Douglas Campbell QC

Douglas Campbell QC

Called to the bar 1993 Took silk 2016 Silk

Practice Areas

Douglas is one of the few silks to excel at both hard and soft IP. His recent cases in the Court of Appeal include London Taxis v Metrocab (shape trade mark), Comic v Twentieth Century Fox (“Glee” trade mark), AP Racing v Alcon Components (patent, leading case on added matter), Phil & Ted Buggies (also patent). Comic is listed for hearing in the Supreme Court in November 2017. His range of work at first instance is even broader: from pharma patent cases such as Warner-Lambert v Highland Health Board (second medical use) and Boehringer Ingelheim v Teva (fifth most commonly prescribed drug on the NHS) to telecommunications patents (Semafone v Eckoh, payment systems; BT v Assia, ADSL technology) to computer games (Blizzard v Bossland, copyright in “Overwatch” game; Bethesda v ABT, “Fallout” game, trade mark) to champagne and polo (Veuve Clicquot v Polistas, trade mark). His international experience includes numerous appearances in the European Patent Office (EPO), both Opposition Division and Technical Board of Appeal; and the Supreme Court of Bermuda (a trade mark case in 2017).

In Court Douglas understands which points appeal to judges and which don’t, so his clients always have an edge. He is a fighter when he needs to be and a first class cross-examiner. Premonition, the independent legal performance database, analysed the performance of 1381 barristers across 1844 cases in the UK High Court, Chancery Division, for the period 2014-2016 and found that Douglas was one of only two QCs (and the only one in IP) with a minimum of four appearances to achieve a 100% success rate. Out of Court, he is a good team player with a sense of humour. He is highly rated for his inclusive style, and his willingness to educate and motivate the more junior people on the team.

Douglas is a Deputy High Court Judge, and mainly sits in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, or IPEC (appointed February 2015). He is also a Civil Recorder (appointed October 2010), where he sits mainly in the Central London County Court Chancery List; and a Crime Recorder on the South Eastern Circuit (appointed December 2014). He was a member of the Attorney General’s Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown from 2010-2015 and acted for and/or advised many Government departments including the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO), the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office, HMRC, the Treasury, and the Cabinet Office. He has acted as an expert witness on UK intellectual property law in US District Court proceedings in the Southern District of New York. He is an in-demand speaker at major national and international IP conferences, eg Singapore IP Week 2016 and CITMA Spring Conference 2017.

A full list of Douglas’ previous cases can be found on his downloadable CV.

Academic Qualifications and Interests

  • Scholarship at Hertford College, Oxford University, 1984-88. First Class honours in Chemistry with Distinction in Quantum Chemistry; also placed proxime accessit to the Gibbs prize. Turbott University prize for practical work in Organic Chemistry.
  • City University, Diploma in Law, awarded top distinction, 1991-92, Inner Temple Major Scholarship, Duke of Edinburgh Scholarship.
  • Maadak prize for European Community Competition Law.
  • Pegasus Scholar at Mallesons Stephen Jaques, Solicitors, Melbourne, Australia, from November 1996-February 1997.
  • Contributing author to Terrell on the Law of Patents, the leading practitioner textbook on UK patent law: 16th edition (2006), 17th edition (2011), 18th edition (2016)

Personal Interests

  • Gap year 1990-91 teaching English in Kagoshima, Japan; awarded brown belt in full-contact karate; prize winner in prefectural karate tournament for best performance, though losing to a former sumo wrestler; passed Japanese Government language proficiency test (6000 words/1000 characters level).
  • Governor, the Contemporary Dance Trust.

Intellectual Property – “A tenacious, talented and quick-witted new silk. He stands out for his capabilities acting in patent, design right and trade mark infringement disputes. He is very easy to work with and incredibly client-focused. He has a brilliant mind, and is outstandingly commercial and incisive.”

CHAMBERS UK 2017

Information Technology – “A new silk whose skill in intellectual property and copyright issues feeds in effectively to an information technology practice that covers software and hardware disputes including those involving consumer and professional products, digital media players and automotive technology. His knowledge is really great and he’s a really committed advocate.”

CHAMBERS UK 2017

Intellectual Property – ‘A fighter, who is good-humoured and works well as part of a team.’

LEGAL 500, 2016
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IT and telecoms – “Tenacious and understanding of the bigger picture.’

Legal 500, 2016

“An extremely accomplished advocate who has encyclopaedic knowledge of IP law and procedure.”

LEGAL 500 2016

“Tenacious, extremely capable and excellent at fighting the client’s position… He’s got a very accessible style, is good with clients, clearly knows his area very well and is very engaging and capable.”

CHAMBERS UK 2015

“A fine reputation amongst his peers as an accomplished cross-examiner with a very sharp mind. Practises in a diverse range of areas and handles patent, copyright and trade mark cases. Expertise: “I’ve come across few others at the Bar with such an obviously fierce intellect. He’s extremely analytical.”

CHAMBERS UK 2014

“Thoughtful and clever,” as well as “brilliant with clients,” Douglas Campbell of Three New Square is “great with really technical matters,” as a result of his “ability to absorb technical details and become familiar with them very quickly.” Clients note that “he is intelligent, quick-witted, and provides effective and high-quality advice.”

CHAMBERS UK 2013