Over the last twelve months, leading commercial set Brick Court Chambers has benefited from a couple of high-profile mobile communication cases involving FRAND being litigated by both implementers and SEP holders at the High Court and the Court of Appeal. Indeed, few cases in the field have passed without a Brick Court Chambers barrister present – while sometimes its counsel litigate alongside other barristers, especially frequently those from 8 New Square, its reputation as a go-to set for FRAND expertise is becoming stronger by the month.
Recently, the set was present in the case between Apple and non-practising entity Optis, as well as in proceedings between Nokia and Oppo/OnePlus, both of which have gathered pace over the year. In the FRAND trials between Apple and Optis, for example, Brick Court Chambers’ barristers appeared for both claimant and defendant, with Sarah Ford KC and Marie Demetriou respectively. Indeed, a win in November for Optis regarding court-determined FRAND licences was another boon for Ford, alongside junior Emily MacKenzie.
However, while the FRAND barristers do not appear in any of the multiple technical patent trials for either Optis or Apple, highly recommended KC Nicholas Saunders has put in a star turn for claimant Nokia against Oppo/OnePlus in its various proceedings, including litigating alongside Hogarth Chambers in technical proceedings. Most recently, he helped achieve a win for the client in the Court of Appeal. One competitor describes Saunders as “highly intelligent and collaborative – a real team-player”, demonstrated through his presence in the courts on the side of the patent holder – for example, he also appears for IP Bridge in its proceedings against Huawei.
While Nicholas Saunders is firmly recommended for telecommunication disputes, however, other Brick Court Chambers barristers are emerging in life sciences. Following several years of no representation in this area, David Scannell has twice acted for Neurim and subsidiary Flynn against Teva over insomnia medication. With Daniel Piccinin also acting for Teva, the set is slowly building up a presence in important disputes away from FRAND.
The fact remains that the multitude of telecommunication cases in the UK are allowing Brick Court Chambers to cement its reputation in FRAND. However, while its speciality in competition and regulatory law currently surpasses its barristers’ technical patent abilities, each year the set demonstrates a growing flexibility in other areas of patent law. Other barristers in the set have also acted for MGA Entertainment against Cabo Concepts regarding toys. Perhaps the set’s up-and-coming juniors can use the coming years to become even more visible in, for example, important pharmaceutical disputes.
Nicholas Saunders (“highly intelligent and collaborative – a real team-player”, competitor), Sarah Abram (“knew the case well and was always prepared”, client), Sarah Love, Marie Demetriou (“she has been great on all cases”, competitor)
5 KCs, 1 junior
Court of Appeal: Nokia (respondent, Nicholas Saunders, Joanne Box) against Oppo/OnePlus over in global SEP dispute and jurisdiction; Optis (respondent, Sarah Ford, Emily MacKenzie) against Apple (appellant, Marie Demetriou, Sarah Love) over FRAND. High Court: Optis (claimant, Sarah Love, Fred Hobson) against Apple (defendant, Marie Demetriou, Sarah Ford) in global SEP dispute; Nokia (claimant, Nicholas Saunders) against OnePlus over mobile communication technology; IP Bridge (claimant, Nicholas Saunders) against Huawei over confidentiality and comparable licences; Nokia (claimant, Nicholas Saunders) against OnePlus over telecommunication and FRAND; Neurim and Flynn (claimant, David Scannell) against Generics/Viatris (defendant, Daniel Piccinin) over insomnia medication in three hearings; MGA Entertainment (defendant, Victoria Wakefield, Jennifer McLeod, Richard Howell) against Cabo Concepts over toys.