Robert McLean


Originally from Canada, I came to study at the University of St Andrews where I was awarded the McEuen Scholarship. After obtaining a BSc in joint Physics and Electronics, which included specialisations in optics, laser physics and opto-electronics, I returned to Canada to obtain a Masters in Physics from the University of Western Ontario. My research was in the field of Atomic and Molecular Physics, specifically high-resolution spectroscopic studies of the sodium molecule using a molecular beam apparatus, tuneable dye lasers and applied rf fields. To better interpret the results, I developed a computer model of the interactions of the molecules with the applied optical and rf fields and which included quantum coherence effects.

After university I was a Senior Research Physicist with ICI, and helped to develop optical data storage products, including a 1 TB optical data storage tape which was commercialised to store satellite imagery. For two years I was seconded to a subsidiary of Iomega Corporation in the US developing a disc drive for a removable 1 GB flexible optical disc cartridge.

Following this, I joined Dummett Copp LLP in 1995, and in my professional qualifying examinations was awarded the CIPA Drafting Prize for the highest mark in the paper dealing with the preparation of UK and overseas patent specifications. I became a Partner with the firm in 2000.

As a patent attorney, I have experience across a wide range of technologies, including optics, fibre optics, opto-electronic devices, display technologies, automotive technologies, computer related inventions, medical devices and automated packing systems.

I also regularly advise clients regarding trade mark and design protection, and assist with licencing, assignments and enforcement of IP rights, and I am an experienced advocate in European patent opposition and appeal proceedings.

I retired in 2024 and now act as a Consultant to the firm.


  • Chartered UK Patent Attorney
  • European Patent Attorney
  • MSc Physics
  • BSc (Hons) Physics and Electronics

Specialist Technical Areas

  • Electronics
  • Optics
  • Data Storage
  • Lasers