Tony Rollins

Council Member

I joined Beecham Group as a patent assistant (trainee) after graduating with a PhD in carbohydrate chemistry from the University of Dundee in 1974. In 1976 I moved to the Patent & Agreements Department of The Wellcome Foundation working under George Szabo who left two years or so later to become one of the original members of the EPO Board of Appeal. I qualified as a patent agent in 1978 and subsequently became the manager of the one of the patent groups within the department. Whilst there I handled a diverse range of patent and agreement work in the pharmaceutical, diagnostic, animal health, environmental health and hygiene areas including litigation in many countries across the world.

In 1995, I joined Amersham International plc where I headed up the patent group ultimately becoming Vice President of intellectual Property of Amersham plc formed through mergers with Nycomed and Pharmacia Biotech. Amersham became part of GE Healthcare in 2004 and shortly thereafter I left to head up the European (and at times the Japanese) Patents groups of MSD.

I am a Patent Attorney Litigator with more than 30 years’ experience of patent litigation. I have also been active in promoting improvements to the patent system through industry associations (IP Federation, BusinessEurope, ABPI and Efpia). I have represented BusinessEurope in regular Trilateral meetings (with the EPO, USPTO and JPO) and IP5 meetings primarily concerned with harmonisation of patent practices between the offices. In addition I am a member of the EPO Academy Academic Advisory Board. I have also represented BusinessEurope in the EPO Partnership for Quality meetings and have been a Vice President of AIPPI (UK).

I am interested in IP education, both in terms of IP professionals but also more widely in terms of the general public and particularly students; and as chair of CIPA’s Academic Liaison Committee I organised a seminar for PhD students doing research in IP in January 2016. I am also interested in promoting more involvement in pro-bono activities by IP professionals both in the court system and more widely. I chair a sub-group of the CIPA Litigation Committee which has made significant progress over the last year in relation to developing a scheme for providing pro-bono assistance to IPEC and the Patents Court.

I remain interested in IP policy and believe that this is an area where CIPA can build on its efforts over the last few years to increase its influence to the benefit of its members and society in general. I propose to use my contacts and experience in the policy area to achieve this.

I believe that CIPA has made major steps forward in the last few years by reorganising its committees, for example Education & Professional Services, to make them better reflect the Institute’s needs, and by creating new committees either internally or in conjunction with others, for example IP Inclusive and the Enterprise committee. I will continue to support this rationalisation and expansion of the work of CIPA’s committees.

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