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Martin Howe QC

 


Year of call: 1978
Year of silk: 1996

Martin Howe’s practice encompasses intellectual property and extends into wider fields of EU law and commercial and public law. He recently appeared in the UK Supreme Court in RFU v Viagogo, which concerned the balance between the protection of personal data under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the courts’ powers to order disclosure of the identities of individuals alleged to have used a website to advertise tickets in breach of the terms and conditions of the ticket issuer.

He has had a number of major recent cases in the European Court of Justice on trans-border satellite reception (FAPL v QC Leisure/Karen Murphy), on whether copyright prevents replication of computer program functionality (SAS v WPL), and on internet streaming of TV broadcasts (ITV v TVCatchup). He conducts cases in the ECJ on references from other Member States as well as from the UK, and has just persuaded the Court of Appeal to refer an important new case about the so-called ‘Specific Mechanism’ on parallel imports of pharmaceuticals from the EU Accession States (Merck v Sigma).

He is very strong on cases with heavy technical content, particularly in the IT, internet and telecommunications field. The Chambers & Partners 2013 Directory recognises him as a leading silk in both IP and IT, as well as in Media & Entertainment. Before starting at the Bar, Martin worked as a commercial and systems software programmer for IBM and for a software house. His technical grasp extends to other areas including biotechnology and genetic engineering: he was in Biogen v Medeva (House of Lords) and has appeared in the EPO Technical Board of Appeal in that case and a string of other biotech cases.

His IP practice covers all areas of IP law, including patents, trade marks, copyright, conditional access (decryption) rights, designs, databases and confidential information. He is the sole author of Russell-Clarke and Howe on Industrial Designs (now in 8th Ed) and edited Halbury’s Laws title on Trade Marks.

Beyond the traditional IP field, he has appeared in criminal cases involving EU law or IP law issues in the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) and in the lower criminal courts, and has appeared in the Administrative Court in both civil and criminal matters. He has specific expertise in data protection having acted in Johnson v MDU in the Court of Appeal, as well as in the RFU v Viagogo case. His interest in the law of fundamental rights extended to being a member of the Government’s Commission on a Bill of Rights for the United Kingdom which reported in December 2012 in favour of a UK Bill.

 

Recent Activity

» Nintendo Co Ltd v PC Box SRL Case C-355/12
» Speciality European Pharma Ltd v (1) Doncaster Pharmaceuticals Group Ltd & (2) Madaus GmbH [2013] EWHC 3624
» SAS Institute Inc. v World Programming Ltd [2013] EWCA Civ 1482
» Sudarshan Chemical Industries Ltd v Clariant Produkte (Deutschland) GmbH [2013] EWCA Civ 919
» Sealed Air Limited v Sharp Interpack Limited, Sharpak Aylesham Limited [2013] EWPCC 23
» Merck Canada Inc v Sigma Pharmaceuticals PLC [2013] EWCA Civ 326
» ITV Broadcasting Ltd v TVCatchup Ltd, Case C-607/11
» Environmental Recycling Technology v Upcycle [2013] EWPCC 4
» SAS Institute Inc v World Programming Ltd [2013] EWHC 69 (Ch)
» FAPL v QC Leisure [2012] EWCA Civ 1708
» Alfa Laval v Separator Spares [2012] EWCA Civ 1569
» Rugby Football Union v CIS Ltd (formerly Viagogo Ltd) [2012] UKSC 55,
» Alfa Laval v Separator Spares [2013] 1 WLR 1110
» R (Vuciterni and Alsat UK Ltd) v Brent Magistratesí Court and Brent and Harrow Trading Standards Service [2012] EWCA 2140 (Admin)
» Sudarshan v Clariant [2012] EWHC 1569 (Ch)
» SAS Institute Inc v World Programming Ltd Case C-406/10
» Murphy v Media Protection Services Ltd [2012] EWHC 466 (Admin)
» Viagogo Ltd v Myles, Hardcash Productions, and Channel 4 [2012] EWHC 433 (Ch)
» MMI Research Ltd v Cellixon Ltd & 5 Ors [2012] EWCA Civ 7
» ITV v TVCatchup [2011] EWHC 2977 (Pat)
» FAPL v QC Leisure/Murphy v Media Protection Services Joined Cases C-403/08 & C-429/08

What the Directories Say

"Razor sharp and technically excellent, he never leaves a stone unturned."
Chambers & Partners (Information Technology) 2014

"He is technically brilliant," as well as "intellectually strong and persistent."
Chambers & Partners (Intellectual Property) 2014
 
"Has great commercial understanding of a client's objectives and provides clear strategic advice."
Chambers & Partners (Media and Entertainment) 2014

Martin Howe QC brings a "phenomenal intellect" to bear on cases. His practice is marked by high-stakes broadcasting work, and sources agree that his "knowledge of EU legislation is truly formidable." Following on from the aforementioned Murphy trial where he represented the pub landlady, he also advised TVCatchup in its dispute with ITV. He can be depended upon for "clear strategic advice," sources insist.
Chambers & Partners (Media and Entertainment) 2013

Martin Howe QC is known for his excellent knowledge of the IT commercial field and the forceful way in which he pursues cases. Sources say: "He's good in the courtroom and a go-to barrister for big software copyright cases."
Chambers & Partners (Information Technology) 2013

 Martin Howe QC is an "understated and thoughtful advocate" possessed of an "excellent mind," according to sources. He has distinguished himself recently in a number of copyright actions, and is an expert on the confluence of EU and IP law.
Chambers & Partners (Intellectual Property) 2013

"very clever, knowledgeable and client-friendly" silk who is known for his expertise in EU law. He is the first choice of many solicitors for cross-border IP disputes.
Chambers & Partners (Intellectual Property) 2012

"knows his way around the Internet and gets more than satisfactory results in his cases."
Chambers & Partners (Information Technology) 2011

"brings incredible attention to detail and rigorous analysis to difficult problems – he doesn't miss a trick."
Chambers & Partners (Information Technology) 2011

"Extraordinarily considered in his approach." He puts this skill to good use in cross - examination, homing in on witnesses with "targeted cross examination that leaves the prevaricator with no where to go."
Chambers & Partners (Intellectual Property) 2010

 

  • What the Directories Say
  • "Razor sharp and technically excellent, he never leaves a stone unturned."
    Chambers & Partners (Information Technology) 2014

    "He is technically brilliant," as well as "intellectually strong and persistent."
    Chambers & Partners (Intellectual Property) 2014
     
    "Has great commercial understanding of a client's objectives and provides clear strategic advice."
    Chambers & Partners (Media and Entertainment) 2014

    Martin Howe QC brings a "phenomenal intellect" to bear on cases. His practice is marked by high-stakes broadcasting work, and sources agree that his "knowledge of EU legislation is truly formidable." Following on from the aforementioned Murphy trial where he represented the pub landlady, he also advised TVCatchup in its dispute with ITV. He can be depended upon for "clear strategic advice," sources insist.
    Chambers & Partners (Media and Entertainment) 2013

    Martin Howe QC is known for his excellent knowledge of the IT commercial field and the forceful way in which he pursues cases. Sources say: "He's good in the courtroom and a go-to barrister for big software copyright cases."
    Chambers & Partners (Information Technology) 2013

     Martin Howe QC is an "understated and thoughtful advocate" possessed of an "excellent mind," according to sources. He has distinguished himself recently in a number of copyright actions, and is an expert on the confluence of EU and IP law.
    Chambers & Partners (Intellectual Property) 2013

    "very clever, knowledgeable and client-friendly" silk who is known for his expertise in EU law. He is the first choice of many solicitors for cross-border IP disputes.
    Chambers & Partners (Intellectual Property) 2012

    "knows his way around the Internet and gets more than satisfactory results in his cases."
    Chambers & Partners (Information Technology) 2011

    "brings incredible attention to detail and rigorous analysis to difficult problems – he doesn't miss a trick."
    Chambers & Partners (Information Technology) 2011

    "Extraordinarily considered in his approach." He puts this skill to good use in cross - examination, homing in on witnesses with "targeted cross examination that leaves the prevaricator with no where to go."
    Chambers & Partners (Intellectual Property) 2010