Edinburgh-founded patent firm benefits from 'Brexit effect' as turnover jumps
A firm of patent and trademark attorneys founded in Edinburgh eight years ago has reported a 25 per cent hike in revenues as it helps Scottish tech companies expand into new markets.
Hindles has increased revenue to £2.1 million in the year to the end of March 2022, while appointing a further director, Chris Cottingham. In 2018, the firm opened its second UK office, in Liverpool, which is run by fellow director Robert Gregory. Hindles has added two lateral hire fee earners to its Liverpool team over the last year.
Founding director Alistair Hindle pointed to a Brexit effect, with growth including work from patent and trademark attorneys in other European countries who now need UK partners for the first time in decades. Hindle added: “Our growth has also been driven by various Scottish technology companies raising money, innovating, protecting their intellectual property (IP) and succeeding. During the pandemic there was a bit of a boom, with a lot of people who had been talking about filing a patent application for years finally getting around to it.
“Overall, there is a growing understanding that IP is critical to the long-term success of start-up and scale-up businesses but requires substantial investment in the early days. This now seems to be well understood by investors in early-stage companies, and we have seen an increase in young companies who have IP and have managed to raise the funding to protect it. We have also seen an increase in the filing of trademarks internationally, which has become cheaper due to the Madrid Protocol, which enables trademark owners to register their trademarks in multiple countries by filing a single application through the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO).”
The firm represents clients across patent and IP offices in the UK, Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, including through a network of international associates. Its client base includes Ooni pizza ovens, remote patient monitoring company Current Health, robotic agritech specialist Crover and radio tech firm Sofant.
University of Cambridge graduate Cottingham is described as an experienced intellectual property expert who has spent a decade advising high-growth technology clients. He previously spent seven years with a large UK-wide patent firm before joining Hindles in 2020. Cottingham works with the firm’s small and medium-sized clients on IP strategy, specialising in patents for industrial products and processes, packaging, renewables, computer software, consumer products and software interfaces.
He said: “We have excellent people, including some particularly strong recent hires, and that ensures that our clients will continue to receive the best intellectual property advice in the industry, backed up by safe, robust systems and a plain-speaking approach. I am excited to continue to drive the expansion of our practice.”
Gregory added: “The economic downturn has not caused a tail-off in innovation; to the contrary, we are seeing more companies, including spin-outs, prioritise their IP and invest in patent protection. Quality of work is a real focus for our firm. We have chosen to grow at a controlled rate to maintain the standards of work which our clients appreciate.”