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William Duncan


Year of call: 2012

William has a specialist patent practice but is also experienced in all areas of intellectual property law.

He has worked on complex electronics cases, and biotech cases including small molecule and bio-similars cases. He has advised both from the perspective of the generic and the innovator.

He is instructed as sole junior to leading silks as well as second junior in High Court patent cases. In addition he is skilled in the litigation of smaller patent cases designed to be brought in the IPEC.



Recent significant cases include

  • GSK UK Ltd v Wyeth Holdings LLC (HP-2015-000022 – judgment pending).  As sole junior led by Michael Tappin QC in this pharmaceutical patent action concerning Meningitis B vaccines.

  • Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc v Kymab Ltd [2016] EWHC 87 (Pat). As second junior with Joe Delaney and Justin Turner QC. This patent case concerned genetically modified mice for the production of reverse-chimeric human-mouse antibodies.

  • Actavis v Eli Lilly [2015] EWHC 3294 (Pat). Concerning a patent for the ADHD drug atomoxetine. William was instructed as junior counsel with Isabel Jamal and led by Michael Tappin QC.

  • Teva v Boehringer [2015] EWHC 2963 (Pat). William assisted in the development of evidence to trial in relation to this formulation patent for tiotropium bromide, a drug used to treat COPD.

  • Idenix Pharmaceuticals v Gilead Sciences [2014] EWHC 3916 (Pat). A patent dispute relating to nucleotide analogue treatments for hepatitis C. William was instructed as junior counsel and led by Andrew Lykiardopoulos QC, Justin Turner QC and Thomas Moody-Stuart. As an acknowledgement of his work in this case, William was awarded a red bag by Justin Turner QC.

  • Resolution v Lundbeck (settled). Instructed as junior counsel led by Michal Tappin QC and Mark Chacksfield. This was a patent case relating to escitalopram, a small molecule used for the treatment of depression.

William also appeared as junior counsel for the successful patentee in the contested interim injunction application in Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd v Actavis UK Ltd [2015] EWHC 2604 (Pat).

In addition, William has expertise in copyright, design, passing off and trademark matters. He has advised on a wide variety of cases, both pre-action with a view to quantification of likely damages and settlement options, and following the issue of proceedings. 

William has spent time on secondment at four leading solicitors firms and through this has been involved in and advised on cases involving the following:

  • Various patent cases including with regard to European patent litigation strategy particularly with a focus on generic product entry;Formulation patents validity and litigation;

  • Medicinal product patent validity;

  • Swiss-form claim infringement (in light of the pregabalin litigation);

  • Privilege, both litigation and legal advice privilege, in relation to a variety of issues;

  • SPC validity (particularly in light of the Forsgren decision).

William is direct access trained, and is capable of taking instructions from both professional and lay clients.


Other Cases

Pan Products v Woodscott Joinery (2015)

Appeared for the successful defendant in a strike out application in, a design right and passing off action.

Eli Lilly v Janssen Alzheimer’s Institute

Assisted counsel in skeleton drafting, preparation for trial and at trial in a large patent action in the High Court regarding a treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Eugen Seitz v KHS Corpoplast (2012)

Assisted counsel in preparations and at trial in an action in the High Court concerning a patent for pistons in blow-moulding machines.

Merck v Teva (2013)

Assisted counsel in preparations and at trial of a patent action in the High Court.

Virgin Media v Rovi (2012)

Assisted counsel in preparations for a 1 day CMC in a patent case concerning set top boxes.

Nokia v HTC

Assisted counsel in preparations for a 1 day CMC in a large telecoms patent case.

Resolution v Lundbeck (2013)

Assisted junior counsel in preparations for a Court of Appeal hearing on a preliminary matter in a patent case.

32Red v WHG (Damages Inquiry) (2013)

Assisted counsel in preparations and at trial in a damages inquiry following a successful liability hearing involving the use of the mark 32Vegas by WHG.

Medichem v Scott Cornwall (2012)

Assisted counsel at a Trade Mark registry hearing in relation to the use of the trade mark “Scott Cornwall”.

Medichem v Daniel Galvin Junior (2012)

Assisted counsel relating to a Trade Mark registry hearing relating to the use of the mark “DGJ”.

Leofelis v Lonsdale (2012)

Assisted junior counsel in preparations for a hearing in the Court of Appeal concerning trade mark infringement and contract.

Blue Gentian v Tristar (2013)

Attended applications court on a consent order for the Defendant.


Clinisupplies Ltd v Park (Case Comment) – EIPR, 2013(9)

A case comment on the recent UK design right case concerning the interpretation of s213 CDPA 1988.


Recent Activity

» Accord Healthcare Limited v Research Corporation Technologies [2017] EWHC 2711 (Ch)
» (1) Sandoz Ltd (2) Hexal AG v (1) G.D. Searle LLC (2) Janssen Sciences Ireland UC [2017] EWHC 987 (Pat)
» Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc v (1) Gilead Sciences
» Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc. v Gilead Sciences, Court of Appeal - Awaiting Judgment
» GlaxoSmithKline UK Limited-and-Wyeth Holdings LLC [2016] EWHC 1045 (CH)
» Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc v Kymab Ltd & Novo Nordisk A/S