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Praised for its ‘unparalleled industry knowledge’, the team at DWF is ‘excellent in all factors’ and advises on the full spectrum of the development, commercialisation and protection of brands and technology. Longstanding clients include Newcastle United, for which the team handles various brand protection and brand management issues including anti-counterfeiting matters, trade mark and domain name disputes, copyright claims and IP licensing. Ed Meikle heads the team and is best known for his sector expertise in retail, sport, food and consumer products; he continues to assist Poundworld Retail with claims against third parties and routinely defends the client against threats of IP infringement, while also advising new client Village Hotels on a number of trade mark and copyright disputes as well as non-contentious copyright issues.

McDaniel & Co.’s ‘very strong’ team is a respected player in the market and assists private and public sector clients, most notably from the furniture, textile, homewares, jewellery and garden sectors, with all matters pertaining to the identification, protection, exploitation and commercialisation of IP including contentious work. In the trade mark arena, the team led by Niall Head-Rapson continues to assist J Barbour & Sons with all its trade mark matters including application, prosecution, anti-counterfeiting and general enforcement issues, in addition to licensing and portfolio management. It also acted for Talking Tables in trade mark infringement allegations against a large national retailer. On the patent side, the team is acting for Pro Kaddy in a patent infringement claim related to battery operated golf carts, and assisted Embryonix with patent licenses. Recent significant work in the copyright and design sphere includes acting for LSA in obtaining an interim injunction for copyright infringement, and assisting Raft Furniture with unregistered design right infringement matters. Director Kelly Hudson is another name to note.

Rated for its ‘excellent level of service’, Muckle LLP handles various contentious and non-contentious trade mark and copyright mandates and has particular expertise in the music, entertainment, sports and charity sectors. George Festing is a ‘pleasure to work with’ and provides ‘sensible and pragmatic advice’, ‘going beyond the call of duty for his clients’; he continues to act for Andy Taylor in copyright matters pertaining to the ongoing litigation between the members of Duran Duran and Gloucester Place Music, and continues to handle a number of trade mark issues for IMMAT, including trade mark opposition proceedings concerning the registration of the trade mark Attractiontickets.com, which was opposed by ATD Travel Services. The ‘tough and clear’ Alex Craig heads the team and is the key contact for non-contentious instructions.

With a focus on technology-related IP work, Ward Hadaway is best known for advising high-growth technology start-ups and entrepreneurs, while also having particular expertise assisting spin-out companies from the university sector and pharmaceutical clients. Team head Alex Shiel continues to advise Tech City on a number of IP matters including trade mark registrations, sponsorship agreements and other contracts concerning various products the client has developed. The practice also acted for Imperial Pharmaceuticals on brand licensing matters and on its trade mark protection and enforcement strategy. In the university sector, the team acted for start-up businesses supported by the Teesside University’s launchpad programme, which included assistance with trade mark and design registrations, IP ownership agreements and licensing. Other noteworthy individuals include data protection expert Judy Baker and litigators Tim Toomey, Robert Glassford and Peter Hornsey. Motac Neuroscience and the Pacifica Group are also clients.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP has a team of ‘excellent individuals’, who are adept at advising clients, particularly from the chemical, manufacturing, technology and financial sectors, on patent, design and trade mark filings and prosecutions as well as entitlement and infringement matters and copyright work. The team continues to manage Bellway’s trade mark portfolio, while also advising the client on clearance searches and the prosecution of trade mark registrations.

Mincoffs Solicitors LLP’s IP group sits within the firm’s commercial department and is led by Antony Hall. Providing ‘practical and pragmatic advice’, the team is particularly active in the technology, gaming, digital media and manufacturing industries, and advised cycle-wear manufacturer and retailer GRN Sportswear on various IP protection and exploitation matters. In other work, Hall assisted Kite Optics, a manufacturer and retailer of designer eyewear, with trade mark filings in various jurisdictions, and Steamforged Games received assistance with licensing arrangements for its gaming brands. Stewart Irvine is the main contact for contentious IP.

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