Our Intellectual Property Group is recognised as one of the leading practices in the country.


With the protection and enforcement of IP rights, this has become a key area in an increasingly competitive and global market.

We regularly act for household names such as British Airways, Primark and Travelodge to protect their brands and intellectual property. We provide a full legal service on all cases of IP infringement, including trade marks, passing off, copyright, design right, database right, patents, advertising disputes and domain name disputes. We have extensive experience not just in the relevant courts, but also in arbitrations and trade mark registry proceedings.

But it's not just about bringing and defending proceedings. Clients ask for our advice on a broad range of IP matters that affect their businesses, including risk assessments, brand policing and the devising and implementation of national and international strategies for protection, enforcement and commercialisation of IP rights.

Expertise

Our IP litigation team is made up of three Partners/Legal Directors and six Associates/Managing Associates. Ways in which we can help you include:

  • Cost-effective enforcement of your IP rights
  • Avoiding infringement of third party IP rights
  • Recovering domain names registered by unauthorised third parties
  • Patent and technology disputes
  • Contractual disputes surrounding licensing or distribution
  • Data disputes
  • Misuse of confidential information

We are one of the very few UK law firms to offer a dedicated in-house trade mark and design filing practice in the form of our Brands and Designs Group (BDG), supported by a team of specialised trade mark personnel. This enables us to offer a complete 'one-stop shop' for all trade mark and design issues. Our IP litigators work closely with the BDG and we can provide a seamless service on any contentious matter that arises from your portfolio of registered IP rights.

We have substantial experience in managing cross jurisdictional IP disputes. As IP is territorial, we draw on international specialists from our preferred network of foreign firms where required. The significant international arbitration experience in the firm means we are well placed to advise on ICC and other arbitration proceedings with an IP element.

Experience

Here are some highlights of our recent contentious IP work.

Trade mark and passing off disputes

We have:

  • Advised a UK airline and its group companies in relation to contentious IP matters including trade mark infringement, passing off, copyright infringement and domain name recovery
  • Acted for Britvic in respect of 'lookalike' products
  • Acted for The Co-operative Group Ltd in relation to allegations of trade mark infringement and passing off in relation to a third party's use of the mark "coop"
  • Acted for PZ Cussons in relation to pursuing third parties for passing off and registered and unregistered design right infringement against third party infringers
  • Advised William Hill on issues of trade mark infringement and passing off
Copyright and design disputes

This work has seen AG:

  • Advise Primark Stores Ltd (part of Associated British Foods) on all contentious matters including copyright and design right infringement issues, trade mark infringement and passing off
  • Advise Michelin Companies on general design and trade mark infringement matters
  • Act for Churchill Retirement Group in pursuing a copyright infringement claim against a competitor in relation to copyright infringement of architects' plans
  • Act for Celador Productions Ltd and its former director defending a claim for breach of confidence and copyright infringement in respect of a TV show format
  • Act for one of the largest broking houses, Tradition Financial Services Ltd, against Argus Media in a dispute relating to use of coal pricing data
Trade secrets disputes

This area of expertise has included:

  • Acting for Volkswagen AG and Thales to obtain an interim injunction against academics and universities to restrain the use of confidential information relating to vehicle immobiliser technology
  • Acting for a leading bank in defending a claim for alleged misuse of a customer's data
  • Advising a FTSE 100 subsidiary in respect of a significant dispute with a major competitor for copyright infringement and breach of confidence
Patent disputes

Among our recent case highlights, we have:

  • Acted for AAH Pharmaceuticals and Lloyds Pharmacy in patent litigation brought against them by Eli Lilly in relation to alleged infringement of the Olanzapine patent
  • Acted for a national transport related business in defending it against a patent infringement claim
  • Advised an international company in the scientific sector confidentially about its patent and contractual rights against third parties arising out of a series of patent licence agreements
Testimonials

"The very enthusiastic and solution focused team at Addleshaw Goddard LLP is co-led by Michael Lowry and the tenacious and tactical Emma Armitage. Lookalike product claims are a specialism."
The Legal 500 (2015)

"Addleshaw Goddard LLP puts the client at the centre of its work, and delivers user-friendly advice in areas such as IP portfolio management and disputes, for big-ticket clients."
The Legal 500 (2014)

"Fêted IP practice. Represents a broad range of high-profile clients from the fast-moving consumer goods, transport and pharmaceutical industries in global brand protection matters"
Chambers (2014)

Key contacts

Meet the team
Emma Armitage

Emma Armitage

Partner, Dispute Resolution, Intellectual Property
London, UK

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Nick Rudgard

Nick Rudgard

Legal Director, IP and IT Disputes
Manchester

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