Our lawyers have extensive experience in protecting brands, designs, copyrights, databases, domain names and related rights. We work closely with clients across a range of industry sectors including consumer products, fashion, finance, hotels and leisure, media and pharmaceuticals.

Acting for leading UK and global brands, our team advises on everything from trade mark infringement and passing off claims through to software copyright, design protection and enforcement and online infringements. We also deal with the increasingly complex areas of database management and digital rights management. As a result of the global nature of IP rights and disputes, we have built up an impressive team of international specialists and regularly take the lead role in cases across multiple jurisdictions.

We have represented clients in all forums, ranging from trade mark opposition proceedings before the UK Intellectual Property Office and EUIPO through to litigation in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, the Patents Court, the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and the Court of Justice in Luxembourg, as well as before the Copyright Tribunal.

Complementing this deep understanding of the UK and European courts, we recognise the importance of alternative dispute resolution methods. In addition to handling mediation and arbitration proceedings (with several partners acting as qualified Mediators), our lawyers routinely advise clients in relation to complaints made to the Advertising Standards Authority and other industry-specific regulatory bodies. Our team includes a large number of lawyers with specialist knowledge of advertising regulation in a number of key client sectors.

Key contact

Simon Clark

Contact

Experience

Representing Cadbury (Mondelez) before the Court of Justice of the European Union in the dispute about the registrability as a trade mark of the shape of the KitKat chocolate bar. In this high-profile dispute, the Court of Justice agreed with our arguments concerning the appropriate legal test to be applied by trade mark offices, and confirmed the Board of Appeal’s view that the evidence presented by Nestlé did not show that the trade mark had acquired a distinctive character in the entirety of the EU.

Successfully defending commercial insurer/reinsurer Fidelis in trade mark infringement and passing off proceedings brought in the High Court by Fidelity. The Court held that there was no likelihood of confusion between the marks (hence the win for Fidelis) and referred two questions to the CJEU: whether Fidelity had applied for registration of the Fidelity mark in bad faith (no intention to use across the whole of the specification) and whether the term “financial services” was too broad in the sense that the term lacked clarity and precision.

Representing one of the world’s leading gaming software developers, Blizzard Entertainment, in a High Court claim against Bossland and other defendants who develop, promote and sell “cheats” and “bots” for users of Blizzard’s games. We obtained an interim injunction against the defendants in this case – the first claim in the UK against entities in the gaming “cheats/bots” sector – and represented the client in account of profits proceedings.

Successfully defending high-end kitchen company DeVol in High Court design infringement proceedings brought by competitor Neptune. In this case relating to the design of kitchen units, the Court rejected all of Neptune’s infringement claims.

Successfully defending Dutch clothing company Verweij Fashion in High Court trade mark infringement proceedings relating to the trade mark GIORDANO.  The claimants’ infringement claims were rejected by the Court and our client’s counterclaim for passing off was successful.

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What others say

“Bristows LLP is ‘very much the go-to firm for brand management’. The practice handles all aspects of brand protection and enforcement, global trademark portfolio management, and advertising and sponsorship agreements. “

Legal 500 2019/2018

“Advises household-name brands on international campaigns, social media, native advertising and compliance, with particular prowess in the digital media and technology space.”

Chambers and Partners 2019

“Bristows LLP has been described as ‘undoubtedly one of the leading IP firms’ and attracts praise for its ‘strong legal and technical expertise’.”

Legal 500 2019/2018

“Deep bench of high-calibre litigators with supreme expertise in contentious patent, trade mark, designs and copyright matters.”

Chambers and Partners 2019

“Accomplished advisers to clients in the gaming sector on IP and regulatory issues.”

Chambers and Partners 2019

“Friendly, commercial and pragmatic.”

Chambers and Partners 2019

Recent rankings and awards

Intellectual Property - Band 1
Chambers and Partners 2019

Brand management - Tier 1
Legal 500 2019

UK Design Firm of the Year
Managing Intellectual Property EMEA Awards 2018

UK Trade Mark Litigation Firm of the Year
Managing Intellectual Property EMEA Awards 2018

Copyright - Tier 1
Managing Intellectual Property, IP Stars 2018

Trade Mark Contentious - Tier 1
Managing Intellectual Property, IP Stars 2018

Trade Mark Prosecution - Tier 1
Managing Intellectual Property, IP Stars 2018