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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).


Jessie made a name for herself in the field of patent law with a particularly impressive run of complex cases relatively early in her career.

These include Boegli-Gravures SA v Darsail-ASP Ltd (test purchases), Virgin Atlantic Airways v Britax (Virgin “Upper Class Suite” seating system) and Conor v Angiotec, a House of Lords appeal against a revocation of a patent related to taxol-coated stents for the treatment of restenosis. Cinpres v Melea was another highlight notable for its complex issues of law, including breach of confidence, fraud, estoppel and limitation. Other recent highlights include a significant and fully fought damages inquiry for patent infringement in Ultraframe v Eurocell, where she appeared for the successful claimant at trial and in the Court of Appeal.

Virgin Atlantic Airways* v Premium Aircraft Interiors [2009] EWHC 26 (Pat)

Three week patent and UK unregistered design right trial relating to the Virgin “Upper Class Suite” seating system. Judgment available

Conor v Angiotec [2008] RPC 28 [2008] UKHL 29 (HL)

Appeal to the House of Lords by the patentee against revocation (on the grounds of obviousness). The Patent related to taxol-coated stents for the treatment of restenosis. Acted for the Comptroller (acting in place of the Respondents). Judgment available.

Cinpres* v Melea [2008] EWCA Civ 9 [2008] Bus. L.R. 1157

Unusual patent entitlement dispute relating to gas assisted plastic injection moulding. The action arose out of earlier litigation between the parties (or their predecessors in title) which was ultimately dismissed in 1997 on the basis of perjured evidence given by the inventor, Hendry, a key witness for the defendant. Years later Hendry confessed to his perjury and new proceedings based on this fresh evidence were brought. The case was fact intensive involving complex issues of law, including breach of confidence, fraud, estoppel, and limitation. Successfully obtained worldwide freezing orders post judgment. Judgment available.

Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited* v Warner Lambert Company (2007) (Clark J, 10/7/07)

Two-week patent infringement trial in the Irish High Court concerning Lipitor, the world’s largest selling pharmaceutical.

Ultraframe* v Eurocell [2006] EWHC 1344 (Pat)

Damages Inquiry. Application for an interim payment of damages for patent infringement and fully fought damages inquiry. Judgment available.

Ultraframe* v Eurocell [2005] RPC 7; [2005] RPC 36 (CA)

Patent and unregistered design right case concerning the construction of conservatory roofs. Acted in the High Court and Court of Appeal.

The Burnden Group v Ultraframe (2004-2005)

Patent infringement action concerning components used to construct conservatory roofs at different pitches.

Markem v Zipher (2004)

Patent entitlement claim relating to the technology of thermal transfer printers.

  • What the Directories Say
  • "She is very good on her feet, doesn't pull her punches and keeps opposing counsel on their toes."
    Chambers & Partners (Media & Entertainment) 2019

    "She is personable, easy to work with, diligent and technically excellent." 
    Legal 500 (Intellectual Property) 2019

    "She is personable, easy to work with, diligent and thoughtful." 
    Legal 500 (Media & Entertainment) 2019

    "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