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Simon O'Brien

Partner, Patent Attorney / London

Simon O'Brien

Practice Areas

Patents - biotechnology, chemistry & pharmaceuticals group
Patent litigation, arbitration & mediation group


Simon joined D Young & Co in 2001 and became a partner in 2010. His area of expertise encompasses both biological and chemical subject matter including the fields of molecular biology, biotechnology, biochemistry, food technology and nutrition, plant physiology, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, and polymer chemistry. Simon represents a number of clients ranging from academic institutions to multinational corporations.

Simon advises on all aspects of patent law including patent drafting and prosecution, opposition and appeal proceedings. In particular, he handles the world wide vaccine patent portfolio for a major pharmaceutical company. He has additionally advised clients completing IP due diligence for stock market flotations. 

Prior to joining D Young & Co, Simon was a Pharmaceutical Research Analyst for Datamonitor plc. 

Simon launched and regularly hosts D Young & Co's 'Biotechnology European Patent Case Law' webinars. For information about forthcoming webinars, please visit the events pages of our website. 


A "trusted partner who can be relied upon for his technical expertise", IAM Patent 1000 debutant Simon O'Brien is "a pleasure to work with – he seamlessly anticipates clients' needs and consistently meets tight deadlines" IAM Patent 1000.

"The 'incredible' Simon O'Brien is widely recognised as 'one of the most pre-eminent patent agents in the UK'" Who's Who Legal.

A "key player" "on the biotechnology, chemistry and pharmaceuticals side" Legal 500.

"Very reliable" with an "excellent legal and scientific background" Legal 500.


MA in Natural Sciences, Churchill College, University of Cambridge; majored in chemistry.
PhD in Biological Chemistry and Genetics, Cambridge University. Research into mode of action and biosynthesis of vancomycin group antibiotics. Research funded by Eli Lilly.
Certificate in Intellectual Property Law, Queen Mary College, University of London.
European Patent Attorney 2007.
Chartered Patent Attorney 2006.
European Design Attorney. 


Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA).
European Patent Institute (epi).

Selected Publications

Are Genes Patentable? Simon O'Brien and David Gass.  Financier World September 2011
Contributor to CIPA’s European Patents Handbook.
Kinetic barriers and ordering of non-covalently bound states. O’Brien, S. W.; Shiozawa, H.; Zerella, R.; O’Brien, D. P.; Williams, D. H.; Org.
Biomol. Chem. 2003 Feb 7;1(3):472-7.


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