John has over 30 years experience as a specialist lawyer and advisor about intellectual property. He is one of the leading patent advisors in Europe and ranked in the top tier of intellectual property lawyers. His knowledge and experience is based on both national and international work.
John advises and helps innovative businesses and individuals obtain worldwide protection for their inventions with patents, designs, and brands. He helps businesses in the management of these intellectual property assets, in their exploitation, and valuation.
He also advises clients about intellectual property enforcement and has done so in many jurisdictions around the world including in the UK, US, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, India, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Ireland (north and south), Saudi Arabia, and South Africa. Over the last thirty years he has handled many intellectual property disputes which have been sufficiently novel or interesting legal concepts to be reported.
John has a Masters in competition law and is an experienced competition lawyer. He advises businesses about the application of EC and UK competition law in relation to the deals they are doing or proposed new ventures or market initiatives. This expertise is particularly relevant in the world wide exploitation of intellectual property rights.
- 2003 Valuation and Exploitation of Intellectual Property and Intangible Assets, published by Emis
- 2005 Intellectual property in designs, published by Butterworths LexisNexis (which John is currently updating for republication in 2014)
- 2008-2010 Masters in EU Competition Law studied for and completed with merit a Masters in EU competition law from King's College, London. The research and dissertation was on the interface between monopoly patent rights, anti-monopoly competition laws, and strategic patenting which has now become a key issue in competition enforcement.
- Chartered Institute of Patent Agents/Trade Mark Agents – UK and EU Design Manual – contributor
What others say:
John has received many commendations over the years in independent reviews of individual lawyers such as Chambers & Partners UK and The Legal 500 UK, including the following:
- "absolutely superb"
- "...doyen of IP"
- "a specialist who truly knows his IP"
- "effective communicator",
- his "accurate, common-sense approach makes him a favourite with clients"
- "advice is always clear and commercial", and
- "he gives you the robust guidance needed to help you make a proper decision."
- "absolutely on the ball."
- "offers a personalised service that is spot on."
I found John Sykes to be a skilful lawyer, commercially astute, dedicated and hard working, with good judgement, combined with detailed knowledge of - for us - copyright law, he did a good job for us, managed the team well on the case, and I would recommend him without hesitation. - Simon Enoch, Company Secretary, Darty Plc
I have worked with John Sykes for a number of years and can say without reservation that he personifies that rare mix of an excellent legal technician and pragmatic, commercially astute businessman. John is a consummate diplomat, having the knowledge and experience to read a situation to perfection, and to use the appropriate force for the circumstances in hand. Many years ago I was on the opposite side to John in a hard fought contentious matter. It was a very uncomfortable place to be. Put simply, I can trust John to deliver when called upon. I therefore have absolutely no hesitation in recommending John to anyone requiring top level intellectual property advice. - Ann Critchell-Ward, VP Intellectual Property, TomTom
I just wanted to thank you for help. The issue was a serious one for us as it may have caused embarrassment and potential liability in our supply chain. Your wise counsel, in-depth knowledge of trademark law, and firm but commercial approach enabled us to resolve this matter both quickly and successfully and avoiding any liability for us and our business partners. Achieving an amicable settlement was a real success and we are delighted with the outcome. Steve Walton, Finance Director, De Ree UK
Thank you for helping us when we found that our new product was being copied. Your knowledge of the law and astute tactics and strategy using the court process enabled us to stop the copying, recover costs and damages. Top drawer advice and a great result for us. We are very pleased with the outcome. Stephen Greenhalgh, Managing Director, JJO
Professional Societies and committees
- Law Society
- Law Society's Intellectual Property Committee.
When not at work
John keeps fit horse riding and chasing after his four children. He also enjoys tennis, golf and sailing when he has the time.