IP Federation biographies 2021–2022

Document No: PUB 21O/21 Posted: 22 December 2021

Sonia Cooper, President

Sonia is a UK Chartered Patent Attorney and European patent attorney with over 20 years of practical experience in all aspects of intellectual property, gained both in private practice and in industry. Sonia specialises in the fields of software, artificial intelligence and telecommunications and has a degree in physics from the University of Bristol, a master’s degree in the management of intellectual property from Queen Mary University of London and a graduate diploma in law from the University of Law.

Sonia is responsible for IP policy in Europe at Microsoft and works closely with Microsoft Research in Cambridge. She has represented Microsoft on the Council of the IP Federation since 2017 and chairs the IP Federation data & copyright committee.

Outside work, Sonia enjoys spending time with family, friends as well as hiking and camping with her Labrador, “Sunny”.

Scott Roberts, Immediate Past President

Scott is a UK Chartered Patent Attorney and Euro­pean patent attorney with 20 years of experience in patents gained in both industry and private prac­tice. Scott joined the patent profession after 10 years’ experience as a soft­ware engineer and a period lecturing in computer science. He has worked in-house at both British Telecom­munica­tions and IBM specialising in comput­ing and telecom­muni­ca­tions tech­no­logies. Scott has represented both BT and IBM at the IP Federa­tion since 2008 and chaired the IP Federation patent committee from 2016 to 2019.

Scott is a member of the Standing Advisory Commit­tee of the European Patent Office (SACEPO) and also sits on the SACEPO working party on rules. In addition to these roles, Scott is a member of the UK Govern­ment Department for International Trade’s IP thematic working group. He also represents UK industry at the Business­Europe patents working group. Since 2009 he has been a member of the Examination Committee of the European Qualifying Examination (EQE) for professional representatives. He is also a co-author of the CIPA European Patents Handbook.

Originally from South Wales, he now lives in the South of England with his wife and three children where he tutors maths, science and computing. He volunteers at a local NHS trust where he works with nurses to address the challenges in their professional practice. In his down-time he can be found indulging in dystopian literature.

He was President of the IP Federation from 2020 to 2021.

Matthew Hitching, Vice-President

Matthew has been working for 30 years as a UK Chartered Patent Attorney and European patent attorney. For the first half of his career he was in private practice in central London, working in the fields of telecoms, data processing and microelectronics. Matthew’s clients at that time included many Japanese companies, and it was this, and a hope of educating himself about the broader aspects of managing IP in a company, that led him to join Canon at its European headquarters just outside London in 2007. Matthew has represented Canon at the IP Federation since 2018.

Since joining Canon, Matthew has been involved in oppositions, appeals, and patent litigation in the major European countries, as well as US patent litigation, which is increasingly affecting Canon’s group companies in Europe. His IP work also includes aspects of brand management, competition law, anti-counterfeit activities, standardisation activities and contractual IP issues.

Married with two children, Matthew’s passions outside work are watching football, his ever-expanding collection of wines, and travel, especially to vineyard areas or Japan.

David England, Company Secretary

David joined the IP Federa­tion as Secretary in June 2010. He is a UK and Euro­pean Patent Attor­ney with 25 years of experience gained at Reckitt & Colman, Astra Phar­ma­ceuticals and BTG Inter­national. During his career, he has worked exten­sively on the creation, defence and licensing of in­tellectual property (mainly patents, but also designs and trade marks), and has rep­resented his em­ployers on both the Patents and Designs Committees of the IP Federation.

In his spare time, David sings with the highly regarded BBC Symphony Chorus, performing regu­larly at venues including the Barbican and the Royal Albert Hall.

Helen Georghiou, Office Manager

Helen joined the IP Federation as Admin Assistant in November 2016. This was a completely new sector for her, as she had spent over 20 years as a PA and office manager in market research companies. She then followed her personal passion and entered the world of property, where she now runs the family business. Some could say that in many respects intellectual property and physical property have similarities when it comes to ownership and rights, so joining the IP Federation made perfect sense. It has proven to be a rewarding environ­ment.

With two daughters, a husband and a dog, there’s not much time left! But where possible, Helen enjoys interior designing, socialising … and the odd vodka or two!