Alastair Wilson specialises in all aspects of intellectual property and commercial disputes with a technical aspect. He has become familiar over the years with many different technologies, ranging from mechanical devices to microbiology. His experience of copyright and confidential information has led to appearances in a number of important privacy cases. He appears in the Technology and Construction Court, and has also appeared in a number of computer law and electronics cases. (Arising out of Express Newspapers v Liverpool Evening Post, he also advises on Lottery and Gaming matters.)
His cross-examination played a crucial role in his clients’ success in, for example, Designer's Guild v Russell Williams  1 WLR 2416 (House of Lords – see page 2430), Sabaf v MFI & Ors  UKHL 45 (House of Lords – see paragraghs 31-32) and Just Employment v Just Employment Ltd  WL 2817829 (see paragraph 41).
Alastair is listed by "The Legal 500" and "Chambers and Partners" as a Leading Silk in Information Technology and Intellectual Property.
Called 1968 (Middle Temple), QC 1987
Called Eire 1977
Called Northern Ireland 1989 (QC)
Mathematics and Law at Pembroke College, Cambridge (Exhibition).
Just Employment v Just Employment Ltd  WL 2817829 – registered trade mark invalid for descriptiveness and not saved by local goodwill. Passing-off action failed too.
Saint-Gobain v Fusion Provida & Electrosteel  EWCA (Civ) 177 - non-obviousness of invention the subject of the patent, historical considerations, technical merit not 'obvious to try'.
Clearsprings Management Ltd v Businesslinx Ltd  EWHC 1487 (Ch) – extent of implied licences in a software development contract.
Electrocoin v Coinworld & Ors  FSR 7 - Bar-X and OXO registrations including in Class 9 for amusement machines held not to be infringed by use of "Bar", "X" and "O" symbols on reels and in win tables for amusement machines.
Sabaf v MFI & Ors  UKHL 45,  RPC 10 - Gas burner patent invalid for obviousness as a collocation of two separate inventions - over hob air intake and a radial Venturi. Foreign manufacturer not liable for infringement by importation on the facts either as a joint tortfeasor or as an importer where the manufacturer had arranged transportation for the buyer.
Saint-Gobain v Fusion Provida & Electrosteel  UKHC 2469(Ch) - Patent for a corrosion resistant pipe coating valid not obvious.
A v B & C (Flitcroft)  QB 195 (Court of Appeal) - balance of confidentiality and ECHR Article 8 in the context of a footballer's sexual conduct.
H v Associated Newspapers  EMLR 425 (Court of Appeal) - balance of confidentiality of medical condition (HIV) and public right to know (infected dentist)
Spring Form Inc v Toy Brokers Ltd  F.S.R. 17 – A useful judgment on the availability and nature of an account of profits in a patent infringement case
OGT v Affymetrix  FSR 136 (Court of Appeal) - extent and assignability of obligations under patent licence agreement.
Designer's Guild v Russell Williams  1 WLR 2416 (House of Lords) - extent of copyright in fabric designs.
Marks & Spencer plc v One in a Million  FSR 1 (Court of Appeal) - passing off in relation to domain names.
Lambert v HTV  FSR 874 (Court of Appeal) - contractual obligation to negotiate with a third party can be binding.
Richardson v Flanders  FSR 497 - copyright in computer software.
Lock v Beswick  1 WLR 1268 - Anton Piller Order set aside for non-disclosure.
Stephens v Avery and ors  1 Ch 449 - confidential information relating to sexual conduct.
Union Carbide v Viscofan  FSR 538 (Court of Appeal) - misuse of confidential information abroad could be actionable against imports into UK.
Blair v Associated Newspapers - injunction against nanny's "memoires".
British Leyland v Armstrong  AC 577 (House of Lords) - an end to the OE manufacturers spares monopoly based on industrial copyright.
Merrell-Dow v Norton  RPC 76 (House of Lords) -pharmaceutical patent held invalid.
Pavel v Sony TLR (02/03/96) (Court of Appeal) - unsuccessful effort to establish validity of early patent covering the Walkman.
Cartonneries de Thulin v White Knight  RPC 107 (Court of Appeal) - patent held invalid on basis of impermissible amendment.
Charleswoth v Haley  1 WLR 230 - extent of jurisdiction to order further trial when new prior art discovered.
PLG Research Ltd v Ardon International - in which the Court of Appeal said there was doubt whether the existing English law of patent infringement paid sufficient attention to case law elsewhere in Europe.
ICI Atenolol - licence of right.
Bank v CBS - where a copyright claimant did persuade the Court that she was the author of the words of a pop song.
Directory & testimonial Quotes
Chambers & Partners 2012
In Intellectual Property: "Alastair Wilson QC is an experienced and exceptionally able silk with a reputation for being an innovative lateral thinker. He is "very smooth and very bright," and is well equipped to handle a broad range of highly technical IP matters."
In Information Technology: "Alastair Wilson QC brings his formidable intellect to bear on a host of cases. His recent appearances have included MMW v Cellxion, a patent case regarding mobile phone interception equipment."
Legal 500 2011
In Intellectual Property: Alastair is "extremely intelligent and able to get on top of complex legal issues quickly"
In Media and Entertainment: Alastair "has expertise in copyright and confidential information, which has led him to some high profile cases, including Lucas Film v Ainsworth, involving copyright issues surrounding the costumes in the Staw Wars films."
In Information Technology: Alastair is "experienced in high profile patent and trade mark cases involving IT issues."
Chambers & Partners 2011 "Alastair is "effective, thorough and always on the ball." He appeared in Lucasfilm v Ainsworth, a case concerning the copyright in 'Star Wars' costumes. A "charming opponent," Wilson undertakes the full range of IP litigation and is particularly well regarded for his expertise in confidential information disputes."
Chambers & Partners 2010 Alastair "is regarded as a very able man intellectually" and has applied his mind to cases across a range of technologies. Observers note that he has accumulated a wealth of experience in copyright and confidential information matters."
Chambers & Partners 2009 "Regularly utilises his ingenious mind on patent cases. Clients comment that he is a wonderful character and is silky smooth in high pressure situations - he leaves you with absolute confidence that he will get to the detail of a case after thoroughly exploring everything"
Legal 500 - 2008 "Alastair Wilson wins promotion, displaying an ingenious mind, especially for patent cases" and "understanding of complex trade mark matters"
- Intellectual Property Bar Association
- Chancery Bar Association
- Chartered Institute of Patent Agents (Associate)
Qualifications and Regulations
Mathematics and Law at Pembroke College, Cambridge (Exhibition).
Alastair is a self-employed, independent barrister whose practice is governed by the Code of Conduct of the Bar of England and Wales. He is registered with the Bar Standards Board of England and Wales (Bar Ref: 18592)