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John Hornby


After graduating from Cambridge in Natural Sciences, John Hornby studied law and became an intellectual property litigator and advisor nearly 40 years ago. And, having previously qualified and practised at the Bar, he was one of the first solicitors to become a solicitor advocate. He was a partner at Clifford Chance for 14 years.

John has litigated and settled patent, confidential information, trade mark and other IPR disputes throughout his career. Before becoming a partner at Clifford Chance, he was responsible for the pleadings and evidence concerning the confidential information in a trade secret and anti-trust dispute in London’s largest ever IP arbitration. On becoming a partner, he went onto use his solicitor advocate qualification in many IP disputes, ranging from pharmaceutical patent infringement cases to a challenge to the use of a high street bank’s name.

IP disputes often have a competition law angle; and vice versa. Before joining TupperS Law, John assisted in the Churchill Gowns case (see Stephen Tupper’s CV) because some of the anti-competitive behaviour complained of related to assertions about IPRs. So too the IP arbitration above had very substantial competition law issues to be resolved.

John is not just a litigator though and, for example, also has extensive experience in drafting many different types of commercial agreement, a recent example being a university R&D and collaboration agreement.

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Background & Experience

Professional Solicitor Advocate Exams 1995

Professional Solicitors Exams 1989

Inns of Court, School of Law, Holborn, London 1983-4

Bar Vocational CourseCity University, London 1982-3

Diploma in Law

Cambridge University 1979-1982

Natural Sciences B.A. (Hons)

Astra -v- Byk Gulden: acting for the Defendant in this patent infringement and revocation case concerning proton pump inhibitors used in the treatment of gastro-intestinal complaints.

HFC -v- HSBC: acting for the Defendant in this passing off case concerning Midland Bank’s adoption of the name HSBC in the UK.

Isotropic Systems v Isotropic Networks: registered trade mark and passing off dispute concerning a worldwide satellite communication service.

Lenzing -v- Courtaulds: acting for the patentee in which we sought judicial review of the decision of the UK patent office to recognise a decision of the European Patent Office that we said had been made in excess of jurisdiction.

Novartis v Teva, Dr Reddy’s Limited and others: acting for one of the Defendants in this pharmaceutical patent infringement and revocation case concerning MS treatment.

Pilkington -v- PPG: acted for PPPG in this confidential information and anti-trust case – probably the largest London intellectual property arbitration.

Zuru v Koopman: acting for the patentee in this Patent infringement and validity dispute concerning a best-selling toy