020 7405 4321

James Mellor QC


Year of call: 1986
Year of silk: 2006
Position: Head of Chambers

James Mellor QC was called to the Bar in 1986, having emerged from two periods at King's College, Cambridge with a degree in Engineering, a Certificate of Advanced Study in Manufacturing Engineering and a First in Law. As an engineer he worked both in the UK and in many countries abroad.

James specialises in all areas of Intellectual Property law including:

• Patents: electronics, medical devices, biotech, pharmaceuticals, mechanical devices;

• Trade Marks and Passing Off: generally, but especially parallel imports and internet issues; Boards of Appeal at OHIM, Appeals to the General Court and CJEU.

• Copyright: broadcasts, computer software; engineering drawings & designs, literary works, music copyright, database copyright, sui generis database right, rights in performances;

• Confidential Information: chemical formulae, business information, business ideas;

• Arbitrations with IP and/or technical content.

Copyright, Design Right, Rights in Performances & Database Right

Newland Homes v New Dawn Homes

Copyright in house designs. Awaiting trial in 2013.

Football Dataco* v Sportradar & Stan James (Floyd J, CA – Database right)

Database right in live data feeds from matches in the UK professional football leagues. Awaiting Judgment from the CA, including on the defendants’ request for a reference to the CJEU on subsistence, abus de droit & freedom of expression.

Football Dataco* v Sportradar (Floyd J, CA & CJEU - Jurisdiction)

Sui Generis Database Right; Reference to CJEU concerned where an internet transmission of infringing data occurs. Obtained successful CJEU judgment.

ITV* v TV Catchup [2010] EWHC 3063 (Kitchin J, Floyd J. Reference to CJEU,

Copyright in broadcasts; liability for on-line streaming. Awaiting judgment from CJEU on interpretation of “communication to the public”.

FAPL* v QC Leisure (Kitchin J & CJEU, Kitchin LJ, CA)

Protection for live broadcasts of Premiership football; conditional access devices, copyright (reproduction, communication to the public); use of foreign domestic decoder cards in commercial premises. Succeeded in claim for infringement of copyright by communication to the public of artistic works included in broadcasts. Related appeal to the CA concerning the interpretation of s.72 CDPA and its incompatibility with the InfoSoc Directive [2012] EWCA 1708, 20 Dec 2012.

PRS v B4U* (Vos J, on appeal)

Dispute concerning effect of PRS standard terms on music composed for Bollywood films. Appeal to be heard in 2013.

Football Dataco* v Yahoo & Stan James (CA & CJEU)

Database Copyright in Football fixtures lists; Reference to CJEU concerned “selection/arrangement” and “author’s own intellectual creation”. No protection for fixtures lists, despite involving AOIC.

MPS* v Murphy (Divisional Court & CJEU, plus further hearings in Div Court)

Protection for live broadcasts of Premiership football; s297.

PeerMusic v. Termidor & Editora Musical de Cuba*, (Neuberger J, 2002, CA 2003, Lindsay J, (2005-2006, including a hearing in Cuba in September 2005), CA (costs).

Dispute (arising out of the success of Cuban music following Buena Vista Social Club) over rights to the compositions of various Cuban composers. Acted for the successful Part 20 Defendant, EMC.

IPC v Highbury Publishing* (Ideal Home vs Home) (Laddie J, 2004)

Copyright case over design of consumer magazines. Acted for successful defendants.

Sony* v. Ball* (2004, Laddie J – summary judgment, Blackburne J – contempt)

Devices to circumvent copy-protection on PlayStation 2.

Consignia (Royal Mail) v. i-CD Publishing* (2004, Lloyd J.)

Dispute over use of PAF data. Acted for successful defendant.

Paddy Ashdown v. Telegraph Group Plc* (HCt & CA)

Copyright, fair dealing, public interest.

Cantor Fitzgerald Int & Anr v. Tradition UK Ltd. & Ors*, 1998/9

Copyright in a real-time bond dealing system, computer software. Pumfrey J & CA.

Mother Bertha Music* v. Bourne Music1997

Music copyright, Phil Spector song.


  • What the Directories Say
  • "He is very bright, user-friendly, practical and provides well-analysed advice." "He is experienced and unflappable. A go-to QC for telecommunications and electronics cases"
    Chambers & Partners (Intellectual Property) 2017

    "He is excellent for trade mark and passing off"
    Chambers & Partners (Media & Entertainment) 2017

    "An unflappable advocate"
    Legal 500 (Intellectual Property) 2017

    "He is unflappable, and his advice is received with confidence and respect"
    Legal 500 (Intellectual Property) 2016

    "He has the ear of the court." "He is extremely calm under pressure"
    Chambers & Partners (Media & Entertainment) 2016

    "One of the IP elite but incredibly approachable and easy to work with"
    Chambers & Partners (Intellectual Property) 2016

    "A formidable presence who is perfect if you want a heavyweight silk" "He's someone you want on board for a trade mark case- especially since you want to deprive the other side of getting him first"
    Chambers & Partners (Intellectual Property) 2015

    "He has a very good manner and works well as part of the team. He's very informal and great with clients." " His cross-examination, his advocacy and his thought processes are all very impressive"
    Chambers & Partners (Media & Entertainment) 2015

    "An incredible fighter, he is someone you want on your side"
    Legal 500 (Intellectual Property) 2015