With a degree in engineering and industrial experience working as an engineer in automotive R&D, Richard specialises in the mechanical and electrical fields. He has knowledge of a wide range of technologies in these fields, but has particular experience in automotive and aerospace. His automotive expertise is in powertrains, engine control and hybrid vehicles, including the design of electrical machines for hybrid applications. His aerospace experience takes in mechanical systems, electrical systems and manufacturing technology, usually in commercial aeroplane applications, but also in spaceflight applications. He is also active in technologies in the Cleantech sector.
Richard’s patent practice includes drafting new applications, prosecuting applications worldwide and managing large portfolios for multinational corporations. European Patent Office opposition work, including representing clients at oral proceedings before the EPO, forms a large part of Richard’s practice, with The Legal 500 noting that he is 'a particular expert in oppositions.'
As well as being a European Patent Attorney and a Chartered UK Patent Attorney, Richard is qualified as a Singapore Patent Agent following a spell practising in that country.
Outside his casework, Richard has been involved in setting and marking the European Qualifying Examination - the exam that leads to qualification as a European Patent Attorney. He is a contributing editor to the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorney's Patents Training Manual and speaks regularly on patents in the US and Europe.
Richard is currently the firm’s Managing Partner. He was elected to this newly-created role in 2015. Since then, he has led delivery of the firm’s strategic plan.
Richard is usually recommended each year in the world’s leading guides to the IP sector.
IAM Patent 1000: The 2019 edition of IAM Patent said 'Richard Howson has been instrumental in establishing the San Francisco office. With particular expertise across a wide range of mechanical and engineering fields, he is “loved by clients” with good reason: it is almost impossible to find his blend of technical mastery and client skills anywhere else'. He was also recommended in the 2018 and 2017 editions. The 2016 edition of IAM Patent 1000 recognised Richard’s ‘outstanding prosecution practice’. He has also been recognised as a ‘mechanical whizz’ for his expertise in this technical area.
IAM Global Leaders: Richard was ranked in a select group as an ‘IP Global Leader’ in the inaugural edition of this guide in 2020.
Legal 500: Richard is ‘recommended’ for patent prosecution in at least the 2019, 2018 and 2017 editions of the Legal 500. In particular, Richard was recognised by in 2018 for his work on patent protection strategy.
MIP IP Stars: Richard is ranked as an ‘Patent Star’ in at least the 2019, 2018 and 2017 editions of Managing Intellectual Property’s worldwide guide to the IP profession. The 2017 edition of IP Stars states that ‘Kilburn & Strode has been growing under the leadership of patent star Richard Howson.’
European Patent Attorney
Chartered UK Patent Attorney
Singapore Patent Agent
IP Litigator - Patent
BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering - The University of Birmingham (International Gas Turbine Institute prize for final-year project)
Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA)
The Institute of Professional Representatives before the European Patent Office (EPI) - Member of committee that devises and marks the EQE (2007-2012)
International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys (FICPI) - Council member and Secretary of FICPI-UK
R Howson, ‘EPO Opposition and Appeal Case Law’, speaker at Management Forum seminar, (2015)
R Howson, College of Law Media on the Intellectual Property Act 2014, TV interview, (2014)
R Howson, ‘Successful Claim Drafting in IT Cases’, speaker at CIPA seminar, (2014)
R Howson, ‘Collaborating to Improve Capability’, speaker at joint CIPA-IPO seminar, (2012)
R Howson, ‘EPO Prosecution Strategies paper at international FICPI meeting, Bath, UK, (2011)
R Howson, ‘It's Springtime at the EPO,’ Managing Intellectual Property Magazine, (2011)
R Howson, ‘Enforcing Patents lecture’, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK, (2011)
R Howson, ‘International Patent Prosecution talk’, Advanced Patent Law Institute, Palo Alto, CA, USA, (2010)
R Howson, ‘EPO Patent Prosecution talk’, AIPLA PCT Roadshow, Washington, DC, USA, (2009)
R Howson, ‘EPO Opposition Practice talk’, AIPLA mid-winter meeting, Miami, FL, USA, (2009)
R Howson, ‘Patenting Software in Europe’, FICCI, New Delhi, India, (2008)
R Howson, ‘Patents Prosecution Highway paper’, FICPI meeting, Charleston, SC, USA,
R Howson, ‘CIPA Patents Training Manual’, Contributing editor