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Jessie Bowhill

 


Year of call: 2003

Described in the Directories as “a fierce advocate who is very intelligent, straight-talking and no-nonsense” Jessie specialises in all areas of intellectual property law, with a particular emphasis on the law of trade marks and passing off, copyright, design right, and breach of confidence.

Jessie’s considerable expertise as a classical pianist gives her the edge in musical copyright cases and she has become the go-to Junior in this area of law. High profile music cases include Fisher v Brooker, a case concerning ownership of the musical copyright in the 1967 hit song “A Whiter Shade of Pale” where Jessie appeared in the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords (as it then was) for Gary Brooker and his record company; and Peer Music v Termidor & Editoria Musica de Cuba, a case concerning the rights to the compositions of various well-known Cuban composers and, in particular, the ownership of the reversionary interests. Earlier this year Jessie represented an internationally renowned singer/songwriter in a major copyright dispute involving one of the biggest British hit songs from the late 1970s. As well as musicians, Jessie also regularly represents broadcasters, film makers, production companies, publishers, academics, artists and well known individuals in copyright and related claims more widely. A recent example includes acting for ITV in a claim relating to liability for on-line streaming of free-to-air tv broadcasts and the interpretation of “communication to the public” (ITV v TV Catchup).

Jessie has extensive experience of copyright disputes relating to television formats having acted for among others Simon Cowell in the Pop Idol/ X factor litigation, and ITV in a claim relating to the format of "The Only Way is Essex"("TOWIE"). Jessie has appeared in Geneva under the new WIPO Mediation and Expedited Arbitration Rules for Film and Media.

Other recent copyright trials of significance include Mitchell v British Broadcasting Corporation, where Jessie appeared as sole Counsel for the BBC in a dispute over the designs for a group of characters in the animated children’s TV programme "Kerwhizz"; and University of Southampton & Howlett v Mohtasham, a three week harassment and malicious falsehood trial arising out of allegations of copyright infringement made against leading academics in the field of nuclear non-proliferation.

Jessie has an extensive trade marks practice, appearing regularly in the Trade Marks Registry and appeals to the Appointed Person, as well as in appeals to the General Court. Clients have included BskyB, VISA, The Union, the proprietors of the ZARA clothing brand, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the proprietors of the FABERGE brand, Sony, Burberry, Monsoon, Barclays, Virgin and B&Q. Recent trials of note include W3 v Easygroup & Anor which was a complex two week trial in the High Court concerning the Famous EASY marks. Supreme Petfoods Ltd v Henry Bell (Grantham) Ltd, a 5 day trade mark infringement and passing off trial in the High Court relating to pet food, where Jessie appeared as sole Counsel for the successful Defendant. Other recent trade mark trials include NOCN v OCN Credit4Learning (a case involving education charities); IPC v Media 10, a trade mark trial concerning concurrent rights, and Fine & Country Ltd & Ors v Okotoks Ltd & Ors where Jessie acted for a chain of well known estate agents in a two week trial in the High Court.

Jessie has become the leading Junior in the field of designs. She recently won a convincing victory for the Claimant as sole counsel in a trial concerning the designs of plastic lockers (Action Storage v Fletcher Europe). The Judgment is notable for the Judge’s recommendation that future litigants in design right cases adopt summary design charts similar to those devised by Jessie for her Closing.

Other design right cases have covered designer clothing, footwear, bottles, airline seats, plastic salad bowls, machinery for making pizzas, fan coil units, conservatories and a straw for turning milk into flavoured milk upon use.

Patent highlights include appearing before the House of Lords in Conor v Angiotech, where she acted for the comptroller in the patentee's appeal against the revocation of a patent relating to taxol-coated stents for the treatment of restenosis. In further patent highlights she acted in an entitlement action in the field of gas injection moulding - a complex case that had been ongoing for 20 years and raised issues such as res judicata, limitation, breach of confidence, fraud and perjury (Cinpres v Melea). Jessie was successful in that case in obtaining worldwide freezing injunctions against the defendant and third parties, acting as sole Counsel. Jessie has experience of the Irish High Court, having appeared in a two-week patent infringement trial concerning Lipitor, the world's largest selling pharmaceutical (Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited v Warner Lambert Company).

Jessie appears regularly in the applications court and is experienced in obtaining without notice search orders and freezing orders, including orders against persons unknown ("John Doe" Orders).

Media and Entertainment

Jessie’s considerable expertise as a classical pianist gives her the edge in musical copyright cases and she has become the go to Junior in this area of law. Earlier this year she represented an internationally renowned singer/songwriter in a major copyright dispute involving one of the biggest British hit songs from the late 1970s. Jessie has seen House of Lords action in Fisher v Brooker & Onward Music, which was a claim brought by the organist in Procul Harum over ownership of the musical copyright in the famous 1967 song “A Whiter Shade of Pale” (Judgments available). Further music related cases of significance include Peer Music v Termidor & Editoria Musica de Cuba, a case concerning the rights to the compositions of various well-known Cuban composers and, in particular, the ownership of the reversionary interests. Other highlights range from IPC v Highbury Publishing (a three-week copyright trial concerning the rival magazines IDEAL HOME and HOME - Judgment available), to Mitchell v British Broadcasting Corporation (a copyright dispute concerning the designs for a group of characters in the animated children’s TV programme “Kerwhizz” - Judgment available) to 19 TV v Simon Cowell & Others (TV format dispute concerning X-Factor and Pop Idol). Other “format” cases include Brian Belo v ITV and Lime Pictures, a claim relating to the format of “The Only Way is Essex” (“TOWIE”) and a confidential dispute in which Jessie appeared in Geneva under the new WIPO Mediation and Expedited Arbitration Rules for Film and Media. In addition, Jessie maintains a substantial trade mark registry workload, particularly where TV companies are concerned.

Music

Moylett v Geldof* & anr (2016)

Claim for ownership of the copyright in the hit song “I Don’t Like Mondays”, recorded and released by the Boomtown Rats in 1979, in which Jessie represented Sir Bob Geldof.

Fisher v Brooker & Onward Music [2008] EWCA Civ 287, [2008] FSR 26; [2009] 1 WLR 1764 (HL)

Appeal to the Court of Appeal and subsequently the House of Lords in a case concerning ownership of the musical copyright in the famous song “A Whiter Shade of Pale”, as originally recorded by the group Procol Harum in 1967. The appeals concerned the equitable doctrines of estoppel, acquiescence, laches, and raised questions under Article 6 European Convention on Human Rights. Judgments available.

Peer Music v Termidor & Editoria Musica de Cuba (2004 – 2005)

This case arose out of the success of Cuban music following the film Buena Vista Social Club and concerned the rights to the compositions of various well-known Cuban composers, in particular the ownership of the reversionary interests.

Publications

IPC v Media 10 Ltd* [2013] EWHC 3796 (IPEC)

Trade mark infringement and passing off claim relating to the defendant's IDEAL HOME SHOW and the claimant's IDEAL HOME magazine and the parties’ concurrent rights. Judgments available.
 

IPC v Highbury Publishing* [2005] FSR 20

Three-week copyright trial before Laddie J. concerning the rival magazines IDEAL HOME and HOME. The complaint related to the artistic copyright in the design and layout of the front cover and some of the internal articles of IDEAL HOME, which was alleged to have been infringed by the Defendant in producing HOME.

Broadcasting

Abot Hamieri Communication Group* v Banijay Group & Ors (2016)

TV format dispute relating to the format of “Are You Smarter Than The Crowd” and alleged copyright infringement in the UK and Denmark.

Geneva Mediation (2016)
Acted for the rights owner in relation to a format dispute that was mediated under the new WIPO Mediation and Expedited Arbitration Rules for Film and Media.
 

Brian Belo & ors v Lime Pictures Ltd* and ITV Plc* (2013)

Copyright infringement and breach of confidence claim relating to the format of the TV show “The Only Way is Essex”.

Michael Mitchell v British Broadcasting Corp* [2011] EWPCC 42

Copyright infringement trial in the Patents County Court (now IPEC) relating to the designs for a group of characters appearing in the animated tv programme for children “Kerwhizz”. The claimant alleged that the BBC had copied, consciously or subconsciously, designs that had been sent to the BBC in 2008. The BBC denied copying and claimed that the alleged similarities were at such a high level of generality that they would not in any event amount to a substantial part. Judgment for the BBC. Judgment available.

ITV Broadcasting* and ors* v TV Catch Up (Case C-607/11) [2010] EWHC 3036 (Ch); [2011] FSR 16

Copyright infringement trial (and subsequent reference to the CJEU) relating to the live internet streaming of television programmes on a website. Judgment available.

19 TV v Simon Cowell* & ors (2005)

Copyright infringement case relating to the two well-known talent finding shows “Pop Idol” and “The X-Factor” in which the claimant contended that the broadcasting of “The X-Factor” infringed the copyright in “Pop Idol”.
 

  • What the Directories Say
  • "She is good in court as she's direct and effective."
    Chambers & Partners (Media & Entertainment) 2018

    "She's proactive, hard-working and experienced with copyright issues and TV format disputes."
    Chambers & Partners (Media & Entertainment) 2018

    "She provides really objective advice and has a great attention to detail." "She is a fierce advocate who is very intelligent, straight-talking and no-nonsense"
    Chambers & Partners (Intellectual Property) 2017

    "She prepares thoroughly and is good with clients."
    Legal 500 (Intellectual property) 2017

    "Good with clients and user-friendly"
    Legal 500 (Media and entertainment) 2017

    "Recommended for disputes involving the film, television and publishing industries"
    Legal 500 (Media and entertainment) 2016

    "An accomplished all-rounder with regard to IP matters, whose practical bent was remarked upon by a number of sources. She is particuarly well thought of for copyright, trade mark and passing-off disputes"
    Chambers & Partners (Intellectual Property) 2016

    "Offers no-nonsense commercial advice." "She is extremely knowledgeable and nothing is too much trouble"
    Chambers & Partners (Intellectual Property) 2016

    "Highly experienced in matters involving music, television and film"
    Legal 500 (Media and entertainment) 2015

    "Singled out for her expertise in copyright matters"
    Legal 500 (Intellectual property) 2015

    Best known for her representations in high-profile media and entertainment copyright cases. She also has an extensive practice in trade marks, designs and patents. "Very thorough, responsive and good with clients.”
    Chambers & Partners (Intellectual Property) 2015

    The “responsive and helpful” Jessie Bowhill is racking up an impressive track record before the High Court and national trademark registry, with a sizeable copyrights practice to boot, particularly in the music industry.
    World Trademark Review 2015