Ben Appleton

B.Sc. Ph.D. MRSB


Ben Appleton has over 20 years’ experience in the patent profession. He began his career working in private practice before spending several years as in-house counsel at Cadbury and Kraft Foods which has given him first-hand experience of the commercial challenges that businesses face in protecting and managing their IP. Ben joined Wilson Gunn in 2012 and became a partner in 2016.


Ben spent a number of years as in-house counsel at Cadbury and Kraft Foods, managing the UK patent team and advising the business on a wide range of patent, design and technical know-how matters. As a result of his time as in-house counsel, Ben has a particular expertise in patent matters relating to food chemistry, biomarkers, antisense oligonucleotide therapies, pharmaceuticals and agrochemistry. In addition, Ben also has broad experience in a range of other life science, chemical and material science fields, including tissue engineering, household cleaning products, medicinal chemistry, antibodies, industrial biotechnology and genetic & enzyme engineering, as well as fine chemicals experience. He also has extensive experience in European Patent Office oppositions and appeals, both offensively and defensively, and has been actively involved in successful litigation in Europe, Australia and the US.

Ben was previously an Examiner for the UK patent attorney professional examinations, in relation to the advanced examination on the infringement and validity of patents.

He was awarded a Ph.D. for his research into the synthesis of novel biomimetic compounds which mimic the active site of glucose oxidase enzymes

Designs & Copyright

Ben handles design portfolios for a number of multi-national clients and “As Seen on TV” companies, and has tremendous experience of enforcement of registered and unregistered designs. He also has wide experience of e-commerce infringement issues in relation to designs.


University of Leeds – B.Sc. Chemistry & Biochemistry
University of Leeds – Ph.D. Biochemistry
University of Manchester – Postgraduate Certificate in Intellectual Property Law (AstraZeneca Prize for highest aggregate marks)


Chartered Patent Attorney
European Patent Attorney
UPC Representative


“Key lawyer”
The Legal 500, 2024

“Key lawyer”
The Legal 500, 2023

“Key lawyer”
The Legal 500, 2022

“Key lawyer”
The Legal 500, 2021

“He has a keen eye for identifying whether an invention is patentable and is skilled in drafting claims to ensure the broadest protection”
IAM Patent 1000, 2020

“Ben Appleton is a patent attorney whose in-house experience enriches his practice immensely; stints at Cadbury and Kraft Foods have given him an appreciation of commercial decision making that few colleagues can hope to match”
IAM Patent 1000, 2019

“Ben Appleton has unique knowledge of patent issues relating to food chemistry, packaging and manufacturing processes”
IAM Patent 1000, 2018

Ben Appleton: a “stellar operator”
The Legal 500, 2015

LEGAL 500 Recommended lawyer
LEGAL 500 Recommended lawyer
Legal 500 recommended lawyer
The Legal 500 Recommended Lawyer 2020
The Legal 500 Recommended Lawyer 2019
The Legal 500 Recommended Lawyer 2016
The Legal 500 Recommended Lawyer 2014

Our patent & trade mark attorneys

Wilson Gunn