William Duncan

CALL: 2012
William Duncan
William is a specialist patent barrister with key expertise in handling patent litigation in both the life sciences and telecommunications sectors.

Chambers and Partners (2019) ranks William as Band 4 for Intellectual Property and says that “He is a thoughtful and strong junior who thinks for himself and provides good support.” And that “He is the crème de la crème, and picks up technical issues with utmost ease.”

Chambers and Partners (2018) said he is an “Able and experienced junior who elicits praise from instructing solicitors for his work ethic, written submissions and advice.” and that “He has a phenomenal brain.”

William’s biochemistry background has provided strong footing for his burgeoning practice in biotechnological patents, where he has particular experience of litigating technically complex major patent disputes.

  • Experience

    Patents & SPCs

    • Eli Lilly v Genentech [2020] EWHC 261 (Pat) a High Court trial of a preliminary issue concerning res judicata of a divisional patent related to the Patent from [2017] EWHC 3114 (Pat) below.
    • Koninklijke Philips NV v Asustek Computer Inc [2020] EWHC 29 (Ch) a High Court case concerning FRAND licences, where Asustek sought to exit the case on similar terms to those in TQ Delta, settled shortly before trial.
    • Takeda UK Ltd v F Hoffmann-La Roche AG [2019] EWHC 1911 (Pat) a High Court patent trial concerning glycosylated antibodies. The appeal has now been settled.
    • Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Ltd v Kymab Limited [2018] EWCA Civ 1186 (and High Court first instance decision [2016] EWHC 87 (Pat)): A complex patent dispute concerning transgenic mice for the production of fully human antibodies. The Supreme Court hearing of this occurred in February 2020.
    • Eli Lilly and Co v Genentech [2017] EWHC 3114 (Pat): Patent dispute about antibodies to IL-17 A/F, which came to trial in January 2019, with substantial jurisdictional interim disputes heard, currently under appeal pending January 2021, and a separate SPC claim about Article 3(a), and the “third party MA” issue.
    • Sandoz v Searle [2018] EWCA Civ 49 (and first instance decision [2017] EWHC 987 (Pat)) : SPC dispute concerning the proper interpretation of Article 3(a) in the context of Markush claims, referred to the CJEU and co-pending with Royalty Pharma Sitagliptin – settled prior to EPO hearing.
    • Accord v RCT [2017] EWHC 569 (Pat): High Court trial concerning the small molecule anti-epileptic drug lacosamide, with experts on scientific and US law issues – currently under appeal.
    • Abraxis v Comptroller General [2017] EWHC 14 (Pat): SPC action brought against a refusal by the comptroller – reference made to the CJEU.
    • GSK v Wyeth Holdings [2017] EWHC 91 (Pat): High Court patent action relating to meningococcal vaccines.
    • Idenix Pharmaceuticals v Gilead Sciences [2016] EWCA Civ 1089 (and first instance decision [2014] EWHC 3916 (Pat)): Substantial and complex patent dispute concerning broad Markush formula claims encompassing the HIV drug sofosbuvir, also involving experts of US law on priority issues. 

    IT & Telecoms Disputes

    • Unwired Planet v Huawei Technologies (Case D – settled): Complex telecoms dispute concerning the use of Hadamard codes for mobile telephone – base station syncing. Settled shortly before trial.
    • Telecoms dispute, settled before issue after substantial involvement, concerning down-conversion techniques in radio signal reception.
  • Education & awards
    • Combined Undergraduate and Masters in Biochemistry (Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry) from Oxford University (2010), (First Class)
    • Graduate Diploma in Law from City University London (2011), (Commendation)
    • Bar Professional Training Course from the Inns of Court School of Law, City University London (2012), (Outstanding)
    • Eric Newsholme Prize for Biochemistry
    • Fowler Prize for excellence in college examinations
  • Professional memberships
    • Intellectual Property Bar Association (IPBA)
    • Chancery Bar Association (ChBA)
    • Gray’s Inn
  • Hobbies & interests

    Loves cooking and home brewing (beer), keen badminton player.

Contact William Duncan's clerks

Whilst barristers have a designated practice management team, all the clerks have the capacity and knowledge to assist in cases involving all counsel.

Email the clerks