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Richard Meade QC


Year of call: 1991
Year of silk: 2008

Richard Meade QC practises across all areas of intellectual property, information technology, and media and entertainment. He has the greatest experience in technically complex patent disputes (frequently multi-jurisdictional), contractual and commercial disputes involving technology, and disputes involving the music business.

Richard took silk in 2008. “Big cases suit him” (Chambers & Partners) and he has an aptitude for handling large amounts of technical information, which he combines with the skills for working as part of a large team: “he treats all members of a team exceptionally well” (also Chambers & Partners).
His skills as an advocate are recognised by the legal directories. The Legal 500 (2015) says “"A formidable advocate with a huge intellect; not someone you want on the other side", Chambers & Partners (2016) says “He has a very good delivery in court. Judges like his combination of charm and dynamism", and “a great cross-examiner”.
Richard appears regularly in the High Court, the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and the European Patent Office. He has also appears in international arbitrations, and has represented clients in the Irish High Court in Dublin.
Richard is a Recorder, a Deputy High Court Judge, and a CEDR accredited mediator.

Richard was awarded 'IP Silk of the Year' by Chambers & Partners in October 2015.

Trade Marks and Passing Off

A former editor of Kerly’s Law of Trade Marks and Trade Names, Richard is also very experienced in trade mark matters.He regularly appears in the appellate courts, including, in Atlas Copco v Black and Decker, the European Court of First Instance, an important case on trade mark opposition procedure in relation to colour marks. Other recent highlights include Apple Corps v Apple Computer, where he represented the Beatles’ record company against the computing giant in a dispute concerning the application of a trade mark limitation agreement, and Special Effects v L’Oreal, a Court of Appeal case on a complex issue of trade mark opposition proceedings. Ryanair v. BA and Vodafone v Orange were important early cases under the comparative advertising provisions of the Trade Marks Act 1994.

Schutz v Delta (High Court 2011)

A parallel case to the Schutz v Werit patent litigation, this action involved trade mark infringement by leaving the claimant’s trade mark on products which had been renovated

Absolut Vodka v Absolute Radio (High Court 2010)

A factually and legally complex trade mark and passing off case in which Absolut Vodka sought to extend its marks and reputation to cover broadcasting.

 Atlas Copco v Black and Decker (European Court of First Instance, 2006)

Appeal to the European Court of First Instance on a point of law concerning trade mark opposition procedure and practice in relation to colour marks.

Apple Corps. v Apple Computer (High Court, 2006)

Acting for the Beatles’ record company against Apple Computer, originator of the iPod and iTunes, in a dispute concerning the application of a trade mark limitation agreement to Apple Computer’s use of “apple” trade marks.

Special Effects v L’Oreal (High Court 2006, Court of Appeal 2006)

Trade mark action in which the main issue was whether opposition proceedings in the Trade Marks Registry give rise to an estoppel preventing further attack on the same trade mark registration in later infringement proceedings.

Campbell’s Sponsorship v News Group (High Court, 2005)

Trial of an action for passing off, breach of contract and copyright infringement relating to event management, acting for the defendant.

Asprey & Garrard v WRA Guns and William Asprey (High Court, Court of Appeal, 2001)

This was a passing off and trade mark action brought by the well known jewellers Asprey against a former employee and member of the Asprey family who had started to trade under a name including “Asprey”. Summary judgment was obtained and upheld in the Court of Appeal. · BA v Ryanair (2000, High Court) A highly publicised case about comparative advertising, defending Ryanair in respect of an advertisement comparing its prices with BA, which it had described as “expensive BA____DS”. Also involved issues of European Law, and the impact of European misleading advertising legislation on the Trade Marks Act 1994. See also BT v. AT&T and Vodafone v. Orange.

Elvis Presley Trade Mark (1997 and 1999, High Court and Court of Appeal).

Opposition to registration of the trade marks Elvis and Elvis Presley by the estate of the well-known singer. Acting for Sid Shaw, a small businessman who has had a battle with the estate in
England and the US for over twenty years. Although decided under the 1938 Act, it remains a leading authority on “rights of personality”.

Chocosuisse v Cadbury (1997, High Court)

Passing off action.

Vodafone v Orange (1996, High Court)

First trial of an action under the comparative advertising provisions of the Trade Marks Act 1994, acting for Orange. Extensive expert accounting evidence concerning the accuracy and basis of the advertisements in question.

  • What the Directories Say
  • A very senior patent barrister and an excellent performer. He is level headed and cool under pressure." "One of the pre-eminent patent barristers in the UK right now. He is just incredibly calm, thoughtful and strategic"
    Chambers and Partners (Intellectual Property) 2017

    "Very quick, very smart and a lethal opponent." "He's massively talented and an intellectually awesome person to work with"
    Chambers and Partners (Information Technology) 2017

    "The perfect combination of being incredibly bright, an outstanding advocate and a fantastic guy to work with."
    Legal 500 (Intellectual property) 2017

    "One of the leading patent silks at the Bar"
    Legal 500 (Intellectual property) 2016

    "He is very much in demand"
    Legal 500 (Media and entertainment) 2016

    "He has a very good delivery in court. Judges like his combination of charm and dynamism"
    Chambers and Partners (Media & Entertainment) 2016

    "He is very good, very tenacious and very pointed in his advice. He's also a great cross-examiner"
    Chambers and Partners (Information Technology) 2016

    "He is just incredibly sharp-he cuts through it all and understands what the point is before you even realise, even though you're the one explaining it to him"
    Chambers and Partners (Intellectual Property) 2016

    "A formidable advocate with a huge intellect; not someone you want on the other side"
    Legal 500 (Media and entertainment) 2015

    "He has a low-key style but shows exceptional judgement and is a very effective cross-examiner.Very determined, he never gives up and can make an argument from a difficult position"
    Chambers and Partners (Intellectual Property) 2015

    "A brilliant barrister who can turn his hand to anything"
    Chambers and Partners (Media & Entertainment) 2015

    "When it comes to a technology case his is a name that would leap almost immediately to mind" "Super-clever, he's always on top of everything and is very, very good as an advocate. He has a way of putting things across very effectively." " He shows incredible clarity of thought"
    Chambers and Partners (Information Technology) 2015

    " He is calm and considered. and leads the new crop of silks"
    Legal 500 (Intellectual property) 2015