James Pitchford


UK & European Patent Attorney


James has significant experience with patent matters (including drafting, filing, prosecution, oppositions, appeals, portfolio management and due diligence) in the physical sciences, working with entrepreneurs, startups, spinouts and SMEs, alongside large corporations, research institutions and universities. James has been recommended in the latest The Legal 500 edition, and he also features as a ‘Recommended Individual’ in the latest IAM Patent 1000 guide, where he has been praised that his “calmness under pressure and diligent work ethic recommend him to clients for domestic work and big-ticket EPO oppositions.”

James specialises in patent work in the physics, electronics, engineering and materials science sectors. He has drafted, filed and prosecuted a diverse range of patent applications, in the UK, Europe and internationally, including an appreciable number relating to computer software and communications technology. Comfortable handling subject matter across a wide range of technology areas within the physical sciences, James has particular experience in the fields of optics, imaging techniques and image processing, optical modulation techniques, electronics and telecommunications, medical devices, electromechanical devices, power engineering, solid state physics, semiconductor devices, electronic substrates and joining techniques, surface treatment techniques, ceramics, composite materials and nanomaterials, computer software and data processing algorithms. James is also experienced in opposition and appeal proceedings before the European Patent Office (EPO), having handled, for example, a number of opposition and appeal cases for a major corporation in the aerospace field, relating to composite manufacturing and assembly techniques, and avionics systems for air traffic awareness, navigation and routing.

James obtained an MA honours degree in natural sciences (physics and materials science) and a PhD in materials science, both from the University of Cambridge. His research work focused on the high temperature deformation of materials, especially oxide ceramics, and contributed to the development of materials for aerospace components and electronic substrates. He entered the patent profession in 2000, and qualified as a European Patent Attorney in 2005 and a Chartered Patent Attorney in 2006. James also holds a certificate in Intellectual Property Law from the University of London.

James is a member of the European Patent Institute (EPI) and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA).  He is also an active member of CIPA’s International Liaison Committee, through which he has represented the Institute overseas.  James is also a member of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.  He has given lectures on intellectual property at the University of Cambridge, seminars on European patent law and practice at the Japan Patent Attorneys Association in Tokyo and Osaka, and a presentation on EPO examination policy at the Korean Intellectual Property Office.  He has also spoken at an international meeting of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva on the subject of European patent and registered design protection for graphical user interfaces.

“James has the wonderful combination of being very skilled in his job as well as being very skilled in relaying his knowledge to lay people. Patrons appreciate his calm and patient approach and ability to provide advice in an accessible manner.”

IAM Patent 1000 (2022)