Michael C Carter Partner Head of Automotive IP (UK)

Speaks:  English

Qualified: 2011 - Solicitor of England & Wales

Primary phone: +44 (0)121 393 0115

Secondary phone: +44 (0)7921 881 425

Fax: +44 (0)370 904 1099

Email: michael.carter@gowlingwlg.com

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Primary office:  Birmingham

Michael C Carter

Michael Carter is an experienced IP litigator and IP strategist with more than 12 years' experience of working with clients in the technology, engineering and automotive sectors to develop and implement their IP strategies and enforce their IP rights. Michael also leads Gowling WLG's UK automotive IP practice.

Michael is one of the UK's leading lawyers in the field of standards essential patents (SEPs) and the determination of (F)RAND terms across a range of technologies (4G, 5G, Wi-Fi, xDSL, HEVC). He acted for InterDigital in only the second ever UK FRAND trial in InterDigital v Lenovo, a case that was recognised by Managing Intellectual Property as its Impact Case of the Year 2022. Acting for TQ Delta, he was also part of the team that obtained the first ever UK finding of 'unwillingness' in TQ Delta v ZyXEL [2019] EWHC 745 (Pat).

A particular features of many of the cases Michael is involved with is the need to implement global strategies and cooperate closely with other attorneys. Michael was part of the team recognised by Managing Intellectual Property as its European Cross-Border Team of the Year 2022.

As head of Gowling WLG's UK Automotive IP team, Michael provides advice on contentious and non-contentious IP issues and strategies for automotive and engineering clients and regularly speaks at conferences on matters affecting these fast-changing sectors, including the impact of connectivity, rights to data and routes to market.

Michael was named as a Rising Star by Managing Intellectual Property in 2022. He is also part of Gowling WLG's Unified Patents Court team.


  • Acting for InterDigital on only the second ever FRAND trial in relation to 3G, 4G and 5G technology against Lenovo; Interdigital Technology Corporation & ors (applicants) v Lenovo Group Ltd & ors.
  • Securing the first ever finding of unwillingness and an injunction in relation to a standard essential patent for TQ Delta against ZyXEL; TQ Delta LlC v Zyxel Communications Ltd & Anor [2019] EWHC 745 (Pat)
  • Supporting a Warwickshire automotive supplier on the commercialisation of its patented audio technology by advising it regarding development agreements with numerous luxury OEMs
  • Coordinating brand licensing activities whilst on secondment to Aston Martin, including negotiating a broad range of brand licence agreements relating to products, merchandise and video game licensing. Michael also advises Aston Martin Lagonda on IP strategy and brand enforcement issues.
  • Advising a UK manufacturer of connected consumer devices on its response to requests by a third party patentee for a licence under their standard essential Wi-Fi patents, which included reviewing the strength of the patents and advising on a strategy for progressing negotiations with the patentee.
  • Successfully defending a Leicestershire-based manufacturer of composite (carbon fibre) products, Hexcel Reinforcements, against allegations of patent infringement, with simultaneous opposition proceedings pending before the EPO; Saertex France SAS v Hexcel Reinforcements UK Ltd (formerly Formax (UK) Ltd) [2016] EWHC 966 (IPEC).
  • Obtaining the (then) largest available costs recovery for Cobra Automotive, a UK manufacturer of automotive parts, after successfully defending it against claims of patent infringement by BOS; BOS v Cobra [2012] EWPCC 44.
  • Managing the strategic enforcement of IP rights in the Dyson Bladeless fan range in Europe and the Middle East.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2024

    • Career
      May 2024
      Gowling WLG (UK), partner
  • 2023

  • 2022

  • 2021

  • 2020

  • 2017

    • Career
      July 2017
      Gowling WLG (UK), principal associate
  • 2016

    • Career
      February 2016
      Gowling WLG (UK), senior associate
  • 2015

    • Career
      August 2015
      Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, senior associate
  • 2014

    • Career
      June 2014
      Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, associate
    • Career
      May 2014
      Aston Martin Lagonda Limited (Legal Secondee - Brand Protection and Licensing Lawyer)
  • 2012

    • Education
      August 2012
      University of Oxford, Postgraduate diploma in intellectual property law and practice
  • 2011

    • Career
      October 2011
      Wragge & Co LLP, solicitor
    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      Qualified, Solicitor of England & Wales
  • 2010

    • Career
      October 2010
      Mercedes-Benz UK Limited (Legal Secondee)
  • 2009

    • Education
      August 2009
      College of Law Birmingham, Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice
  • 2008

    • Education
      August 2008
      University of Oxford (Keble College), BA Jurisprudence