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). Fidelis also succeeded on two of its counterclaims, leading to the partial revocation of Fidelity’s trade marks. Fidelis also attacked the validity of Fidelity’s trade marks on the basis that they had applied for registration of the Fidelity mark in bad faith (no intention to use across the whole of the specification) and that term “financial services” lacked clarity and precision). These counterclaims were deemed arguable, pending the High Court’s reference to the CJEU in Sky v SkyKick.

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

“It was the expertise on hand at Bristows that made them a go-to firm for me. I like that they are the kind of people I can pick up the phone to and have conversations on strategy. They work hard to understand the client’s business.”

Chambers and Partners 2022

“A perfect combination of legal and technical expertise.”

Chambers and Partners 2022

“There is pragmatism to the advice you get from Bristows and an efficiency to the way they work; they are great problem solvers.”

Chambers and Partners 2022

“They know how judges are likely to react, are good at negotiating and know the industry well.”

Chambers and Partners 2022

“They are proactively collaborative and clear communicators.”

Chambers and Partners 2022

“Built on relationships and expertise gained over decades working at the cutting edge of brands and technology, the team excels where others falter.”

Legal 500 2022

“Their associates are second to none.”

Legal 500 2022

“The team is well versed in advising on high-stakes complex matters, often involving global trade mark portfolios and a high number of opposition and cancellation proceedings.”

Legal 500 2022

“The key strengths of the team are the individuals that comprise it.”

Legal 500 2022

“They are a superb and highly talented intellectual property team: highly knowledgeable, innovative and skilled.”

Legal 500 2022

“Probably unmatched deepness of the team, very hands on in handling and coordinating multijurisdictional matters, very experienced in complex trade mark litigation matters.”

Legal 500 2022

“As soon as we had appointed Bristows a huge weight was lifted off our shoulders as we knew we were in the best hands and would recommend them to anyone in a copyright dispute.”

Legal 500 2022

“The team has exceptional capabilities in trade mark litigation.”

Legal 500 2022

“Bristows’ team are truly the sum of their parts and when every team member is exceptional at what they do, you really can’t get better.”

Legal 500 2022

“All very approachable, quick and give to the point advice.”

Legal 500 2022

“Good budget forecasting and regular know how updates in various ways.”

Legal 500 2022

“Very client friendly, results focused and down to earth.”

Legal 500 2022

“The Bristows team is excellent. In my experience, they look at a case from all angles to try to get the best result for their client.”

Legal 500 2022

“I would not hesitate to recommend Bristows for any commercial dispute, particularly one which involves IP/technical elements, due to the wider strength of the firm in these fields.”

Legal 500 2022

“Bristows advice is always creative and action is taken promptly.”

WTR 1000 2021

“Bristows combines significant technical expertise and knowledge of local and overseas experts with a client-friendly approach.”

WTR 1000 2021

“Strong advertising offering, complemented by long-standing strength in IP law.”

Chambers and Partners 2021

“Another client describes the team as ‘very knowledgeable and experienced’.”

Chambers and Partners 2021

“‘They immediately understood the issues at hand and really pulled out all the stops for us,’ reports a client.”

Chambers and Partners 2021

“They are intellectually sound, rigorous and bear in mind the commercial consequences for the clients – they take a good overall holistic approach.”

Chambers and Partners 2021

“Recommended for its trade mark prosecution service”.

Chambers and Partners 2021

“Supreme expertise in contentious patent, trade mark, designs and copyright matters.”

Chambers and Partners 2021

“Bristows is a prominent player in intellectual property.”

The Times Best Law Firms 2021

“A top-tier practice”

Legal 500 2021

“Bristows LLP is a premier name for copyright, design and digital disputes.”

Legal 500 2021

Recent rankings and awards

Intellectual Property - Band 1

Intellectual Property: Trade Marks, Copyright & Design - Tier 1

Top Firm for Intellectual Property

Trade Mark Prosecution - Tier 1

Trade Mark Contentious - Tier 1

Copyright - Tier 1

Gold

Technology, Media and Telecoms - Commended

Brand Management - Tier 1

UK Trademark Contentious

UK Trade Mark Law Firm of the Year

Trademark Litigation

Trademark Prosecution

UK Design Firm of the Year

UK Trade Mark Litigation Firm of the Year