Our people

Dan Thornton

Dan Thornton

Our People

Dan Thornton

Partner, Patent Attorney



UPC Representative

Our People

Our IP specialists work at all stages of the IP life cycle and provide strategic advice about patent, trade mark and registered designs, as well as any IP-related disputes and legal and commercial requirements.

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Dan works on all aspects of the patent application process in the mechanical, electronics, and engineering sectors. This includes patent drafting and prosecution. He is also experienced in providing freedom to operate opinions and the freedom to operate process.

Unusually for a private practice attorney Dan has undertaken a long-term client secondment. During that time he helped to set up an in-house department, and effectively worked as an in-house attorney. For example, he has gained extensive experience in developing IP strategies, invention capture and IP protection processes, along with management of large-scale Freedom to Operate (“FTO”) projects.

The secondment experience has given Dan a rare insight into the commercial, legal, and technical challenges faced by a large engineering R & D centre and a unique understanding of the business drivers. This provides him with a depth of real world understanding not often found in a private practice attorney.

Dan is particularly interested in working with start ups and SMEs. He is experienced in developing and implementing IP strategies that serve the commercial aspirations of growing companies. Dan is well-versed in IP audits, in particular government-funded IP Audits.

Areas of Expertise

  • Consumer electronic devices and associated products, including control electronics and firmware, hardware, performance, and wireless connectivity.
  • Machine learning, including neural networks
  • Cyber security, including block chain
  • Automotive technology, including automated driving


Dan has worked with UK and European SME’s in the fields of spectrometry, vehicle safety systems, and automated driving innovation. More recently his main client has been a Multinational consumer product / technology company.


Dan has an MPhys degree (2008) in physics and PhD in astrophysics (2013) both from the University of Manchester. Between degrees he worked as a scientist at a defence technology company. He joined Mewburn Ellis LLP in 2013, qualifying as a European Patent Attorney in 2017 and as a Chartered Patent Attorney in 2021. He has a Postgraduate Certificate in IP from Queen Mary University. He joined the partnership in 2022.

During his PhD Dan used supercomputing facilities to confirm a new class of astrophysical radio source. This result was published in Science magazine, and has since been cited over 500 times.


"Graeme Moore and Dan Thornton are stand-out lawyers." - The Legal 500, 2024.

Dan is recognised as a "key lawyer" in the 2023 and 2024 edition of The Legal 500.

“Dan has been working as a secondee at Nerudia for the last 2 years and has been integral to us finding inventions and helping us draft, file and prosecute patent applications. He works tremendously hard and well under very tight deadlines. He is a safe pair of hands and will always endeavour to find a workaround to the most difficult scenarios. He understands how to work in a challenging in-house environment and provides the hands-on approach needed. He is at all times professional, attentive and a pleasure to work with.”  - General Counsel, Nerudia