Alison Brimelow

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Alison Jane Brimelow CBE (born 1949[1]) is a British civil servant and former chief executive and Comptroller General of the UK Patent Office, now known as the Intellectual Property Office. She was the fifth President of the European Patent Office, a position she held from 1 July 2007[2] to 30 June 2010.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Havana, Cuba, she is one of the two daughters of Sir Thomas Brimelow, a British diplomat, who was Permanent Under-Secretary in the British Foreign Office in 1973–75 and Member of the European Parliament in 1977–78, and Jean Cull.[2][3][4] She holds a degree from the University of East Anglia.[1]


She joined the British Diplomatic Service in 1973.[1] In 1976, she joined the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). She worked in a variety of Headquarters policy jobs, including private office. She joined the Patent Office in 1991, where she became Head of the Trade Marks Registry.[1]

In 1997 she returned to DTI Headquarters to work on European and International Competition Policy.[1] She was appointed chief executive and Comptroller General of the Patent Office in March 1999.[1] She held the post of chief executive and Comptroller General of the Patent Office from March 1999 to end of December 2003.[1]

In 2003 she was elected President of the European Patent Office jointly with Professor Alain Pompidou of France. She resigned from the UK Civil Service on 31 December 2003.[1] From 2003 to 2006, she was Deputy Chairman of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation.[1]

From November 2004 to December 2006, she was Chair of the Steering Board of the National Weights and Measures Laboratory, a UK Government organisation.[1] In February 2005 she was elected Associate Fellow of Templeton College, Saïd Business School, Oxford.[1]

Her term of office as president of the European Patent Office (EPO) began on 1 July 2007.[5] In May 2009, she informed the EPO staff that she would not seek an extension of her contract which ended on 30 June 2010.[6] There were initially four candidates to succeed her, Susanne Ås Sivborg, Benoît Battistelli, Roland Grossenbacher, and Jesper Kongstad.[7] In March 2010, it was then made known that she would be succeeded by Benoît Battistelli on 1 July 2010.[8]

In September 2010, Alison Brimelow took on the role of chairman of the Board of Trustees of Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust.[9][10] In June 2011 she became Chairman of the Intellectual Property Institute.


She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2005, "for services to Intellectual Property Law."[11] In 2011, she was awarded the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Grosses Bundesverdienstkreuz).[12][13]

She is a member of the Athenaeum Club.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k European Patent Office web site, Alison Brimelow's CV. Consulted on 2 July 2007. Archived 26 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ a b "Alison Brimelow to be President of the European Patent Office". United Kingdom Patent Office. 30 October 2003. Archived from the original on 5 December 2003. Retrieved 5 August 2006.  (archived on
  3. ^ Thomson Gale, The Blue Book: Leaders of the English-speaking World, 1976, St. James Press, St. Martins Press, p. 93.
  4. ^ Tam Dalyell, Obituary: Lord Brimelow, The Independent, 4 August 1995.
  5. ^ European Patent Office web site, Alison Brimelow takes over as EPO President. Consulted on 2 July 2007.
  6. ^ Emma Barraclough (11 May 2009). "EPO begins search for new president". Alison Brimelow, president of the EPO, will not stand for a second term after her three-year contract expires at the end of June 2010. A spokesman for the EPO said that she had emailed her decision not to seek a renewal of her contract to the staff at the IP office. 
  7. ^ EPO web site, Applications received for the post of EPO President, 17 September 2009. Consulted on 18 September 2009.
  8. ^ EPO web site, Benoît Battistelli elected EPO President, News, 1 March 2010. Consulted on 2 March 2010.
  9. ^ Charlie Crabtree, "New chairman for revamped Hartlebury Castle trust", Kidderminster Shuttle, 3 September 2010. Consulted on 17 September 2010.
  10. ^ "Trust Moves Up A Gear", The Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust, Latest News, 09/08/10. Consulted on 17 September 2010.
  11. ^ Government News Network, Prime Minister's Office (National), Queens Birthday Honours – Order of the British Empire, Civil Order of the British Empire, 11 June 2005
  12. ^ German Order of Merit award for former EPO President Alison Brimelow, EPO web site, 14 September 2011. Consulted on 23 September 2011.
  13. ^ Award for Chair of Intellectual Property Institute, News Distribution Service (NDS), UK government's Central Office of Information (COI), 14 September 2011. Consulted on 23 September 2011.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Positions in intergovernmental organisations
Preceded by
Alain Pompidou
President of the European Patent Office
Succeeded by
Benoît Battistelli