Tom is a qualified European Patent Attorney and Mechanical Engineering graduate. He has been working at Barker Brettell since April 2019. Prior to joining Barker Brettell, he spent three years working in the in-house patent department at a leading automotive OEM and nearly three years working as a patent examiner at the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO). He works across a range of technology areas, including engineering, physics, and computer-implemented inventions, with a specialist interest in the aerospace and automotive sectors. He works with a broad range of clients, from start-ups and SMEs to international companies.


As a result of Tom’s work at the UKIPO, he has a particular insight into how UK patent examiners operate, which is advantageous in getting UK patent applications through to grant. His experience as a patent examiner is also beneficial when preparing oppositions before the European Patent Office; he has a particular appreciation of how the validity of a competitor’s patent can be challenged.

Tom left the UKIPO to pursue an opportunity in the in-house patents department at a leading automotive OEM. In this role, he had a range of responsibilities, including invention harvesting within mainstream engineering and research – working closely with inventors to identify patentable inventions in their work, overseeing the drafting and prosecution of UK patent applications, working with patent attorneys outside of the UK during the prosecution of foreign patent applications, providing IP training to engineers and other staff, helping to identify potential licencing and other commercialisation opportunities, and assessing freedom to operate risk.

After taking voluntary redundancy, Tom joined Barker Brettell from the automotive OEM as a Trainee Patent Attorney. He has since qualified as a European Patent attorney and has passed additional exams on the road to becoming a UK Patent Attorney. At Barker Brettell, Tom has worked on the drafting and prosecution of UK and European patent applications across an extensive range of technologies, including automotive powertrains, gas turbine engines, aircraft control systems, avionics, unmanned areal systems, tiltrotor aircraft, experimental aircraft, medical devices, automated guided vehicles, scientific equipment, spectroscopy, plumbing installations, HVAC systems, financial technology, airport ground-handling equipment, and cyber security.


“Working with John and Tom is a real pleasure, they translate the complexities of the patenting process into simple language and straightforward advice. They always strive for the best possible outcome given the need to protect our ideas as much as we can but on a fixed budget. I would have no hesitation in recommending them to companies looking for excellence in IP protection.”

Professor David Keene, CEO, Aurrigo