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Richard Gibbs | Marks & Clerk

Protecting bioscience ingenuity

Richard Gibbs specialises in biotechnology as a Chartered Patent Attorney and Partner at the Glasgow office of Marks & Clerk.

“I’m a true scientist at heart,” he says, “but I’ve always wanted to apply it. I get to see some of the most cutting edge technology around: everything from a new cancer drug to an ingenious widget that improves prosthetic limbs.

“I also get exposed to more science now that at university.”

Dr Richard Gibbs - protecting bioscience ingenuity
“One of the biggest challenges was getting into the profession. It wasn’t easy then and it isn’t now. YES gave me added confidence.”

IP was the thing for me

After his first degree in medical microbiology at Edinburgh University, Richard worked in a lab for a year supporting a project whose results were important to a patent application. He began to appreciate intellectual property.

Richard did Biotechnology YES in 2000 during his PhD research in medical immunology. “I saw an advert on a noticeboard and decided this would be interesting – a way to get away from the lab for a few days and learn what was out there. We got a team together and the first day was intense: the single biggest concentration of information we’d ever had. Then we got to put it into practice.” Their team won the Scottish round.

Richard flirted with entrepreneurship. “The thing is, I’m risk averse. To be an entrepreneur, you must be willing to chuck everything at it.”

Continuing to support YES

After his doctorate, Richard lectured for a year then applied for IP roles. “One of the biggest challenges was getting into the profession. It wasn’t easy then and it isn’t now. YES gave me added confidence.”

Richard joined his firm in 2003 and studied to qualify as a patent attorney. He’s worked with all major Scottish universities and speaks regularly at IP conferences and events, including Biotechnology YES in Scotland.

“I’ve been involved pretty much constantly in YES in one form or another since I did the competition,” he says. “I deliver the initial IP talk on the first day of the Scottish session and I’ve been a judge as well. There’s great consistency, because of The University of Nottingham and Tracey. They’re passionate about it.”

Top impacts

Intellectual property
Richard has worked with thousands of innovators to protect their IP and help their ideas take off.

Spotting potential talent
One benefit of our continued involvement in YES is exposure to bright students. It’s an excellent source of talented individuals. A welcome feature on CVs when people come to interview.

The value investors seek
Key to any business is a solid IP portfolio. Making sure you’ve protected not only your main product and brand but all of the company’s IP interests, safeguards the value investors look for.

It’s one of the first things you need to think about before you invest in other activities.

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