About Peter Groves

I am a solicitor and have been since time immemorial, or perhaps just 1980. I specialise in trade marks, copyright, designs and patents, as well as other general areas of commercial law, with CJJ Law in London. I also do competition law, and motor vehicle dealer agreements are still my favourite subject – I wrote my doctoral thesis on the subject many years ago.

In 2014 I was elected to the management committee of the Society of Authors, of which I have been a member since I wrote my first book. Some readers may be interested (as I was, and remain) to know that the Society is a private company limited by shares (so I was a director) and also a trade union on the special register which is maintained under the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. My term of office ended late in 2017.

In October 2016, I started teaching intellectual property at Nottingham Law School a couple of days a week. Exciting. What better way to kick off one's seventh decade? It was a challenging, interesting and exciting year and I thoroughly enjoyed working with the students, but - unfortunately for me at least - there won't be a second one.

From August 2011 to June 2014, I was also part-time in-house legal adviser at the Royal Institute of British Architects, turning my hand to a wide range of legal problems.

Having started my career at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, I think I can reasonably claim to have worked in the two most attractive offices in London.

I was also once (1984-5) Head of Commercial Law at the Confederation of British Industry, but Centrepoint does not qualify as a third attractive office.

I have worked for or with several law firms: after a spell at Speechly Bircham, I joined Manches and Co and became a partner before embarking on a more semi-detached practising trajectory to allow me time to write, lecture and devote time to politics too. In 1983 I stood in the general election in South Shields and I served a term as a member of North Bedfordshire Borough Council in the late eighties. In my fifth public election, for Oxfordshire County Council in 1993, I lost by a single vote, and gave up running for office in favour of just running. I ran my first Marathon, Abingdon, in 1995, and my thirteenth (my eighth Abingdon) in 2013.

My experience in legal practice includes:
  • Trade mark work for the estate of a world-famous sportsman
  • Acting for a household-name car maker against replica manufacturers
  • Taking an action for groundless threats of patent infringement to the High Court
  • Suing the operator of a website for trade mark infringement, arising from the use of a domain name identical to my client's well-known game title, also in the High Court
  • Taking action to protect the design of a pet-grooming mitten, again in the High Court
  • Advising a large motor dealer group on new dealer agreements, following the introduction of a revised block exemption
  • Advising many car and truck manufacturers, and dealers and dealer associations, on dealer agreement and block exemption issues
  • Advising on the acquisition of rights to a comic-book hero character
  • Acting on a range of matters for a celebrity chef
  • Filing and prosecuting many UK and EC trade mark applications, and opposing other people's
Having begun my career working in the motor industry, I spent some of my time editing a legal newsletter for the industry, Motor Law, which appeared every other month from 1987 to 2017. We also organised an annual conference from 1989 to 2016, and publish a growing list of books.

I am also the author of several boring law books - plus one, A Dictionary of Intellectual Property Law, which is far from boring - and presenter of courses for qualified lawyers, students and even non-lawyers. I am developing free resources on intellectual property law including an updated edition of a book which I first wrote a few years ago, articles and recorded lectures, and I have also produced a monthly IP update podcast which I plan to revive when I can. You will find more details of the podcasts under the appropriate tab on this blawg, and you can get to the online book from links on this blawg.

Outside the law, I have written for Runner’s World. I blog about my running and other personal stuff here.

I have written or contributed to the following books:
  • Copyright and Designs (Graham & Trotman,1991).
  • Intellectual Property in the Internal Market (with John Richards, Tony Martino and Claire Miskin) (Graham & Trotman, 1993). 
  • Intellectual Property with Competition Law Legal Practice Course Companion (Cavendish, 1993). 
  • European Community Law (Cavendish, 1994).
  • The Future of Car Dealer Franchising (Euromotor Reports, 1995).
  • The Business Client Handbook (Longmans, then FT Law and Tax, the Sweet & Maxwell, then Chilton Law Publishing, looseleaf first published 1995) (general editor, author of sections on intellectual property, competition and data protection and also initial author of sections on company law and partnership, pensions, commercial property and others I have now forgotten, as I hope others have too)
  • Intellectual Property Law Sourcebook (Cavendish, 1997).
  • Intellectual Property Rights and their Valuation (with Kelvin King of Valuation Consulting) (Gresham, 1997).
  • Motor Trade Law (with Anthea Worsdall and Michael Pearce) (Institute of the Motor Industry, latest edition 2001).
  • Global Automotive Legislation (FT Automotive, 1999).
  • Motor Law Complete Guide to the Block Exemption (Motor Law Publications, third edition 2006, new edition in preparation).
  • Intellectual property law (student text originally written for Semple Piggott Rochez, 3rd edition currently being published in serial form online).
  • Contributor to The Trade Mark Handbook (Sweet & Maxwell), responsible for the chapter on proprietorship.
  • Dictionary of Intellectual Property, February 2011, Edward Elgar Publishing, second edition due in 2017.
Some (with one exception, no longer very) recent articles for legal journals (I now post on this blawg what I might previously have submitted for publication):
  • “Henry Replica Sucks” Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, doi:10.1093/jiplp/jpq106 (August 2010)
  • “Pistache? - a consultation paper”, (2008) 19 Ent. L. Rev. 89 (article on parody in copyright law)
  • “There’s nothing new around the sun: everything you think of has been done” (2006) 18 Ent LR 160 (comment on the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property).
  • “Sleepers Awake” (2006) 18 Ent LR 142 (comment on Matthew Fisher v Gary Brooker and others).
  • “Fascinating and absorbing … a great riveting read” (2006) 17 Ent LR 148 (comment on the Da Vinci Code case).
  • Article on Apple v Apple published on BBC news web site (May 2006).
  • “From Shades to Streetlamps – recent developments in Registered Designs” (2006) 27 BLR 70.
  • “Design Protection for Spare Parts” (2005) 26 BLR 291.
  • “Originality in copyright law: the Court of Appeal’s judgment in Sawkins v Hyperion” (2005) 26 BLR 267.
  • “Once you are dead, you are made for life” (2005) 16 Ent LR 196 (comment on Experience Hendrix LLP v Purple Haze Records)
  • “Better than it sounds: originality of musical works” (2005) 16 Ent LR 20 (comment on High Court judgment in Sawkins v Hyperion Records).
  • Love, passion and … IP: when a copyright work goes too far
    Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, Volume 15, Issue 11, November 2020, Pages 926–931, https://doi.org/10.1093/jiplp/jpaa160.
For many years, I presented courses for Quorum Training on all areas of intellectual property law, Complying with Competition Law, Data protection and Exploiting and licensing intellectual property.

I have also presented courses for CLT on web site design, protection and trading; software licences in depth; and trade marks, designs and copyright elements of two-day intellectual property certificate course. I have also presented webinars on domain names, open source software, the Google Adwords case, L’Oréal v Bellure, and the territorial extent of the use requirement in the Community trade mark system. I also spoke at CLT’s “Copying Without Infringing” conference in November 2010.

I have also presented for Redcliffe Training Ltd, for whom I have delivered courses on complying with competition law, interpreting and drafting commercial contracts, the Digital Society copyright directive, and (for the Shanghai Bar Association) international dispute resolution.

For several years I hosted online intellectual property update webinars periodically for MBL.

Other courses I have presented include:
  • Law of the Internet (BLS) (1998-2001);
  • Re-engineer your career in intellectual property (BLS, 2000-2001); 
  • Intellectual Property Update (CLT) (1999-2002); 
  • Copyright for information professionals (ASLIB) (1998-2004); 
  • CPD presentations at University College, Dublin, in 1993 and 2002; 
  • Conference on The Motor Vehicle Block Exemption: Three Years On, Informa, Brussels, October 2005;  
  • Trade marks protection and valuation, seminar organised by TÜSIAD, İstanbul, June 2006;  
  • Motor vehicle block exemption developments (Motor Law); and 
  • Use and reputation in Community trade mark law (European Lawyers Group, June 2010).
BLS, CLT and ASLIB courses have been presented in-house as well as publicly. I have also given presentations at a variety of legal conferences and seminars. In addition, I have held, or hold, the following part-time lecturing positions:
  • London Guildhall University between 1993 and 1999, teaching on the Legal Practice Course (which first ran in 1993-4) where I devised and delivered a course on Intellectual Property and Competition Law. I also taught Business Law on the LPC, tutored undergraduates in EC Law and taught part-time MA students UK and US copyright and trade marks. 
  • Essex University. Part-time lecturer on the international IP option of the MA programme between 1992 and 1996. 
  • Part-time lecturer on EC law at Holborn College, 1994 to 1995. 
  • Oxford Institute of Legal of Legal Practice. Part time lecturer and tutor on the Commercial Law option of the Legal Practice Course, between 1998 and 2001. 
  • Tutor for Semple Piggott Rochez on Internet-based intellectual property course (for external London LLB) from 2000 to 2004.
  • Tutor for London Intercollegiate School of Law on external London LLB course at the Russian State University of Justice in Moscow, Cheryomushki.
  • Hourly-paid lecturer at University of South Wales, London centre, on intellectual property (2014-2015) - but lectured for no hours before the course was dropped.
  • Lecturer in intellectual property law at Nottingham Law School (October 2016 to September 2017), teaching IP to undergraduates and a module called IP and competition law in the EU (make of that what you will) to LLM students.

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