Bill Lister, Partner, Intellectual Property - Protection and Enforcement

Bill Lister, Partner, Intellectual Property - Protection and Enforcement , Fieldfisher

I am an intellectual property partner in the firm's Manchester office. Prior to this I was the head of the intellectual property team at a large Manchester (and UK top 60) practice, having originally qualified as a Barrister. I have developed a substantial reputation in all matters relating to contentious and non-contentious intellectual property matters and have advised a wide range of UK, US, European and Global clients (including many household names) regarding copyright, registered and unregistered trade marks, design rights, patents and trade secrets.

I have been involved in number of high profile cases, in particular:

  • Nike and Rugby Football Union – v – Cotton Traders Ltd, a case involving the right to use the red rose emblem of England which resulted in all Rugby Union jurisdictions throughout the world having to redesign and stylising their playing emblems;
  • Scoredraw Limited – v – Finch, which involved the right over the Brazilian FA badge, a case which reaffirmed that National emblems cannot be registered as trade marks;
  • Ultraframe (UK) Limited – v – Eurocell Building Plastics Limited, a decision setting out the court’s approach to the assessment of damages in patent infringement disputes;
  • Environmental Defence Systems Limited v Synergy – v – Synergy Health Plc and Gravitas (International) Limited, a case relating to a patent for the process of manufacturing flood defence systems.

I have advised a well-known American author in respect of issues arising from the proposed writing of the biography of a much celebrated and iconic Hollywood actress and I have appeared before the FA Premiership Dispute Resolution Panel in relation to the issuing of licences to photographers at Premiership football matches.

In addition to intellectual property, I have built a reputation in media law advising clients on issues relating to privacy, confidentiality, libel and slander, including references to the BBC Regulatory Department, OFCOM and the Press Complaints Commission. My clients have included sports media personalities and a wide range of individuals and companies that may come to (or may not wish to come to) the media's attention. In addition, I have has acted for key and sensitive witnesses in the inquest into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and the late Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police. I also advise clients in relation to the Advertising Standard Authority's Code of Advertising Practice.

I am a member of the WIPO List of Neutrals for the resolution of disputes relating to the '.com' top-level domain names. I am a CEDR accredited mediator and a member of the CEDR Solve elite panel of mediators and regularly undertake mediations of intellectual property disputes. As well as being an Associate Member of the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys, my professional memberships include the Licensing Executives Society and the Civil Mediation Council.

I am a regular contributor to LexisNexis and have contributed to PCL on intellectual property issues. I am the author of a well-received practitioner's work on High Court practice and procedure, and I am a past Chairman of the former Independent Broadcast Authority’s (now Ofcom) Local Advisory Committee on Radio. I lecture on Journalism Law to post-graduate Masters Journalism students at the University of Salford. I have been listed each year since 2005 by Chambers UK as a Leader in the Field (describing me as “highly rated”) and by The Legal 500 as a Leading Individual (describing me as “highly regarded”) for intellectual property law in the North West. In addition to that I am ranked as a world leader by WIPR 2017.

In my spare time I can be found on my road bike, in the gym or playing the flute. I have been known to frequent the Old Trafford football ground.


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