Intellectual Property

Carson McDowell’s intellectual property team provides both contentious and non-contentious advice to clients on all aspects of intellectual property protection and exploitation. As such it has substantial expertise dealing with the intellectual property issues arising not only in a transactional and advisory context, but also in the litigation of matters relating to protection and infringement of intellectual property.

Our team's advice covers a comprehensive spectrum of intellectual property rights, both registered and unregistered, including: copyright, design rights, trademarks, patents, knowhow and commercially sensitive information.

Specialist areas of expertise include the licensing of intellectual property, along with the prosecution and defence of patent infringement proceedings. The team's long standing relationship with the local universities also means it has considerable expertise across a number of technology sectors.

What we do

  • Advising on organisational policies and procedures for the management of intellectual property
  • Undertaking intellectual property audits
  • Conducting intellectual property due diligence in corporate transactions
  • Assisting with the registration of trademarks
  • Providing trademark portfolio management services
  • Instigating and assisting with trademark invalidation and revocation proceedings
  • Advising on the transfer of ownership of intellectual property of all kinds
  • Advice on the licensing of intellectual property both to and from third parties and intra group arrangements
  • Advice on appropriate forms of licensing arrangement in the context of spin out companies
  • Advice on the non tax aspects of the Patent Box
  • Advising on merchandising, advertising, and the grant of sponsorship rights particularly as regards sporting events
  • Advice on the management of business information and commercially sensitive information protection
  • Advice on the intellectual property issues arising in the context of APP development
  • Instigating and defending High court proceedings for the protection of intellectual property of all kinds
  • Advising as to strategies for protecting intellectual property from infringement without recourse to legal proceedings and particularly conducting negotiations between parties involved in the intellectual property disputes including drafting undertakings that will form the basis of any settlement
  • Advising on appropriate means of protecting unregistered intellectual property rights from infringement – passing off actions
  • Generally advising on copyright, patents, knowhow, trademarks and design rights

What Others Say About Us

Chambers UK 2021

What the team is known for

Widely acknowledged for strength in handling a wide variety of contentious and commercial IP matters, including licensing agreements and infringement litigation. Highly active within Northern Ireland's thriving research and development sector. Noted for advice on the tax-efficient structuring of IP assets, particularly with regard to the Patent Box scheme.


Sources say: "They are very good and have the ability to take on large-scale IP work."

Work highlights

Represented Tayto in trade mark infringement proceedings against a local wholesale supplier that was unlawfully supplying a crisp product which bore the TAYTO mark.

Notable practitioners

Dawn McKnight

Declan Magee

Peter Guzhar

The Legal 500 2021

Carson McDowell is very active in licensing, enforcement and registration matters with a strong emphasis on the life sciences, engineering and technology sectors. Litigator Declan Magee is a key name and is highly skilled in the electronics and engineering industry. Peter Guzhar is another notable name for disputes, particularly in relation to patent infringements. For non-contentious work, Dawn McKnight is strong credentials for IP contracts involving the life sciences, manufacturing and technology sectors.


"Strong teamworking and a professional approach to delivering a high-quality service for the client has been evident throughout."

"The team are very personable and approachable, take the time to explain their thinking and reasoning that underpins their advice and guidance. This is always clear and precise."

Key clients

  • Tayto Group Limited and Tayto (NI)
  • STATSport Group
  • Prestige Insurance Group
  • Lowe Rental Limited
  • Linen Mill Studios
  • SISAF Limited
  • Denroy Plastics Group
  • Innovation Ulster
  • Firmus Energy
  • University of Ulster