Geodfrey Pritchard

Geoffrey Pritchard

Called to the bar 1998 Junior

Summary

Geoffrey is a highly regarded senior junior with a practice covering all aspects of intellectual property and information technology. He has a first class degree physics and PhD in theoretical geophysics. His practice is split 50:50 between high-tech cases (e.g. patents, confidential information and technically related contracts) and “soft” IP cases (e.g. trade marks, passing-off, copyright and designs). Geoffrey appears in the Court of Appeal, High Court/Patents Court, Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, the General Court, the patent offices, arbitrations and mediations. In recent years he has often appeared without a leader and has extensive experience of conducting trials, cross-examination (particularly of expert witnesses) and applications for urgent interim relief. Geoffrey listed regularly in both the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners. He is a contributing author to Terrell on the Law of Patents.

A brief overview of Geoffrey’s practice is set out below. The clerks will be happy to provide further details (including lists of relevant cases if required).

Patents, IT and High-Tech Cases

Geoffrey is often instructed in highly technical disputes. He has experience in fields as diverse as physics, polymers, computational mathematics, computer software, mobile-telecoms, electronics, pharmaceuticals, bio-medical devices, chemistry, exploration geophysics, scientific apparatus, and mechanical/automotive engineering. Geoffrey’s high-tech practice is split approximately 60:40 between disputes involving electronics, software and the physical sciences and disputes involving pharmaceuticals and the medical sciences.

Examples:

  • Pharmaceuticals/Medical Sciences: Geoffrey has a busy pharmaceutical and medical science practice, acting for companies such as Fujifilm, GSK, Bayer and Abbott. He also has experience of cases involving high-tech wound-dressings (acting for companies such as Convatec and Comvita), scientific testing apparatus and anasthetic devices. During 2016/2017, Geoffrey acted for Fujifilm in its sucessful attempt to obtain an “Arrow” type declaration. This declaration allowed Fujifilm to enter the market for the world’s most valuable drug – Humira (see FKB v AbbVie [2017] EWHC 395 (Pat), FKB v AbbVie [2017] EWCA Civ 1). In this case Geoffrey was also instructed in relation to a major jurisdictional dispute.
  • Mobile phones: Geoffrey has more than 10 years experience in mobile-telecoms disputes and has acted for clients such as Qualcomm, Access, NEC, RIM, InterDigital and IPCOM. In addition to his Court work he has acted for a multinational technology corporation in an LCIA arbitration relating to the ETSI standards. Geoffrey appeared alone in front of a panel including Lord Hoffmann, and against a leading IP silk and a competition junior.
  • Electronics and Computer Software: Prior to coming to the Bar, Geoffrey had post-graduate level experience in computer programming and computational mathematics and he is instructed regularly in copyright and confidential information cases involving complex computer software. He has worked on cases involving Java, Visual Basic, C, Fortran and Assembler. Geoffrey has also been instructed on cases involving electronics and electrical devices. He has acted in a number of cases where the patentability of software was in issue.
  • Electromagnetism: Geoffrey’s PhD relates to electromagnetism and he acted in a number of cases where electromagntic induction has been the key technical issue.
  • Mechanical and Automotive Engineering: Geoffrey has acted in numerous cases involving mechanical devices with subject matter as diverse as spring loaded nets, reclineable car seats, lift doors, engine lubrication and swivelable lighting poles.

Geoffrey is a contributor to Terrell on the Law of Patents, and has previously contributed to the CIPA Guide to the Patents Act. Geoffrey teaches on the CIPA advocacy course.

Trade Marks, Designs, Passing-Off and Copyright

Geoffrey is instructed in cases relating to trademarks, passing-off, copyright and designs and acts for both large brand owners (e.g. H&M, Cartier, Monsoon, Rolex, Jaguar) and SMEs. Many of his cases relate to European rights and he has recent experience of complex cross-border enforcement and EU competition issues. Geoffrey also has a great deal of experience of interim relief applications, counterfeiting, online enforcement, internet domain names and franchising. In addition to the Courts, Geoffrey also appears in the patent offices and in the General Court on Appeal. Geoffrey was previously a contributor to the Community Designs Handbook.

Confidential Information, Contract and Non-IP Cases

Geoffrey is often instructed in non-IP cases that involve complex technical, contractual and/or confidential information issues. He has recently acted in matters involving a breach of contract relating to the sale of a technical company and its IP, the supply of telephones, misuse of confidential concerning medical devices, misuse of confidential information concerning computer software, misuse of confidential information in engineering drawings, breach of employment contract by reason of taking technical information, and the ownership of copyright in software in a case concerning the dismissal of a company director of a large IT company. Geoffrey has extensive experience of obtaining interim relief in breach of confidence cases.

Intellectual Property Enterprise Court/Patents County Court

Geoffrey has a very busy practice in the IPEC, where he is regularly instructed in patent, trademark and design right cases (and other in matters with a technical aspect). In the IPEC Geoffrey is frequently instructed directly by Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys.

Arbitrations and Mediations

The nature of Geoffrey’s practice means that he appears more frequently in Court than in arbitrations. However he has conducted litigation in the LCIA, most notably when he had sole conduct of an LCIA arbitration for a multinational technology corporation. Geoffrey appeared in front of a panel including Lord Hoffmann, against a leading IP silk and a competition junior. Geoffrey advises in relation to, and has appeared in, mediations. He has previously acted as an ACID mediator. In 2016 Geoffrey was invited to a give a guest lecture on FRAND to studients taking the “Arbitration of International Intellectual Property Disputes” module of the LLM at the Dickson Poon School of Law, Kings College, London.

IPO Hearings

Geoffrey appears frequently in the UKIPO office in relation to both trademark and patent matters and in the EPO in relation to Patent matters. In addition to opposition hearings, his appearances include a fully contested revocation action with cross-examination. Geoffrey also appears on appeal in the General Court.

Advisory Work

In addition to pleading, court and patent office work, Geoffrey is can advise in all aspects of IP law. He is also available, on request, to give talks, seminars and classes.

Other

Geoffrey is Chamber’s Equality and Diversity Officer.

Education

CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY
PhD Geophysics (Institute of Theoretical Geophysics)
Shell Scholar in Geophysics
J. T. Knight Prize in Mathematics

BRISTOL UNIVERSITY
BSc Physics (1st Class)

INNS OF COURT SCHOOL OF LAW
Stanley Levy Prize for Intellectual property
First in year in International Trade exam
Queen Mother Scholarship of the Middle Temple

DE MONTFORT UNIVERSITY
Dip. Law (distinction, second in year)
Queen Mother Scholarship of the Middle Temple

Professional Memberships

Intellectual Property Bar Association; Chancery Bar Association. Middle Temple.

Personal

Keen (but frustrated) pianist, pilot (powered and gliding), travel.

“Noted for his pragmatism, client services and strong courtroom presentation, as well as a superb intellect…. He is incredibly hard working, user-friendly and easy to get on with…. He gives clear, straightforward and user-friendly advice.”

Chambers & Partners 2017

“His friendliness and charm really make him a pleasure to work with.”

Legal 500 2017

“Excellent on highly technical patent matters”.

Chambers & Partners 2016
More

“A highly regarded practitioner … known for his expertise in technically complex patent disputes, particularly those relating to mobile telecoms”.

Chambers & Partners 2012

“Very Capable in Court and with Clients”

Chambers & Partners 2015

“He has good judgment … a real worker who truly gets stuck into a case”

Chambers & Partners 2012

“An accomplished junior credited by sources for his intellectual and technical skill”

Chambers 2014

“Excellent attention to detail”

Legal 500 2012-2013