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Alex Freelove

Alex Freelove

Senior Associate

Alex is a patent litigator with particular experience in pharmaceuticals and life sciences, and a background in post-doctoral science research. He is a specialist in coordinating and managing pan-European patent litigation for multi-national pharmaceutical companies. He is recognised as a 'Notable Practitioner' by Managing Intellectual Property IP Stars.

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Experience

Alex manages and coordinates pan-European patent litigation on behalf of major global R&D based pharmaceutical companies. He has advised on and managed both enforcement and defence proceedings on high profile patent and SPC cases in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). 

Having attended opposition hearings at the European Patent Office (EPO), Alex is familiar with the procedural differences and similarities compared to national litigation proceedings, and has advised on strategy in EPO proceedings, for clients and their patent attorneys.

Alex's scientific research background enables him to quickly grasp scientific issues, engage strategically with key questions and discuss points of detail with technical experts. He works closely with clients to develop case theories, and to develop and implement multi-jurisdictional patent litigation strategies. He has a track record of working collaboratively in multi-disciplinary teams of leading patent litigators and patent attorneys from numerous firms across Europe (e.g. Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Belgium and Denmark) and further afield (e.g. US, Canada, Japan, Korea and Australia). 

Alex has advised on both originator v. originator patent disputes, as well as originator v. generic disputes, most recently involving small-molecule antivirals and monoclonal antibodies for treating cancer. He has acted for clients such as AbbVie, Eisai, Gilead, Roche, Sanofi and Takeda.

Alex's experience includes advising:

  • Gilead in multi-jurisdictional patent litigation, including a UK action in the High Court, relating to Gilead's HIV integrase inhibitor, bictegravir, which forms part of Gilead's blockbuster anti-HIV regimen Biktarvy® (bictegravir, emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide);
  • Roche in their defence against Pfizer Limited's claim in the UK High Court for so-called 'Arrow declarations' relating to pending European Patent applications owned by Roche covering the use of Roche/Genentech's blockbuster anticancer drug Avastin® (bevacizumab), a monoclonal antibody;
  • Gilead in UK litigation and proceedings before the CJEU regarding its leading blockbuster HIV therapy, Truvada® (tenofovir disoproxil and emtricitabine);
  • Gilead in multi-jurisdictional patent litigation, including UK actions in the High Court and Court of Appeal concerning Gilead's ground-breaking drug Sovaldi® (sofosbuvir) for the treatment of HCV;
  • Sanofi in the pan-European defence and enforcement of the SPCs protecting irbesartan;
  • Eisai in coordinating the pan-European patent litigation across Europe concerning Eisai's blockbuster drugs Aricept®, an Alzheimer's treatment, and Pariet®, an anti-ulcer drug;
  • Roche in preliminary injunction proceedings regarding generic versions of its osteoporosis treatment, Bonviva® (ibandronate);
  • A research funding organisation in alternative dispute resolution (mediation) with a pharmaceutical company regarding disputed royalties payable under a patent licence.​

 

 

Background

Prior to his career in law, Alex was a post-doctoral research associate of Imperial College London funded by the Medical Research Council, specialising in molecular biology.

Alex has a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Cambridge, and a first class BSc (Hons) degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST). Alex holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Law and Practice from the University of Oxford.

Alex is a solicitor advocate with rights of audience in all civil proceedings in the UK and is admitted as a solicitor in England & Wales and in Ireland.

Accolades

​Alex is a key member of the team recognised with multiple awards in recent years:

  • 2019: Winner of IP Litigation Team of the Year (Legal Week Commercial Litigation and Arbitration awards) for Pfizer v Roche 
  • 2017: Winner of IP Team of the Year (The Lawyer Awards) for Idenix v Gilead
  • 2017: Winner of Transatlantic IP Team of the Year (American Lawyer Awards) for Idenix v Gilead