Kraft adds finishing touch to in-house IP team with raid on Howrey

Kraft has scooped promising associate Calum Smyth from Howrey’s London office to complete its new in-house patents team.

Smyth will be Kraft’s patent chief in Europe and will manage the company’s portfolio across the EU.

Smyth’s role will cover the full range of patent work, including handling patent oppositions in the European Patent Office and litigation.

The hire follows a push to develop Kraft’s in-house IP capability to support product development in new markets.

Smyth will report to US-based global patent chief Clinton Hallman, who joined in March from cigarette maker Philip Morris.

Hallman himself reports to Kraft vice-president and associate general counsel Jackie Leimer, who has been leading the push.

The European patent role had been filled temporarily by Marc Döring, who is on secondment from IP relationship firm Simmons & Simmons.

Last year Döring and Simmons won a patent case for Kraft against Sara Lee in the European Patent Office, which could give the company a crucial head-start in the consumer coffee market.