Gee & Co.

A brief history of the firm

Gee & Co. was an old-established firm of Chartered Patent Agents and, although formed under that name by the late H.T.P. Gee in the early 1900s, the firm incorporated the earlier practice of Ernest De Pass, established in 1875. Early records of the Firm included patents dated from 1899, and major clients included Dr. Alexander Muirhead and Sir Oliver Lodge, pioneers in the field of wireless telegraphy.

The firm always had strong international links. An early overseas client was Mr Juzo Kajiura of Akasaka, Tokyo, Japan, who was Electrical Engineer to the Department of Communications. On 4 April 1910 he filed a British Patent Application entitled “Improvements in ‘Duplex’ Systems of Wireless Telegraphy”, claiming convention priority from a Japanese Patent Application dated 6 April 1909.

Although first located in Croydon, the firm later moved to Chancery Lane, a few doors away from the British Patent Office. The practice expanded from Chancery Lane in 1972 when the office in Guildford, Surrey was added. The Guildford office was in a pleasant semi-rural location in a prime tourist area thus offering an attractive alternative conference location for those who no longer wish to endure the problems of transport to or accommodation in central London.

This London office was taken over by Wilson Gunn and now holds its name, retaining convenient access to the London branch of the Patent Office, where filing and searching facilities still exist, and where all major hearings are still held.

Memories of partner Anthony Bubb

“When I first joined Gee & Co in 1969 the Partners were Hugh L Cottrel and Don Dixon. Cottrel had bought the practice from the original Gee I believe. At that time the Office was in Staple House in Chancery Lane, although Cottrel was located in Hull. One of the major UK clients had been Blackburn Aircraft and when they moved to Hull Cottrel was forced to follow and leave the London Office in charge of various assistants whose names I cannot now recall. I believe that Don Dixon bought into the practice in about 1965 and when I joined the only other technical person was Bryan Diamond who was employed on a freelance basis.

“I became a partner in 1970 and it was Cottrel’s wish that Bryan Diamond should also be made a partner upon Cottrel’s retirement which he indicated would be in one or two years. Cottrel also ran his own practice in Hull as H.L. Cottrel & Co., and this became a source of friction, particularly when Cottrel indicated an intention to defer retirement following the increased success of the London Office. We parted company with Cottrel in 1971 on an unfriendly basis and he then continued his own practice in Hull. This was finally sold to W.P. Thomson, I believe. In 1971 we then took Bryan Diamond and Tony Moore into the partnership and the four of us continued the practice. We did take another partner in subsequently but this did not work out and he left in 1981.”