020 7405 4321

John Baldwin QC


Year of call: 1977
Year of silk: 1991

John Baldwin QC commands a towering reputation as a leading silk in intellectual property and media and entertainment. He specialises in every aspect of these areas, including patents, trade marks (including comparative advertising), copyrights, licensing, confidential information, passing off, design rights and malicious falsehood.

Industry-wide, John is considered “as good as it gets” where copyright cases are concerned. He has acted on high profile cases for Dan Brown, JK Rowling, Simon Cowell, Madonna, George Michael, Bjork, Michael Jackson and the Estate of James Joyce. Famed media and entertainment matters have been a permanent feature of John’s practice for the last decade or more, Brian Belo v Lime Pictures, a copyright infringement  and breach of confidence case concerning TOWIE (The only way is Essex) being a recent example, 19 TV v Simon Cowell, a dispute about the rights in  X Factor, being another.

John is extremely experienced in pharmaceutical sector patent disputes, supported by his doctorate in agricultural science. Further, he’s worked in a raft of other patent actions in areas ranging from construction and heavy machinery to bio-fuels and packaging. Recent high-value patent cases include Novozymes v Danisco, an action concerning enzyme stabilisers in animal feed, Ranbaxy v AstraZencea, an action concerning proton pump inhibitors, and Novartis v Johnson & Johnson, an action concerning extended wear contact lenses.

John also sits as a judge of the Chancery Division, the Patents Court, the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court and as an arbitrator. He also acts as a mediator.


His patent practice is driven by technically complex matters relating to a range of sectors, from pharmaceuticals and fibre optics to bio-fuels. Recent high-value cases include Novozymes v Danisco, an infringement and revocation action concerning enzyme stabilised animal feed, Novartis v Johnson & Johnson, an infringement action concerning extended wear contact lenses and Ranbaxy v Astra Zeneca, an infringement action concerning the ant-acid drug Nexium. Further examples include BDI v Biofuels, concerning the operation of a plant for converting vegetable oils into biodiesel and Sandisk v Philips, Sisvel and others, a dispute as to whether or not a basket of patents concerning most aspects of digital audio broadcasting were infringed by MP3 players.

Novozymes v Danisco

An infringement and revocation case involving the stabilising of enzymes added to pelleted animal food to increase bioavailability.

Ranbaxy v Astra Zeneca

A patent infringement and revocation case concerning novel forms of esomeprazole in a very pure state. Ranbaxy is seeking to clear the way so as to launch its generic version as soon as possible.

Ciba Vision and Novartis v Johnson & Johnson

A patent infringement action concerning extended wear contact lenses. There are issues of construction as well as validity (novelty, inventive step and sufficiency). The Defendants are contending that the patent covers every extended wear lens likely to be useful and, as such, is far too broadly written.

BDI v Biofuels

This is a patent infringement case relating to the operation of a plant for converting vegetable oils into Biodiesel. BDI’s process is said to guarantee a very high conversion rate but the validity of the patent will be under attack.

Rapid Action Packaging v Nampak

There are two patents, one protecting the packaging for fresh sandwiches and another for sandwiches which can be up to three days old. The products are very successful but the patents are under attack in what has become a highly competitive market.

Sandisk v Philips, Sisvel and others

There was a basket of patents concerning most aspects of digital audio broadcasting (including the standards relating thereto) and the issue was whether or not they were infringed by MP3 players and, if so, whether or not the patents were valid.

Les Laboratoires Servie v Lupin

A patent infringement and revocation action concerning a particular crystalline form of a successful pharmaceutical.

Stanelco Fibre Optics v Bioprogress Technology Limited

A patent entitlement and breach of confidence appeal regarding the use of RF welding technology for making pharmaceutical capsules out of vegetable products.

Ultraframe v Eurocell

A patent and unregistered design right appeal in a case concerning the construction of conservatory roofs. Eurocell, who used to be distributors of Ultraframe’s products, had attempted to design round the patent but had not been successful.

Greiner v Becton Dickinson

Greiner alleged infringement of two of its patents relating to blood collection and storage devices used primarily in hospitals. The problem had arisen by reason of BD’s move from glass to plastic receptacle for safety reasons.

E-Data Corporation v Getty Images/Corbis Corporation

A patent infringement action concerned with downloading images from the internet. Getty Images and Corbis operate libraries from which consumers can choose art work for use in their publications. Access to these libraries is via a PC and internet connection. E-Data claimed a monopoly on the process of supplying information via the internet for the purpose of making copies of that information.

Nikken Kosakusho Works Ltd v Pioneer Trading Company

A patent infringement action, an entitlement action and a revocation action concerning a patented development used in chucks for gripping machine tools. There was a dispute about who had made the invention and whether or not it was being used by the Defendant.

Ivax v Astra Zeneca

This was an application by the patentee (Astra Zeneca) to stay revocation proceedings in the UK courts pending determination of an opposition in the EPO. Ivax wanted the matter heard in the UK so that they would have a decision before 2007. It was anticipated that the EPO decision would not be made until some years after that date.

Wyeth Holdings and others v Alpharma Limited

A patent infringement and revocation action relating to novel formulations of tetracycline compounds. The Defendants had developed their own product but faced an attack from the established manufacturer. The compounds in question are useful antibiotics.

Pechiney Plastic Packaging Inc v St Merryn Meat

A patent infringement and revocation action concerning bag making technology used in the packaging of chilled meat. The patentee succeeded at first instance and the Defendant thereafter changed its design. This led to fresh claims for infringement.

DRS Data Research v Pearson

A patent infringement action concerning an invention intended to simplify the marking of examination papers and at the same time afford opportunities for identifying how teaching methods could be improved. The patents were attacked on the basis that they claimed no more than methods of doing business or were not sufficiently clear.

Philips Electronics v Princo Digital Disc Gmbh

A patent action relating to the invention by which consumers can write information (data or music) onto compact discs. Princo contended the invention had been prior published by earlier Philips and Sony patents or was obvious in the light of an earlier Philips’ disclosure. Philips claimed relief not only against Princo but also its managing director. Philips also sought an order that Princo pay the costs of an action which it had brought against one of Princo’s customers.

Fraser and others v Oystertec plc and others

This was a minority shareholders action relating to the ownership of a number of patents useful in the construction industry. The patents were registered in Oystertec’s name and had formed the basis of a successful public floatation of that company. The Claimants sought a declaration that the patents belonged to a company in which they had an interest. However, they had allowed the floatation to proceed in the expectation of receiving monetary compensation. In separate proceedings the validity of the patents was under attack.

Arrow Generics v Merck

Actions to revoke 3 patents relating to pharmaceuticals used in the treatment of osteoporosis and other bone diseases. One of the patents related to a new bisphosphonate compound that has proved to be very useful, one related to a particular form of the main compound and the third related to a particular dosing regimen that had shown significant practical benefits.

Arrow Generics v SmithKlineBeecham

An application to revoke a polymorph patent. The master patent had expired some years ago but SKB had obtained further monopoly rights in relation to forms of the drug which were free from bound organic solvent.

American Home Products and Sir Roy Calne v Novartis

This was a second medical use patent case concerning the scope of a claim to the use of rapamycin for the preparation of a medicament for inhibiting transplant rejection and the sufficiency of the patent if construed to cover derivatives of rapamycin. The patent was also under attack because of alleged lack of novelty and inventive step. There was parallel litigation in Holland and Germany. The judge found infringement and the Court of Appeal reversed his decision. Leave to appeal to the House of Lords was granted. The case has now settled.

Optiroc Oy AB v Eastern Pretech Pte Ltd

A dispute, resolved by arbitration, about the ownership of know how relating to cement and plaster manufacture in the Far East. The technology was developed in Scandinavia and was being used in Singapore and Hong Kong under licensing arrangements. In addition to disputes about the technology, both parties claimed rights over the trade marks used for the products.

  • What the Directories Say
  • "In court he is a very prepared, determined and persuasive advocate. It is lovely to hear him talk as he puts arguments together very well" "He is a senior operator who brings experience and intelligence to bear on cases"
    Chambers & Partners (Intellectual property) 2017

    "He is an excelent heavyweight QC"
    Chambers & Partners (Media & Entertainment) 2017

    "A very persuasive and tenacious advocate"
    Legal 500 (Intellectual property) 2017

    "A real fighter in court."
    Legal 500 (Media and entertainment) 2017

    "His passion and hard work always impresses"
    Legal 500 (Media and entertainment) 2016

    "A terrific fighter and persuasive advocate"
    Legal 500 (Intellectual property) 2016

    "He's terribly clever and sensible." "He is excellent technically and is a very robust advocate"
    Chambers & Partners (Media & Entertainment) 2016

    "A brilliant advocate" who is "Very strategic and commercial"
    Chambers & Partners (Intellectual property) 2016

    "Very hard working and commercially robust"
    Legal 500 (Intellectual property) 2015

    "An esteemed IP expert with a celebrated reputation for handling media cases with especially technical copyright components."
    Chambers & Partners (Media & Entertainment) 2015

    "A superb cross-examiner. He's a real bulldog in court when the fight is on" " He has an excellent nose for a case"
    Chambers & Partners (Intellectual Property) 2015