Martin MacLean

UK & European Patent Attorney

Martin is a Chartered Patent Attorney and European Patent Attorney. He is top ranked in Band 1 of Chambers UK, where he is described as 'a biochemistry and biotech expert responsible for prosecuting often revolutionary and highly valuable patent portfolios'. Martin has been praised by clients for being 'highly responsive and creative' (Chambers UK, 2020 edition) and 'splendid to deal with in terms of the processes and extremely easy to get on with’ (2019 edition). The 2020 edition of The Legal 500 recommends Martin for being 'a real guru in the healthcare and pharmaceutical field', bringing 'his experience to bear in not only giving very wise legal advice, but also setting things in a commercial context.’ He has been described by a source as ‘very sharp’, with a ‘deep understanding of the law and the procedures at the EPO’ (The Legal 500, 2019). Martin has been nominated by peers as one of the world's leading practitioners in the field of patents in the 2016, 2017 and 2018 editions of Who's Who Legal: Patents. He is ranked in the latest edition of IAM Strategy 300 and is a recommended individual in IAM Patent 1000.


Year joined: 1999

Qualifications: BSc MSc PhD CPA EPA


Martin’s principal practice areas include; drafting and global prosecution, defence and opposition, freedom-to-operate and strategic advice. In this regard, Martin has extensive experience in the conduct of hearings before the European Patent Office, having conducted over 100 hearings. Martin specialises in technologies such as the re-targeting of bacterial toxins, vaccines, expression systems, microbial detection assays, cytokine-based therapeutics, and agrochemicals, and represents clients ranging from UK Government and blue chip biotech companies through to spin-outs and start-ups. 


Martin has a strong background in biochemistry and biotechnology, having obtained a first class degree (Warwick University) in microbial technology and a PhD (Warwick University) for research conducted into the biochemical aspects of acidophilic bacteria. He also has a master's degree in IP from the University of London.

He acts as a tutor for the UK and European qualifying examinations. He also serves as a lecturer and clinician for the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys.

Membership & Organisations

Martin is a member of the Life Sciences Committee for the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys.

IAM 300 recommended individual 2019 IAM 1000 recommended individual 2019


Recent Work

Martin has presented on the challenges of stem cell patentability in Europe and provided practical advice on how to obtain commercially-relevant patents in this technical field.  A link to the full presentation is provided below.

European and US Patent Strategies for Cell Therapies


Key hearings

  • “HIV peptides” (Adaltis, Abbott Lab, United Biomedical, Institut Pasteur, Bio-Rad Pasteur)
  • “Factor XIII” (Novo Nordisk, Baxter, Aventis Behring)
  • “TACI” (ZymoGenetics, Corixa, HGS)
  • “Omega-3” (Martek Biosciences, Nagase Biochem, Aventis R&T, OmegaTech, Monsanto)
  • "Stomach-action molluscicides" (Young, W.Neudorff GmbH)
  • "Pesticidal compositions" (W.Neudorff GmbH, Bayer CropScience AG)
  • "Aqueous pesticide formulations" (Monsanto, Nufarm Australia Limited, Rhodia Operations)
  • "RNase Ρ detection of pathogenic organisms" (Herrmann; MacLean)
  • "Detection of microbial residues" (DSM IP Assets, Charm Sciences)
  • "One-step detection of antimicrobial residues" (DSM IP Assets, Charm Sciences)
  • "Clonal virus therapeutics" (Wellstat Biologics, Bayer Schering Pharma AG)
  • "Propagation and directed differentiation of CNS stem cells" (Neuralstem Biopharma, Stem Cells Inc.)
  • "Recombinant EPO" (Sterrenbeld Biotechnologie; Polymun Scientific Immunbiologische)
  • "Neural Stimulation" (Enteromedics)
  • “Livestock feeds” (Univ. BC, Akzo)


  •  Patent Applications

  • Patent Drafting and Filing
  • Patent Enforcement
  • Patent Portfolio Management
  • Patent Oppositions
  • IP Strategy
  • Commercialisation
  • Freedom to Operate
  • Due Diligence
  • Licensing

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