Andrew Bentham EPA, CPA
Technology and Sector Specialisms
European Patent Attorney, UK Chartered Patent Attorney
Membership of Professional Bodies
Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA), Member of the Institute of Professional Representatives before the European Patent Office (EPI)
University of Cambridge, Masters Degree in Natural Sciences (Plant Sciences)
Andy joined J A Kemp from university over 20 years ago, since which time his patent practice has concentrated on global representation of UK universities and SMEs in life science fields and European Patent Office (EPO) prosecution and opposition/appeal work. Clients range from early-stage startups and spinouts through top-tier UK and foreign academic institutions to one of one of the USA’s biggest biotech businesses and one of the world’s largest seed companies. Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500 have both recognised Andy for his patent advice, particularly as it relates to plant sciences.
With a first class Cambridge degree in plant sciences, Andy has a particular interest in plant biotechnology, plant breeding and agri-tech and is available to advise on Plant Variety Right issues as well as patents across the agricultural sector, in which he has experience in areas including genetically modified crops, production of biopharmaceuticals in plant cell culture, breeding of crop and ornamental varieties, harvesting and crop production systems and tools for the automation of plant science research. He has a deep understanding of the complex considerations that surround patenting plants in Europe in light of the exclusion from patentability of plant varieties and essentially biological processes for the production of plants.
Andy’s other current major focus relates to antibody therapeutics and technology, where he is responsible for prosecution and EPO opposition work relating to multiple antibody drug candidates that are on or nearing the market and for a large portfolio of applications and oppositions relating to transgenic animal platforms for antibody drug discovery and antibody production methodology. He has also been involved for over a decade in obtaining worldwide patent protection and now supplementary protection certificates (SPCs) around other biologics including an exceptionally successful biopharmaceutical product launched in 2011/12. This area has become increasingly contentious and Andy has therefore been involved in tens of EPO Oppositions and a number of items of UK and foreign litigation during the course of his career.
In diagnostics, Andy's work has spanned assisting in the defence of crucial early patents in the HCV area, through work on antibody-based diagnostics for one of the world's biggest diagnostics business to many patent applications for universities and recently advising a promising Cambridge-based business developing tests for prostate and bladder cancer.
Representative examples of EPO Oppositions in which Andy has been involved at EPO Board of Appeal level include T400/97 relating to early techniques for recombinant antibody production; T188/97, T748/01 and T197/02 regarding HCV diagnostics; T857/01 and T1023/02 relating to HSV vaccines and gene therapy vectors; T202/02 concerning treatment of Crohns' disease; T1219/03 and T1919/11 on taxane production in plant cell culture; T94/04 relating to ligand trap cytokine antagonists; T67/05 regarding tetanus vaccines; T1108/08 relating to plant gene silencing; T2101/09 concerning antibodies to Delta-4 proteins; and T1526/11 and T2220/14 relating to transgenic mouse platforms for antibody discovery.
Within J A Kemp, Andy leads the firm's US Business Development Group and has responsibility for the firm's relationships in Canada and Israel.
Andy joined J A Kemp in 1993 and became a partner in 2003. From 2016, he is also the head of J A Kemp’s Cambridge office.