We Specialise in the protection of your intellectual property rights

About Us

Sapphire IP was founded by Kate Lees, who has over 25 years’ experience in the field of intellectual property law, being a Registered UK Patent Attorney and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA), a qualified European Patent Attorney (EPA), and an Affiliate Member of the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (CITMA).


Kate originally obtained a BSc degree in Biochemistry & Biological Chemistry from the University of Nottingham, graduating in 1993. She then went on to obtain a Master of Science degree in the Management of Intellectual Property Law from Queen Mary & Westfield College, University of London in 1994.

Kate trained with a small firm of patent and trade mark attorneys in Liverpool, gaining experience in all aspects of intellectual property law, including patents, designs and trade marks. She qualified as a UK Patent Attorney in 1996, being awarded the Gill Prize for General Excellence in her qualifying examinations, and went on to qualify as a European Patent Attorney in 1998. The Liverpool office became part of large international intellectual property law firm and Kate was made a Partner of the firm in 2001. Kate moved from the Liverpool office to their Cheltenham office in 2007 where she remained as a Partner until 2012. Having obtained considerable experience in both intellectual property matters and managing an office, Kate then decided to set up her own business, Sapphire IP.

On 1 May 2019 Sapphire IP merged with another local firm Derek Jackson Associates (DJA) to form Sapphire IP incorporating Derek Jackson Associates. DJA was established in 1990 and served hundreds of clients, from the West Midlands, the rest of the UK and from around the world. Derek Jackson  remained with Sapphire IP for 3 years, but recently retired from full time practice. Sapphire IP continues to serve all of DJA's former clients.


Tony Matthews formerly of DJA, now works at Sapphire IP. Tony Matthews has a B.Sc. degree in chemistry and marine biology. Tony joined DJA in 2001 and is a part-qualified patent and trademark attorney. Tony is now Sapphire IP’s formalities clerk and is responsible for new and ongoing renewals.

Sapphire IP also works with a number of other consultants in the profession to provide depth of expertise

We have a wide range of experience in relation to a broad spectrum of subject matter, including mechanical, chemical and biochemical products and have acted for individual , start-up companies, universities, foreign associates, spin-out companies and large national and international companies. Examples of our technical expertise include:

  • Healthcare products such as wound healing preparations; sutures, surgical instruments, prosthetics, drip monitors, syringe drivers and food supplements;
  • Pathogen detectors, nano-conjugates for drug delivery, anti-viral agents, vaccines, anti-maturing agents for cells in culture; Oil recovery processes;
  • Air decontamination apparatus and sterilisation processes; water treatment and desalination; heating equipment; Assisted living products;
  • Agrochemicals and whey treatment processes;
  • Industrial coatings, metalorganic compounds and packaging products.
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