Kate McNamara

Senior Patent Attorney

Norwich office
+44 (0)1603 673620

Dr Kate McNamara is a European Patent Attorney and a UK Chartered Patent Attorney with more than 10 years’ experience in patent law and practice. She specialises in the Life Sciences, handling a wide range of biotechnology and pharmaceutical subject matter including inhalation technologies, cancer and stem cell therapies, gene sequences, cell culture technologies, diagnostic methods, medical devices and food technology. Kate has experience in all aspects of patent law, including drafting, filing and prosecuting UK, European and international patent applications, providing freedom to operate and validity opinions and due diligence work. She has considerable expertise, in particular, in providing IP advice to start-ups and spin-outs, helping them to protect their IP and develop an IP strategy. Kate is able to provide clear and tailored advice to clients to help them understand and maximise their IP.

Career history

Kate holds a BSc (Hons) in Biology from the University of York, which included a year in industry at a pharmaceutical company, and a DPhil in Neuropharmacology from the University of Oxford. During her career, Kate held a post-doctoral position at a biotechnology spin-out from the University of Oxford, where she worked with a novel peptide implicated in neurodegeneration, and a post-doctoral position at the University of Queensland in Australia, where she investigated developmental changes in neural stem cells and the effect of ischaemia on cardiac ganglia. Prior to joining Novagraaf, Kate held a Patent Attorney position at another leading patent and trademark firm.

Work highlights

Kate has lectured in IP on both the Accelerate and Ignite programmes run by the Judge Institute, Cambridge, and has given numerous talks on IP at entrepreneurial events.

Kate has experience as an IP Adviser at a Cambridge Healthcare bioincubator, where she worked closely with their cohort companies. She lectured on IP during induction week and was available to answer all IP queries, on site or via video call (following coronavirus lockdown measures), including queries on licence-agreement and ownership issues, landscaping queries, as well as provision of advice regarding the need for and robustness of patent protection via priority and PCT applications and the importance of developing an IP strategy and portfolio.

Throughout her career, Kate has written regularly on IP matters.


Kate is a Fellow of CIPA and a member of EPI.


  • English

Areas of expertise

  • Patents: Biotechnology, pharmaceuticals
  • Patents: prosecution, drafting, infringement and validity opinions, and freedom-to-operate searches and opinions
  • IP strategy and portfolio management for academia and spin-out companies

Industry specialisms

  • Food & food technology
  • Life Sciences & biotech (pharma, medical devices, biosensors)
  • Tobacco & vaping

Latest Insights

Need to know: UK IPO temporary fee changes

The UK IPO's period of 'interrupted days', which resulted in the extension of most deadlines, ends today (29 July 2020). However, aware of the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on applicants and proprietors of intellectual property rights, the Government has introduced a new statutory instrument making temporary amendments to the patent, trademark and design fee rules.

By Kate McNamara,
Need to know: UK IPO temporary fee changes

For more information, please contact us