date of call: 1977
Geoffrey Hobbs QC is an advocate and advisor specialising in intellectual property law and related aspects of competition and commercial law. Winner of the IP/IT Silk of The Year 2012 Award at the Chambers Bar Awards, he is recommended as a Leading Silk by both Chambers UK (IP) and The Legal 500 (IP, Information Technology and Media, Entertainment & Sport). He is authorised to sit as a Deputy Judge in the High Court of England & Wales (Chancery Division). He is also the senior Appointed Person hearing Appeals from the UK Registrar of Trade Marks under s76 Trade Marks Act 1994. He has acted as Arbitrator in both ICC and LCIA proceedings and is also an elected member of the SIAC Panel of Arbitrators.
Geoffrey Hobbs QC is variously described as being "stunning" at, and a "world authority" on, trade mark law. He is commended for being "very good with clients" and for his "fantastic all-round knowledge." It is therefore unsurprising that he is instructed in the most prominent trade mark actions of the day, such as Interflora v Marks & Spencer and Hasbro v
Geoffrey Hobbs QC is an expert in IP and particularly trade mark disputes. He is known for his "bullish advocacy style that really gets results". Commentators say: "He always has such a clear understanding of the law, and even the judges seem to defer to him in their judgments, such is his depth of knowledge". (2012)
Geoffrey Hobbs QC is "absolutely first-class for trade mark work - he lives and breathes it and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of case law." "Totally attuned to what the trends are," he is "particularly good at predicting what will happen when things go to the
ECJ." Hobbs impresses sources with his "imaginative thinking, deep analysis and compelling advocacy." He appeared for Marks & Spencer in the high-profile Google AdWords litigation. (2011).
"This notable commercial set features a number of IP talents, and is particularly well regarded in the soft IP space, thanks in no small part to the presence of Geoffrey Hobbs QC. Hobbs 'is the cleverest man in the world for trade mark law, to call him encyclopaedic is unfair, because he knows more than most
encyclopaedias,' according to enthusiastic commentators. He is 'the silk you'd go to for trade mark advice if you had to bet your life on it,' say sources, who add that he 'relishes getting to grips with the really difficult technical points of trade mark law,' and displays 'compelling advocacy.' Recent cases include acting for Dircet Line in its opposition to eSure's application to register a mouse on wheels in the Trade Mark Registry, Chancery Division and Court of Appeal." (2010)
Geoffrey Hobbs QC
Tel:+44 20 7583 2000 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Barrister specialising in intellectual property law and related aspects of competition law including authors' rights, breach of confidence, broadcasting, computer software agreements, copyright, covenants not to compete, designs, employees' inventions, European and UK competition (as affecting the enforcement/exploitation of intellectual property rights and agreements), medicines' licensing under European directives and UK law, misleading advertising, passing off and unfair competition, patent and know-how
licences, patents, performers' rights, publishing and recording agreements, restraint of trade, service marks, songwriters and entertainers contracts, technical assistance agreements, trade marks, trade secrets; a synopsis of notable cases in which he has been involved is available on request.
Qualified 1977, Inner Temple; QC 1991.
Southampton University (LLB).
Intellectual property; Media and entertainment
Geoffrey Hobbs QC
Firm:One Essex Court
One Essex Court
One Essex Court
Tel:+44 20 7583 2000
Fax:+44 20 7583 0118
Geoffrey Hobbs QC features in the following practice areas:
SILKS Geoffrey Hobbs QC is variously described as being "stunning" at, and a "world authority" on, trade mark law. He is commended for being "very good with clients" and for his "fantastic all-round knowledge." It is therefore unsurprising that he is instructed in the most prominent trade mark actions of the day, such as Interflora v Marks & Spencer and Hasbro v
Trade Marks: Henkel’s Dishwasher Tablets to come on before Geoffrey Hobbs QC
One of the most interesting appeals to listed before the Appointed Persons this month will be Henkel KgaA’s case. According to the Patent Office list, it is due to come on before Geoffrey Hobbs QC on 21 Sep 2005.
For those not familiar with our Trade Marks Act 1994, anybody who objects to an application to register a trade mark in the UK may file observations to the Registrar of Trade Marks
(aka “the Comptroller” in patent and unregistered design right proceedings) under s.38 (3) inviting the Trade Marks Registry of the Patent Office to reconsider the application or oppose the application under s.38 (2). An important practical difference between filing observations and opposing an application is that the person opposing the application (“the opponent”) risks having to pay the other side (that is to say “the applicant”)’s costs if his or her opposition fails, though those costs are usually limited to a few thousand pounds by Tribunal Practice Notice 2/2000 as I have already explained in my previous post, “Mediating Disputes from the Trade Marks Registry“.
Unless the applicant and opponent are able to resolve their differences by negotiation the opposition goes before an official appointed by the Registrar known as “a hearing officer”. The hearing officer may decide the issue on paper or at a hearing where the parties may appear themselves or by a patent agent, trade mark attorney, solicitor or barrister. Hearing officers’ decisions since 1998 are summarized at
with the full text at
A party that is dissatisfied with a hearing officer’s decision may appeal to the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice in England and Wales or to “a person appointed by the Lord Chancellor to hear and decide appeals” (the Appointed Person”) under the Trade Marks Act 1994 (see s.76 (2) and s.77 (1)). Appointed persons are senior practising barristers or solicitors or academic lawyers. The practical difference between the two procedures is that an appeal to the appointed person is final but the costs that the appointed person can award against the unsuccessful party are limited to those that could have been awarded by the hearing officer. By contrast, a party dissatisfied with the judgment of the High Court can appeal to the Court of Appeal and from there to the House of Lords (or, when it comes into being, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom) but there is no limit to the amount of costs that he or she may be ordered to pay.
A trade mark that was applied for by the Malcolm Campbell Heritage Trust (MCHT),
was transferred to Donald Charles Wales, who prefers to be known as Don
Wales .......................... The validity of that transfer is an
Application to the European Court of Human Rights, where, the United
Kingdom refused to grant the Opponent in the proceedings a hearing,
without security for costs - but where the Opponent was trapped in the
judicial system as a prisoner, and as such (the British prison system is
not compliant with the European Prison Rules as to earnings) was not in a
position by virtue of UK prison rules, to earn sufficient to provide said
Opponent contends that the transfer from the MCHT to Don Wales in person
was in breach of their fiduciary duty to the Opponent, as trustees of
trade mark application number 2315925. The transfer was effected without
notifying or seeking permission from the beneficiaries - in this case the
Opponent; Nelson Kruschandl.
Opponent is an Appellant duly lodged with the ECHR, since May of 2009 and
May of 2012.
Video Conference Room,
21 Bloomsbury Street,
London, WC1B 3HF.
Friday, 28th October 2011
Before: MR. GEOFFREY HOBBS QC
(Sitting as the Appointed Person)
In the Matter of the Trade Marks Act 1994
In the Matter of Trade Mark Application No: 2315925
in the name of
MR. DONALD WALES
Opposition thereto under No. 93515 by NELSON JAMES KRUSCHANDL
In the Matter of an Appeal to the Appointed Person
from the decision of Ms. Judi Pike, acting on behalf of the Registrar, the Comptroller-General dated 15th November 2010.
Transcript of the Shorthand Notes of Marten Walsh Cherer Ltd.
lst Floor, Quality House, 6-9 Quality Court,
20 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1HP
Telephone No: 020 7067 2900. Fax No: 020 7831 6864
MR. NELSON KRUSCHANDL, the Appellant/Opponent, appeared in person.
MR. DONALD WALES, the Respondent/Applicant, appeared in person.
R U L I N G
(As approved by the Appointed Person)
1 THE APPOINTED PERSON: In an official letter dated 22nd September
2 2009 the Registrar of Trade Marks notified
3 Mr. Nelson Kruschandl that his opposition to the registration
4 of trade mark number 2315925 in the name of Mr. Donald Wales
5 was treated as withdrawn in accordance with the provisions of
6 Rule 68(2) of the Trade Marks Rules 2008.
7 For the reasons given in a written decision subsequently
8 issued by Ms. Judi Pike on behalf of the Registrar of Trade
9 Marks on 15th November 2010, Mr. Kruschandl was ordered to pay
10 £1,200 to Mr. Wales as a contribution towards his costs of the
12 On 14th December 2010, Mr. Kruschandl appealed to an
13 Appointed Person against the making of that order for costs.
14 The appeal was listed to be heard on 12th May 2011. However,
15 it proved to be impossible to proceed with the hearing on that
16 occasion as a result of unresolved technical difficulties in
17 establishing a video conferencing link for the purpose of
18 enabling Mr. Kruschandl to present his case. The hearing of
19 the appeal was rescheduled to take place on 16th June 2011.
20 On that occasion, having regard to the matters raised by
21 the parties and the responses that I received to the questions
22 I raised with them, I adjourned the hearing to allow Mr. Wales
23 a period of 14 days within which to consider whether he wished
24 to waive his entitlement to costs under the Hearing Officer's
25 decision, in which case all further proceedings in the appeal
1 would be stayed, or maintain his entitlement to costs under
2 the Hearing Officer's decision, in which case I would give
3 directions for the further conduct of the appeal.
4 By letter dated 29th June 2011, Mr. Wales confirmed that
5 he wished to maintain his entitlement to costs and therefore
6 requested a date for the further hearing of the appeal. I
7 then directed that the further hearing of the appeal should be
8 scheduled to take place on the first occasion after
18th September 2011 for which a hearing, with an estimated
10 duration of up to half a day, could be accommodated with due
11 regard for the availability of the parties, the tribunal and
12 the provision of the technical facilities required. I also
13 gave directions for the production of documents which had been
14 discussed in the course of oral submissions at the hearing
15 which had taken place before me in June.
16 Subsequently, on 23rd August 2011 I received a letter
17 from Mr. Kruschandl indicating that he was being denied access
18 to photocopying facilities within HM Prison Bure. On receipt
19 of that letter, I caused the Treasury Solicitor's Department
20 to contact the authorities at HM Prison Bure with a view to
21 ensuring that photocopying facilities were restored for
22 Mr. Kruschandl's assistance so that my directions for the
23 production of documents could be complied with.
24 Under cover of a letter dated 19th September 2011,
25 Mr. Kruschandl produced the documents that he wished to bring
1 before the tribunal in connection with his appeal, and these
2 were circulated to myself and to Mr. Wales.
3 I then gave directions for the further hearing of the
4 appeal to be rescheduled to take place on 27th October. Due
5 to diary difficulties that date was subsequently replaced with
6 today's date, 28th October 2011.
7 A considerable degree of effort went into the making of
8 the arrangements for this resumed hearing. I was therefore
9 dismayed to receive a letter dated 10th October 2011 from
10 Mr. Kruschandl indicating that three prison officers had
11 entered his cell on that day and removed his documents, in the
12 files in which he had collated them, relating not only to this
13 appeal, but numerous other pieces of litigation he is involved
15 I then caused enquires to be made of HM Prison Bure as
16 to why this had happened and sought confirmation that
17 Mr. Kruschandl would be allowed access to the papers he
18 required for the purposes of presenting his appeal at today's
20 In response to my enquiries, a letter was sent by
21 Mr. Colin Kerr of HM Prison Bure on 26th October 2011 in which
22 he stated, having confirmed with staff at the prison as to
23 what had happened with regard to the removal of the papers
24 from Mr. Kruschandl's cell, that, "Mr. Kruschandl had his ring
25 binders removed by staff as he is on basic regime. The staff
1 offered him the choice to remove the papers contained within
2 the binders. He refused this very reasonable offer. On
3 receipt of your letter, I asked the staff to take
4 Mr. Kruschandl to reception and provide him with manila
5 folders so that he could remove his papers from the ring
6 binders and then locate them into the folders on a like for
7 like basis. This he refused stating the following; that he is
8 entitled to the correct facilities in order to store his
9 paperwork; that putting them into the folders will not allow
10 him to access the information quick enough. He was given at
11 least three chances to ensure that he would be provided access
12 to his paperwork, but he refused all offers. In answer to
13 your letter dated 19th October 2011, the papers were taken to
14 reception and stored as he did not wish to remove them from
15 the binders. He has also not been denied access to the papers
16 and indeed staff have tried to ensure that he has all
17 reasonable access under prison rule, but he has refused all
19 The hearing has commenced before me today, using a video
20 conferencing link to HM Prison Norwich. The position is that
21 Mr. Kruschandl has had an opportunity to equip himself with
22 the papers that he wished to have for the purposes of this
23 appeal, provided that he equipped himself with those papers in
24 manila files rather than ring binders. He has declined that
25 opportunity. In the circumstances, I think that this appeal hearing should proceed.
2 The tribunal has a very full set of papers. These have
3 been read and considered in detail. I do not think that it is
4 necessary or appropriate to adjourn this hearing and I think
5 it would be unfair to the respondent if I were to do so. I
6 have been informed for the first time this morning by
7 Mr. Kruschandl that on 21st October 2011 he made an
8 application of some kind to the Administrative Court. I
9 understand that to be directed to the restoration of his files
10 in ring binders as opposed to manila folders. That
11 application, which, as I say, was filed on 21st October 2011,
12 has resulted in no interim emergency order, as apparently
13 requested by Mr. Kruschandl, and it is, in any event, directed
14 to the Governor of HM Prison Bure and the Secretary of State
15 for Justice. It is not directed to this tribunal and I do not
16 understand it to raise any request for an order that this
17 tribunal should do or refrain from doing anything in relation
18 to the present appeal. It is my ruling that the appeal
19 hearing should proceed.
20 For proceedings; see separate transcript.
WALES - YOUTUBE
Official and unofficial ......
This subject matter is under investigation and we will provide you with
more details as the facts emerge.....