Martin MacLean


UK & European Patent Attorney


Martin has over 20 years of IP experience with particular expertise in patent portfolio management for corporates and government. He is top ranked in Band 1 of Chambers UK, where has been described as “a biochemistry and biotech expert responsible for prosecuting often revolutionary and highly valuable patent portfolios”, as well as being “highly responsive and creative” (2020). The latest edition of The Legal 500 recommends Martin as “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” (2020). He has been ranked as a ‘World Leading IP Strategist’ in IAM Strategy 300 for the last four years consecutively, and as a Recommended Individual in IAM Patent 1000 in the 2020 and 2019 editions, in which sources commend ‘his knowledge on the targeting of bacterial toxins’ (2020).

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Martin has conducted over 100 European Patent Office hearings, with a success rate of approximately 90%. He has a strong biotech background (PhD in Microbial Engineering from Warwick University), and specialises in technologies such as the protein therapeutics, antibodies, vaccines, expression systems, diagnostic assays, and ‘green’ agrochemicals.

He has extensive high value A&M (£100 m+) due diligence experience, which he is able to combine with the above core aspects of IP management, to provide valuable advice that is both informed and balanced.

Martin’s principal practice areas include; drafting and global prosecution, defence and opposition, freedom-to-operate and strategic advice.


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.

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. 

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)

Memberships & organisations

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


“Martin MacLean is a real guru in the healthcare and pharmaceutical field, and brings his experience to bear in not only giving very wise legal advice, but also setting things in a commercial context.”

The Legal 500

“Martin is highly responsive and creative, and works very closely with our scientists.”

Chambers & Partners

“Martin is ‘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.”

Legal 500

‘We have a great relationship with Martin, he is very responsive to our needs and we would always go to him for life science matters in Europe. He is technically competent and are excellent at meeting deadlines.”


Described by the market as “a brilliant patent attorney who carries his wisdom very lightly”, Martin MacLean is “right on top of the most pressing IP challenges”. “He handles mind-boggling technical matters in complex business projects without breaking a sweat.”

IAM Strategy 300

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