2 July 2023

Meet our team: Emma Longland

As part of our ‘meet our team’ series, we ask Emma Longland, one of our newly promoted biotech partners based in our Cambridge office, about her journey to becoming a patent attorney, what she loves about Venner Shipley and what else she enjoys in life.


When did you join Venner Shipley and what office do you work in?
I joined in 2021 and am based in the lovely new Cambridge office.

How did you get into working in IP or your current role?
During my PhD I realized that I loved science but did not want my future to be working short-term contracts at a lab bench. So, I attended a seminar given by a Patent Attorney as part of a series on “Science jobs away from the bench”. I liked what I heard, and then was fortunate to be accepted at one of the firms I applied to.

What areas do you currently specialise in in your role?
My technology covers anything to do with cells or what’s in them – DNA or RNA or protein.  From the legal side, EPO Oppositions and Appeals have always been a large part of my activities, particularly complex and multi-party cases. I also have always worked a lot with US Associates, helping them to get their European patent applications granted. More recently, I have been providing IP strategy advice to start-ups and spin-outs, as well as due diligence advice to investors looking to invest in start-ups and spin-outs.

What do you enjoy most about working in IP law?
I love straddling the interaction between the law and the science; deep diving into fascinating technology, including quizzing amazing inventors, whilst applying the law to best serve their interests. I also like the fact that I get to argue for a living!

What recent successes/achievements have you had (personal/professional)?
I have just been promoted to Partner, which I am thrilled about. I recently had a patent maintained in amended form at Opposition proceedings, which the client was thrilled about because it is an important patent and the outlook for it seemed bleak before the opposition was transferred to us.

What’s the best thing about working at Venner Shipley?
The people! I have worked at four firms now, so I appreciate how wonderful it is to work with such a lovely, supportive, group of people.

What do you think is the next big thing (or on the horizon) in IP?
I am anticipating ongoing changes as a consequence of the establishment of the UP/UPC systems, as more patents and countries are encompassed by them. In BioTech, I am grappling with the growing importance of AI/ML in so many bio companies, and what this means for their IP strategy and the advice we give them.

“I appreciate how wonderful it is to work with such a lovely, supportive, group of people.”

Emma Longland, Partner
Chemical & Life Sciences

What do you do outside of work? 
I have a son (age 12) and a daughter (age 10), and a husband who is a serial hobbyist – they keep me very busy. I love reading, and holidays with my family in the great outdoors, away from technology. Before the kids I used to dance a lot too, mainly Ceroc (but I did once have a cha cha lesson with Anton Du Beck!), and hope to return to it when I have more time.

Tell us a little more about you!
A fun fact is that in the early 2000s I was an extra in the film Sylvia, starring Daniel Craig and Gwyneth Paltrow. I have never watched the whole film (too depressing for me!), but I appear multiple times on screen in the first 10 minutes and it means I have seen both leads up close.


For more information about Biotechnology click here.