Partner, Patent Attorney Southampton
Profile of Charles Harding

I’ve been a partner at D Young & Co since 1995. Most of my practice concerns life sciences such as biotechnology, immunology and biochemistry. After more than 35 years in the sector, I’m still passionate about working with innovative clients who are breaking new ground and making a genuine difference.

Before I joined the firm, I worked as a patent and trade mark attorney in the chemical and biotechnological industry with Rohm & Haas Company. This followed invaluable working experience in the life science arena gained at Amersham International, Hammersmith Hospital and the Gray Cancer Institute. Since then, I’ve frequently chaired and lectured at numerous international conferences and conventions on issues concerning patents in the life sciences. Since the early 1990s I’ve been giving lectures at Queen Mary, University of London, to candidates wishing to become European patent attorneys.

I represent blue chip companies, SMEs and academic organisations before the UKIPO and the EPO on diverse life sciences patent matters. My portfolio covers technologies ranging from molecular biology, immunology, biotechnology, virology, veterinary science and food science, through to protein chemistry, chemistry, pharmacology, pharmaceuticals and devices. I have an extensive practice in EPO oppositions and appeals, and offer over 25 years’ advocacy experience including representation before the EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal. I’ve been involved in litigation (including at first instance and appellate level) in the UK, France, Germany, USA, South Africa and Japan. I have also attended interviews at the US Patent Office.

In January 2021, I became an Honorary Professor of the Centre for Commercial Studies of Queen Mary University of London.


  • BSc Double Hons Chemistry and Biochemistry, Imperial College London.
  • PhD in Medical Research (MRI contrast agents), University of London.
  • Certificate in Intellectual Property Law, Queen Mary College, University of London.
  • European Patent Attorney.
  • Chartered Patent Attorney.


  • Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA).
  • European Patent Institute (epi).
  • Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).


  • European Patent Office’s Eposium 1992 Genetic Engineering – The New Challenge; Special Recognition Award “Of rodents and elephants (a week in the life of the European patent in the name of A. Shrew Co.)”.
  • Bligh SW, Harding CT, Sadler PJ, Bulman RA, Bydder GM, Pennock JM, Kelly JD, Latham IA, Marriott JA. “Use of paramagnetic chelated metal derivatives of polysaccharides and spin-labelled polysaccharides as contrast agents in magnetic resonance imaging.” Magn Reson Med. 1991 Feb;17(2):516-32.
  • Named inventor on the following patents: EP patent No. 0210043, EP patent No. 0236411, EP patent No. 0183760, US patent No. 4880007, US patent No. 5250672 and US patent No. 5401491.
  • CIPA article on exhaustion of rights.
  • “Patentable Inventions” World IP Review 2008.
  • Former contributor to the CIPA Guide to the Patents Act.
  • Runner-up Daily Telegraph Young Science Writer of the Year Award.
Charles Harding is also a resolute defender of clients’ interests in life sciences oppositions and appeals.
IAM Patent 1000
Harding’s rigorous analytical mind is an invaluable asset in the drafting process.
IAM Patent 1000
A familiar face at the EPO, sharp thinker Charles Harding is famous in the profession.
IAM Patent 1000
Clearly in the premier league of patent attorneys covering biotech in the UK.
IP Stars (Managing IP)
Particularly well known for EPO oppositions and appeals.
Legal 500
Highly recommended 2018.
Legal 500
A great sense of the big picture.
Legal 500
Charles Harding is a leading patent attorney with a great deal of experience in the life sciences sector.
Charles Harding’s 25 years of experience in front of the IP courts in Germany, the United Kingdom, France and South Africa mark him out as an extraordinarily seasoned oppositions and appeals expert.
IAM Patent 1000
Charles Harding garners plaudits for his savvy approach to prosecution from sources as far away as Australia.
Legal 500
Patent Expert 2018.
Expert Guides
Charles Harding represents academic and research institutions, emerging businesses and multinational corporations in patent oppositions and litigation concerning the life sciences and medical research fields.
An excellent understanding of clients’ commercial interests.
Legal 500
Highly recommended for his performances at the EPO...the firm's longest-serving life sciences partner with some 35 years under his belt.
IAM Patent 1000
Oppositions ace Harding “is always on top of developments and his ideas for patent strategy are always creative”.
Legal 500
Excellent at both oral proceedings and high-pressure cases.