irish National Lottery Licence 2014.
  • Afilias on the acquisition of Generic Top Level Domains and operation of its domain registry business.
  • MSD Corp., in the defence of Irish Commercial Court patent infringement proceedings by Ono Pharmaceuticals and Bristol-Myers Squibb in respect of anti-PD1 antibodies for cancer treatment.       
  • e-Dreams in the defence of Irish Commercial Court proceedings by Ryanair alleging infringement of trade mark and passing off by e-Dreams’ website.   

Compulsory Licences on the Horizon for Drugs and Equipment?

As concerns grow globally about the availability of certain drugs and equipment in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic will we see other governments follow Israel and start to issue compulsory licences?

Implementation of EU Medical Device Regulation May Face Delay

The European Commission has announced that it is working on a proposal to postpone the date of application of the Medical Device Regulation (MDR) which had been due to make wide-sweeping changes to the regulatory framework for medical devices.

Return of the (Super)Mac's: McDonald's Won't Appeal Ruling on 'MC' Trade Mark

McDonald's has decided not to appeal against the European Union Intellectual Property Office's (EUIPO) decision to invalidate in part its 'MC' trade mark.

Interlocutory Injunctions – The Fallout from the Supreme Court Decision in Merck Sharp & Dohme

This article discusses a recent Court of Appeal decision that answers a question that arose for practitioners from the Supreme Court judgment in Merck Sharp & Dohme: Whether the new approach to injunctions would apply in intellectual property cases only, or if it would affect general commercial cases?

The Copyright and Other Intellectual Property Law Provisions Act 2019 has Now Been Commenced

The Copyright and Other Intellectual Property Law Provisions Act 2019 which makes significant changes particularly as to court jurisdiction for certain IP claims has now been commenced as of 2 December 2019.

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We are consistently ranked as one of the leading Intellectual Property law firms in Ireland.


  • One impressed commentator considers William Fry "the strongest IP firm in Dublin,"adding: "They are a young, dynamic and commercially minded team which demonstrates a real can-do attitude." Another source offers similar feedback: "Their strength lies in technology-related issues. They are a young and innovative team who are always great to work with." One interviewee highlights the team's client focus and "understanding of the bigger commercial picture," adding: "They are very responsive, bright and on top of technical and legal issues." Chambers Europe, 2018
  • One source lauds the department as one of "the leading practices in heavy IP matters," with another explaining that they are "technically very good, strategic and also nice people to work with."  One interviewee states: "We have been consistently pleased with the advice and the quality of the work",describing the team's recommendations as "practical" and "reliable." Chambers Europe 2017
  • "This firm is absolutely the best I've dealt with, holding its own on an international level." "I would not look past this team for any IP work - the firm delivers a top-notch service." Chambers Europe 2016
  • The ‘proactive’ team at William Fry is ‘preeminent’ in the technology and pharmaceuticals sphere, and is currently acting for Boehringer Ingelheim in patent proceedings. Legal 500 EMEA 2016
  • "Very responsive and aware of the business aspects of a deal." "Even though we are a small company, the firm gives us its full attention." Chambers Europe, 2015
  • William Fry’s ‘go-to team of experts’ includes Leo Moore and lead non-contentious partner David Cullen, who are ‘first-class counsel’. Carol Plunkett, who leads contentious matters, has ‘great instincts’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2015 
  • William Fry has the deepest bench of patent talent in the country and four individuals are recommended in this year's IAM Patent 1000 - the most from any one firm. Feeding off the innovation culture that has taken root in Ireland, the team dispenses refined non-contentious and contentious advice. "It is great at sorting out complex problems" and a favourite for seemingly intractable patent disputes. Licencing and transactional mandates are also handled with panache. IAM Patent 1000, 2014
  • "The service has been second to none. The team consistently delivers and turns around in-depth, thorough and accurate advice with speed and cost-effectiveness."  "The team's outlook is always innovative and modern. The team is always very responsive and keeps us in the loop so we know where they are and what they are doing." Chambers Europe, 2014
  • William Fry ‘consistently delivers in-depth and accurate legal advice with speed and cost-effectiveness’.  Legal 500 EMEA, 2014
  •  Sources say: “The advice we get is always grounded in our business interests.” “The team's outstanding knowledge of IP is second to none.”  Chambers Europe, 2013 


Laura Scott

  • Laura Scott receives plaudits for her trade mark and patent litigation practice, with particular knowledge of the pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors. Clients say: "She is very hard-working, responsive and dedicated to leaving no stone unturned in considering and communicating all available options. She is also extremely pleasant to work with." Chambers Europe 2017
  • Laura Scott has the ‘Midas touch with clients’. Legal 500 EMEA 2017
  • "Her commitment to clients, astute strategy, technical strength and attention to detail are second to none." Legal 500 EMEA, 2015
  • Clients describe Laura Scott as "absolutely superb. She is very thorough; her work underpins our company." Chambers Europe, 2014 

Carol Punkett

  • Carol Plunkett enjoys strong feedback for her expertise and prowess in contentious IP cases, as well as litigious proceedings involving the technology sector. One interviewee calls her "a real heavyweight" and "one of the most senior litigators in Ireland," adding: "Nothing fazes her, so that is reassuring for the client." Chambers Europe 2017
  • Carol Plunkett has ‘an amazing IP knowledge base’. Legal 500 EMEA 2017
  • Carol Plunkett, who heads the firm's contentious IP practice, is highlighted by market commentators as an "extremely accomplished lawyer" and "a leader in IP litigation."  Chambers Europe 2016
  • Carol  is unanimously regarded as a "powerhouse of IP" with "a wealth of experience" in the field. Chambers Europe, 2015
  • Carol Plunkett has ‘great instincts’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2015 
  • Clients feel Carol Plunkett "has a very good grasp of the brief and the workings of our business. She gives practical, straightforward advice."  Chambers Europe, 2014
  • “You can’t mention patent litigation in Ireland without mentioning Carol Plunkett”, regarded by many as the country’s top IP lawyer.  IAM Patent 1000, 2014 
  • Carol Plunkett is regarded as “a lawyer with a long-standing reputation as one of the best.”  Chambers Europe, 2013

David Cullen

  • David Cullen impresses clients with his commercial IP practice, one of whom praises his "absolute excellence in IP law, coupled with his strong technology and business acumen." Chambers Europe 2017
  • Esteemed practitioner David Cullen "has really incredible experience in the area of technology and IP, and is cool, calm and pragmatic," say sources. Chambers Europe 2016
  • "An absolute expert and key leader," David Cullen "understands not only where our business is, but what our plans are, how we want to grow and what the consequences are," enthuse clients. Chambers Europe, 2014
  • David Cullen is a firm favourite with clients and is described as “calm and considered, with a wealth of knowledge about the area.”  Chambers Europe, 2013 
  • David Cullen is ‘one of the best in the business’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2013

Leo Moore

  • One client says he is "easy to work with, very good at breaking down complex issues and provides clear advice." Chambers Europe 2017
  • According to sources, Leo Moore is "very good at grasping technical issues, and explaining them in a non-technical manner," with one adding: "One of the best things is that he figures out how to make things happen, never coming back with reasons not to do things." Chambers Europe 2016
  • Leo is "extremely responsive, knowledgeable and conscientious."  Chambers Europe, 2015 
  • Leo Moore "is very pragmatic and personable. He comes up with creative solutions and is very good on trade mark and copyrights," according to one source.  Chambers Europe, 2014
  • Leo Moore "has a can-do attitude, is practical and available 24/7, and gets the job done." Chambers Europe, 2013 
  • Leo Moore ‘will always find interesting commercial angles in times of need’. Legal 500 EMEA, 2013

Key Contacts

Laura Scott Partner

David Cullen Partner

Leo Moore Partner

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