IP Federation Review

Danny Keenan, President

Danny is a European patent attorney with 20 years of practical experience with managing patents, designs, trade secrets and technology-related agreements. Danny joined Unilever in the UK after completing a DPhil in physical chemistry and worked for seven years as a research scientist and technical project leader before moving to the IP department. Danny has worked on IP across all of Unilever’s business groups, including personal care, nutrition and ice cream, and helped build the Unilever patent group in China.

Danny heads Unilever’s global nutrition patent team, leads the technology agreements group and is responsible for the patent group at Unilever’s UK R&D sites. He has represented Unilever on the IP Federation since 2016, during which time he also chaired the copyright & design committee.

With a grown-up family, Danny now has increased time to devote to other passions outside work including watching lower and non-league football, travelling, learning languages and volunteering with a local charity.


Matthew Hitching, Immediate Past 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.

He was President of the IP Federation from 2022 to 2023.


Adrian Howes, Vice-President

Adrian is a UK qualified solicitor, with nearly 20 years of experience in intellectual property law in both private practice and industry. Adrian has worked in various fields including pharma, IT and telecoms, and has advised primarily on patent-related issues, but also on competition, licensing, copyright, trade secret and design concerns. He has a degree from the University of Cambridge in law, and a master’s in chemistry from Durham University.

Adrian is currently Head of IP and Standards in Nokia’s IP policy group, having previously been part of its litigation team. His work at Nokia presently encompasses policy and regulation on IPR issues, mainly in relation to open standards and software. This includes active involvement in cross-industry discussions on IPR and its place in the next generation of communications technology and industry standards.

Adrian is currently flying solo, but enjoys social running, cycling away from London with friends (ideally finding a gastropub en route) and discovering new countries and cultures – if he can find somewhere to scuba-dive on the way too, then he is doubly happy.


David England, Company Secretary

David joined the IP Federation as Secretary in June 2010. His background is in medicinal chemistry, with a degree in natural sciences from the University of Cambridge. He is also a UK and European patent attorney with 25 years’ 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 patent and design 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!


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