Intangible Asset Director at Stobbs
A trial lawyer with over 25 years’ experience, Geoff Steward has long been recognised in Chambers and The Legal 500 as a leading individual for IP disputes. He joined Stobbs in 2018 as head of litigation after being a partner and head of the IP group at leading London firm Macfarlanes. Mr Steward brings further experience to the already successful litigation team developed by Chris Sleep over recent years.
Mr Steward has handled IP disputes for some of the world’s leading brands, including Mars, Liverpool FC, Capri Sun, Budweiser, Nike, Pernod Ricard and various Formula One teams. His expertise includes disputes relating to trademarks, passing off, copyright, designs (registered and unregistered), database rights, data protection, breach of confidence and anti-trust. As well as undertaking pure IP claims, Mr Steward has acted on a broad range of contractual disputes relating to brand protection and brand monetisation such as licensing, sponsorship, franchising, manufacturing, supply and distribution. He has acted for clients in industries as diverse as retail, publishing, television, sports (soccer, cycling, golf and Formula One), food and beverages, automotive and aviation.
Below are some of the reported IP cases that went to trial and in which Mr Steward has acted:
- Zino Davidoff SA v A&G Imports Ltd – leading parallel importing trademark infringement case which was ultimately referred to the European Court of Justice;
- Anheuser Busch v Budejovicky Budvar – series of long-running trademark revocation actions that went to the Court of Appeal on the question of honest concurrent use;
- Kangol Limited v Hay & Robertson PLC – Court of Appeal decision on validity of termination of a trademark licence;
- Looney v Trafigura – High Court copyright infringement and contractual repudiation claim relating to literary works;
- Group Lotus v Team Lotus – High Court passing off claim (and two speedy trials) relating to Lotus naming rights for Formula One; and
- New Balance v Liverpool FC: High Court speedy trial on the construction of a matching right in a kit sponsorship contract.