My detailed CV


Chris Ryan was educated at St Joseph’s College, Ipswich and Mid-Essex Technical College.  He has a London University external Bachelor of Laws degree.  He qualified as a solicitor in 1971, joined Norton Rose in 1973 and became a partner in that firm in 1978.


He has practised for 35 years in intellectual property and information technology matters.  Between 1999 and 2003 he led the Intellectual Property and Technology Group at Norton Rose and for some years was the member of the firm’s management committee with particular responsibility for technology.


Chris’ intellectual property practice has included patent infringement, trade mark infringement, passing off, copyright (particularly in relation to software), design infringement, confidential information and trade libel.  Leading cases have included:


  • The leading Court of Appeal decision on patent claim construction, Improver Corp v Remington Consumer Products [1989] RPC 69.
  • The leading case (at the time) on the extent of the English Court’s jurisdiction over infringement occurring abroad – Tyburn Productions Ltd v Conan Doyle [1990] R.P.C. 185
  • The decision in Dawnay Day and Co Ltd v Cantor Fitzgerald International ([2000] R.P.C. 669) on the treatment of reputation and goodwill among affiliated companies.
  • Brown & Root McDermott Fabricators Ltd’s Patent Application [1996] STC 483, which clarified the effect of assignments and agreements to assign patents.
  • Azrak Hamway International Inc’s Licence of Right Application [1997] RPC 134, which considered for the first time whether the UK Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 was compatible with the provisions of TRIPS.
  • The appeal by Anheuser Busch Inc from the decision of the Trade Mark Registry to permit Budejovicky Budvar Narodni Podnik of the Czech Republic to register the trade mark “BUDWEISER” in parallel with its own registrations.
  • The longest English Court trial of a software copyright case – Cantor Fitzgerald International v Tradition (UK) Ltd [2000] R.P.C.95.
  • Instance v CCL Label Inc [2002] F.S.R.27 – Patent Specification Amendment.


Other cases in this field, which have not been reported or publicised, include the following:


·         Representing a Japanese pharmaceutical company in protracted validity proceedings involving patents in the microbiology field and, in particular, international arrangements for the deposit of micro organisms relied on by patentees.

·         Acting for a manufacturer of drug delivery systems in a dispute about the ownership of patents and confidential know how in the field of piezo-electric devices.

·         Defending patent infringement proceedings instigated by a major chemical manufacturing company in respect of its patents for micro-encapsulation in the field of carbonless paper.

·         Acting in a series of cases against different infringers arising out of a family of patents (and related know how) in the offshore engineering field.

·         Representing the members of an industry group in proceedings for alleged infringement of database rights asserted by the British Horseracing Board.

·         Handling disputes in the IT field including one between an international technology group and an arm of the UK government in relation to a large outsourcing contract and others involving failed systems developed for clients in the financial services, insurance and leisure industries.


Chris has written and lectured on a variety of intellectual property and information technology issues in the UK and abroad, including International Bar Association papers on employee inventors and on intellectual property issues in public procurement, as well as American Bar Association papers on parallel trading issues and on EU harmonisation of intellectual property law.  For some years he was the author of the UK section of the International Annual Review published by the International Trade Mark Association.


He is an accredited mediator with the Centre for Dispute Resolution, a member of the International Panel of Neutrals, established by the International Trade Mark Association and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. 

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