By: 15 November 2017
American IP law firm looks to build ties in Yorkshire

An American Intellectual Property (IP) firm, Feeney Law Group, visited Leeds in September in an effort to build trade ties with businesses and lawyers in Yorkshire.

Feeney Law Group is an international IP law and patent strategy adviser for inventors in the biological, chemical, and mechanical fields, and is based in Rhode Island. Donald Frugé, the founder and executive director of Feeney Law Group, said that there was a growing interest in Leeds and the potential transatlantic opportunities that could take place between states such as Rhode Island and Yorkshire.

“There are great similarities between the local economies in cities such as Providence, Boston, and Leeds, with growing innovation in areas such as life sciences and technology,” said Frugé.

“New England is the centre for life sciences in the US – where many of the leading pharma and biomedical firms are based including, Boston Biomedical, Boston Scientific, Biogen, EpiVax and Vertex, and Ximedica.

“And specialism in life sciences and technology is in demand in the UK as businesses look to internationalise and get protection as they head to North America.”

Frugé said that Feeney Law Group was looking to work with current law firms in Yorkshire and told Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer that he had already met representatives from Virtuoso Legal, Clarion, Kempner & Partners, and Berwins.

“We want to work with local lawyers who have local expertise and knowledge,” he said. “We’re not interested in setting up a permanent base here or to buy out any firms.”

He added that there would be opportunities for firms in Yorkshire to pick up IP work from the firm’s US and Canadian clients as they look to access the UK market with their cutting edge pharmaceutical products. Rhode Island is home to some of the world’s market-leading research in areas such as biomedical and environmental technology. The state is currently building an Innovation Campus to bridge the gap between universities’ research capacity and the ability to transform them into new products.

As well as Feeney Law Group, two other firms from the New England region have been making inroads in Yorkshire. Lau Clarke is an immigration firm that partners with clients across the world and Vacovec, Mayotte & Singer is a tax specialist practice. Both firms are from New England as well, and have been heavily involved in forging links in Yorkshire.