Bristows overcomes Freshfields to defend patent for new client Agripa

Bristows overcomes Freshfields to defend patent for new client Agripa” />Bristows has won a patent infringement battle which represents a David and Goliath victory not just for its Scottish client, but also for the firm itself, by defeating Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Agripa, which transforms the sides of lorries into mobile adverts using a flexible mesh panel, developed the technology in 2001 and was granted a patent for 19 European countries in January 2005. The advantage of the mesh panel is its flexibility, which makes it more resistant to airflow and therefore safer, because it is less likely to be blown off the side of a lorrry.

The inventor, Scottish entrepreneur John Pitt, first became aware of the infringement in June this year when reports of trucks carrying mesh panels reached him at his company’s headquarters in Hillington, Scotland. The company that infringed the patent, Roland, was subsequently sued in its parent company’s home jurisdiction of the Netherlands.

Pitt instructed Bristows on the advice of his company’s patent agents Murgatroyd & Co in a first-time instruction for the Lincoln’s Inn firm. Partner Alex Wilson, assisted by James Boon, faced not only the might of Roland, but the muscle of Roland’s law firm Freshfields. Bristows, how-ever, went into battle with additional firepower provided by Dutch firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek.

The victory is believed to be only the third patent infringement case this year to win cross-border relief throughout Europe.

“It allows us to develop our business in various territories throughout the world without fear of it being copied,” said Pitt. “We’ve been vindicated by the Dutch courts.”