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Helen Conlan


Personal Profile

Helen is a Partner in the IP Disputes Team in the Innovation Department. Helen is an experienced patent litigator with expertise in contentious matters across the spectrum of IP rights.

With over 17 years' experience gained at a leading international IP litigation practice, Helen has particular expertise in managing multi-jurisdictional patent litigation and strategy, and in disputes relating to trade secrets.

Helen's practice focuses on the TMT sector. She has advised on the most complex of technologies, including algorithmic trading software, audio-watermarking, and on patent disputes regarding standard essential and non-essential patents. She also has experience advising on patents pertaining to medical devices and assistive technology.

Helen has represented clients at all levels of proceedings in the UK, in proceedings before the UKIPO and EPO, in arbitration and mediation. She was recognised as an IP Rising Star in the MIP Women in Business Law Awards in 2015, has been recognised as a Leader in the Field of Patents by WIPR Leaders since 2016, and as a Stand Out Lawyer by Acritas Stars in 2018 and 2019. Most recently Helen has been recognised in the 2022 edition of IAM Patent 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Professionals for her expertise in patent litigation.

Helen is Vice Chair of the Patent Law Sub-Committee of the IP and Entertainment Law Committee of the International Bar Association, as well as a Scholarship Officer. She speaks on IP matters, most recently on artificial intelligence and patents at the 29th Annual Intellectual Property Law & Policy Conference hosted by the Hansen IP Institute at Fordham Law School, and has also taught on the subject.

Key Experience 

  • Representing a collection of Hollywood studios and content creation companies in a series of pan-European patent disputes relating to audio-watermarking technologies used in the film industry.
  • Representing the European Central Bank in a pan-European patent dispute concerning certain security features incorporated in the Euro banknote.
  • Advising a successful hedge fund trading platform in relation to the complexities of the subsistence, ownership and infringement of copyright and database rights in their algorithmic trading software.
  • Acting on an expedited trial relating to the breach of a collaboration and licence agreement for the development of wound healing and regenerative medicine products.
  • Advising Gemstar TV-Guide on pan-European patent disputes concerning electronic programme guide technology.
  • Acting for Nokia on a number of high profile patent cases concerning standard essential and non-essential patents.
  • Acting for SEB in a patent dispute relating to low oil fryers. 
  • Advising clients in patent disputes relating to offshore pipe laying and the design of equipment for use in oil exploration.

Career History

Partner, Mishcon de Reya
Partner, Bird & Bird LLP
Associate, Bird & Bird LLP
Trainee, Bird & Bird LLP
Bristol University, Postgraduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Law & Practice
College of Law, Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice
University College London, LLB (Hons) Law


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