Wragge & Co’s Intellectual Property team has won TMT Team of the Year at The Legal Business Awards. The award was given in recognition of the team’s high-profile, Supreme Court victory against Virgin Atlantic Airways. Not only did the team win the case on behalf of client Zodiac Seats, saving them from a £49 million claim, they also overturned the law and set a new and important legal precedent.
Judges praised Wragge & Co for securing victory “against the odds” and for the firm’s “crucial role in overturning 100 years of patent law”. TMT Team of the Year was one of 22 categories at the awards and required nominations to demonstrate ‘market leading commercial or regulatory expertise’.
The Zodiac case began in 2007 when Virgin Atlantic claimed Zodiac’s ‘Solar Eclipse’ seat infringed their patent and design rights. The case went to the High Court and the Court of Appeal, which found the patent valid and infringed. The European Patent Office however concluded that the patent was invalid but Virgin continued to press for damages.
Wragge & Co led an appeal to the Supreme Court which eventually overturned 100 years of patent law and rebutted the damages claim.
David Barron, who leads the technology patent litigation team at Wragge & Co, said: “There was a huge amount at stake in this case but the whole team went the extra mile, securing victory for our client and establishing legal precedent along the way. The success of the case depended upon guts, tenacity and legal flair. This award is welcome recognition of a huge amount of hard work.”
Partner Gordon Harris led the Wragge & Co team, assisted by associate Antony Craggs, solicitor Olivia Harris and director James Rowlands, along with more than 30 other lawyers from across the firm.
Wragge & Co’s 14-partner Intellectual Property team advises on the full range of IP issues from offices in the UK, Germany, France and China. Acting for some of the world’s biggest organisations, its track record includes high-profile cases for Aston Martin, Delta Air Lines, Hasbro, Kingspan Group and H Lundbeck.
The team’s work on the Zodiac case also secured ‘TMT Team of the Year 2013′ at the British Legal Awards with judges praising Wragge & Co’s ‘tenacious and persistent approach’.