LSPN 2016: Tread carefully post-M&A, says Eli Lilly counsel


LSPN 2016: Tread carefully post-M&A, says Eli Lilly counsel

Susan Montgomery /

Drugs companies that acquire other businesses should act cautiously after the deal has been completed, because of potential differences in patent strategy, an Eli Lilly counsel has said.

Emma Bassinder, European patent counsel, was speaking at Life Sciences Patents Network Europe, hosted in London today, December 7, by Life Sciences IP Review

She said there are typically two patent-related phases after a merger and acquisition deal. 

The first, which requires urgency, involves compiling various information on patent filing dates and counsel working on pending cases, among other things. 

Bassinder said that the acquired company may have patents with third-party agreements, so an investigation into any ongoing obligations to those parties needs to be undertaken.

“That information is hard to ascertain, but there is an urgency with that,” she said, adding that there is a need to quickly register any transfer of patent ownership. 

This can usually be a speedy process, “unless you’re working in Brazil, where it can take two to three years to register a transfer,” she claimed.

The biggest challenge in the initial stage is communication and cooperation, because personnel and responsibilities are changing, and “not everyone is happy with what’s going on”, Bassinder said.

In the second phase, it is important to act cautiously because of the “state of flux”, and in addition the value of the acquired IP may be different to previously, she explained. 

Bassinder said it’s important to allow the newly-formed business to work out its priorities and that there may be differences in patent strategy.

Eli Lilly, LSPN 2016, M&A, Mergers & Acquisitions, patent filing, patent strategy, patents