Meet The Team: Fran

Featuring next in our meet the team series is Frances Goddard, aka Fran, who is a Patent, Registered Design and Trade Mark Attorney, and also one of our partners, who has the motto: “Take every opportunity”.


Fran graduated from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology with a degree in Inorganic Chemistry and went on to qualify as a UK and European Patent Attorney in 2003. Fran started in the profession straightaway, with no time to lose, and has since worked both in private practice and in-house within industry so has a lot of experience of both the practical application and implications of IP.

Fran has significant experience across many technical fields including inorganic chemistry and mechanical and electronic engineering. An expert across all aspects of patent practice, advising clients on drafting and prosecution of patent applications, opposition procedures in the European Patent Office, as well as infringement, validity and freedom-to-operate.

She has instructed and worked with barristers representing clients at hearings at the UK Intellectual Property Office and is also experienced in obtaining registered design protection, as well as advising on all aspects of trade mark and branding matters.

In a nutshell, Fran is enviably adept on all commercial aspects of IP, so let’s look further at her role and what she enjoys the most.

Fran’s career in IP

Presently, Fran predominantly works on trade mark prosecution and enforcement, playing a vital role in building the trade mark team, while, at the same time, keeping her hand in with patent and design work when time allows. 

Throughout her career, in addition to chemical and mechanical patent procurement and enforcement, and procurement of registered design protection, she has extensive experience of negotiation of IP contracts, including joint research agreements, confidentiality, co-existence and settlement agreements.

Fran really enjoys obtaining commercially beneficial IP protection for clients, and also settling disputes, which delivers peace of mind and the freedom to operate.

When we asked her what she loves the most about her role, she said, “I love the great relationships I’ve built with clients, helping them to navigate the IP system, which can be complex, so they can get to a commercially beneficial position”.

Fran also says that since the pandemic and working from home, it has significantly affected the way she works with clients – for the good. “I talk to my clients via teams more, which I have found has built better relationships than just communicating my email or telephone.”

Beyond Patents

Fran has two teenage children and three cats! She is quite busy outside of the patent world. But she loves to escape into a book, and has two or three on the go at once, and enjoys “the odd, cheeky cocktail”.

She says about her dream job, “I’m quite a creative person and enjoy being outdoors, so maybe garden design or floristry”.

And if she could look back from the future and advise her younger self now on her career, what would she say?

“Take every opportunity that comes your way, you never know where it will lead and you will have some great experiences.”