Tim Roberts

Council Member

Roberts & Co., 13 Spring Meadow, Bracknell, Berks RGl2 2JP. ; Consultant, Brookes Batchellor LLP

Membership of Committees:

Life Sciences, Computer Technology, Patents, Constitutional, Academic Liaison and Textbooks & Publications, Regulatory Responses.


M.A Oxon (Chemistry). CPA - registered October 1964. Honorary Doctor of Laws (Sheffield, 2007).

Professional career:

Joined ICI Plastics Division December 1960; Head, Patents Section, Plant Protection Limited (ICI subsidiary), August 1966, and subsequently Patents Manager, ICI Plant Protection Division. Intellectual Property Manager, Zeneca Seeds, January l987 to December 1995. Associate, Khursheed Khan and Associates, Karachi.

Papers or articles:

Has lectured, on behalf of WIPO, UPOV, WTO and others, in five continents on biotech patents and on plant variety rights. Articles include ‘Broad Claims’ (European Intellectual Property Review [EIPR], August 1994; ‘The Former Biotech Patents Directive’ (Patents World, May 1995), ‘Patenting Plants around the World’ (EIPR, October 1996), ‘Paper, Scissors, Stone’ (EIPR, March 1998), ‘Why not Patent Plants?’ (Patents World, May 1999) and ‘Economically Superfluous, Physically Pernicious…. ?’, a review of the Nuffield Report on GM Crops (Bio-Science Law Review, March 2000).

Services to Institute:

President, 2001-02 and 2011-12; Council Member since 1994; former Chairman of Biotechnology, Parliamentary, Constitutional and Textbooks Committees; currently Editor, European Patents Handbook. Has written articles and reviews in CIPA (e.g. ‘To Stamp Out Unnatural Mice...' (1997); 'Nagoya Regulation – A New Form of Intellectual Property?' (March 2014)): and lectured for CIPA to the 3rd and 5th International Symposia on reducing patent costs.

Services to the profession outside the Institute:

Served on Biotech Committees of TMPDF (now IP Federation), as International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Intellectual Property Commission Rapporteur and on IP Working Parties of British Society of Plant Breeders, International Seed Federation and Green Industry Biotechnology Platform. Represented ICC at negotiations in Geneva leading to 1991 UPOV Convention. Member of the UK Government’s Intellectual Property Advisory Committee (IPAC - 2001 to 2005 ). Has attended meetings of the Intergovernmental Committee on Traditional Knowledge, Genetic Resources and Folklore (IGC-GRTKF) from 2000 to date.

Other relevant information:

Biodiversity interests; took part in the Keystone Dialogue on Plant Genetic Resources (final Report, Oslo, 1991). In 1997-98, chaired an international expert Panel on Proprietary Science and Technology, set up by the World Bank to advise the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) on its intellectual property policy. Member of UK Government's Intellectual Property Advisory Committee (2001-2005); Panel Member of the Appeal Board of the European Plant Variety Rights Office (1996 - 2016); and member of the Crucible Group (‘People, Plants and Patents’, IDRC, 1994; ‘Seeding Solutions’, IDRC/Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, 2000).

Policy I hold that Council's task is to maintain and develop the work of the Institute for the benefit of its members and the public, with prudence and diligence.

Attendance at Council meetings (June 2015 – April 2016):