Four impressive wins at the Annual Managing IP EMEA Awards 2021

Congratulations were in order for Bird & Bird's international IP team last night at the virtual European MIP Award ceremony in London. The team was nominated for 32 categories across our European offices, more than any other firm nominated, and took home:

  • Firm of the Year: Trade Mark Contentious Firm of the Year – UK
  • Firm of the Year: Patent Contentious - Italy
  • Impact Case of the Year: Shenzhen Senior Technology Material Co v Celgard
  • Impact Case of the Year: Brompton Bicycle v Chedech/Get2Get

Regarding our success for the impact cases:

Patrick Kelleher, lead partner on the Celgard case said “Celgard v Senior is a fascinating case and was actually the first treatment in English law of the UK Trade Secrets Regulations which derived from the EU Trade Secrets Directive. Significantly the Court of Appeal held that the UK was the proper forum for a trade secrets infringement action which involved two foreign parties - one US and one Chinese - but where the only connection with the UK was via infringing goods which were being imported and offered for sale in this country. The English court granted an interim injunction on that basis restraining the importation of the goods into the UK until trial. This decision is a boon for overseas trade secrets owners who previously will have struggled to combat UK importation of goods which infringed trade secrets by an overseas defendant.”

Benoit Van Asbroeck, lead partner on the Brompton case said: “The iconic Brompton folding bike has been the subject of an interesting copyright debate before the Court of Justice of the European Union: can a utilitarian object, such as a folding bike, whose shape is to at least a certain extent necessary to achieve a technical result, be protected by copyright or not? Our team supported Brompton with their claim for the protection of industrial designs through copyright against copycats, the differences between the national approaches in the EU on copyright protection of utilitarian objects and the issue of cumulation of protection through different IP rights. Ultimately the Court of Justice of the European Union overruled the opinion of the advocate general, ruling that functional shapes are indeed eligible for copyright protection, in so far as they are original works. This case has raised the interest of the design industry as its outcome has an impact on the possibility to protect utilitarian objects by copyright”.

These wins, all in very different categories and different areas of IP Law, really demonstrate our solid strength across all areas of IP, proving that we are truly a one-stop-shop.

Finally, Morag Macdonald, co-Head of the firm’s international IP Group said: “This just shows that IP work doesn’t stop when you’re in the middle of a global pandemic! I’m extremely proud of the different teams that made these awards possible, who once again have reinforced our strong market position and reputation as true specialists across Europe”

Our group has been successful at every ceremony since the inception of these awards.


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