Past People

Some of our key people from the past

John Guy Wilson (1842-1892) Founder - John G. Wilson

John Guy Wilson, founded the firm in 1864, opening an office at No. 109 Market Street, Manchester. Unfortunately, we have no photographs of Mr Wilson.

There is no record that Mr. John G. Wilson ever became a member of the Chartered Institute of Patent Agents but this is in no way surprising since, during the period between 1885 to 1895, there were no less than 28 active Patent Agencies in Manchester, and only two or three of the individuals concerned were members of the Chartered Institute. A few of these old names still appear in the titles of some of the present-day agencies.

John G. Wilson died in the early 1890s.

John James Royle (1850-1919) Proprietor - John G. Wilson

JJ Royle

When John G. Wilson died in the early 1890s, the firm was subsequently taken over by John James Royle, founder of of a steam engineering business in Manchester.

Mr. Royle was elected a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Patent Agents in 1899 but resigned therefrom in 1902 shortly after he retired from the practice. He had also given up his activities in practice in order to devote his full time to his rapidly expanding engineering business of Royles Limited, Irlam, near Manchester. Mr. Royle was a very prolific inventor and took out numerous patents especially in connection with steam traps and similar devices.

His company, Royles Limited specialised in heavy industrial steam equipment. The factory closed in the early 1970s.

Walter Gunn (1869-1953) Past Partner - Wilson Gunn & Ellis

Walter Gunn

Walter Gunn was educated at Manchester Grammar School and was a Whitworth scholar. He qualified as a Patent Agent in 1900 and was elected as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute the same year. He took over the practice on the retirement of Mr. John J. Royle in about 1901.

Walter Gunn lived at 3 Lynton Road, Heaton Norris with his wife, two sons and a daughter. It was a matter of regret to Mr. Gunn that neither of his two sons had any interest in carrying on the practice, although they were for some time employed in the office in clerical capacities. The younger son, Harold, died in early manhood. The elder son served with distinction in the First World War as a despatch rider, being twice mentioned in despatches for gallant conduct.

Mr. Gunn retired in 1932 and died in 1953.

Geoffrey Henden Stuart Ellis Past Partner - Wilson Gunn & Ellis

Geoffrey Ellis

Geoffrey Ellis, Chartered Patent Agent, joined Wilson Gunn in 1925 from a family practice in London, which had for many years acted as London Agents for John G. Wilson & Co. Mr. Ellis became a partner in the firm, the title of which was changed in the same year to Wilson, Gunn & Ellis.

John Vaughan Worthington Past Partner - Wilson Gunn & Ellis

John Vaughan Worthington

John Vaughan Worthington, Chartered Patent Agent, joined the firm in 1951 from a Liverpool practice. He joined Mr. Ellis in partnership in 1956, the firm's title remaining unchanged as Wilson, Gunn & Ellis. Mr. Worthington was a charismatic figure. He was a Chartered Engineer and went on to become International Secretary of FICPI. In the late '60s he appeared on Granada television in a programme entitled 'I've got an idea'. Mr. Worthington suffered a major heart attack outside our offices in the Manchester Royal Exchange in the early 1980s, and died shortly afterward.

Kenneth Fred Mellor Past Partner - Wilson Gunn & Ellis

Kenneth Fred Mellor

Ken joined the partnership in 1964 shortly after qualifying. He was an outgoing character. His practice largely involved general mechanical work. He was a member of the Canadian Institute of Patent Agents and attended many meetings in Canada and built up some good contacts there. He left the firm in 1977.

Harry Funge Past Partner - Wilson Gunn & Ellis

Harry Funge

Harry became senior partner in the then separate firms of Wilson, Gunn & Ellis, M'Caw & Co. and Leeming, Ray & Whittle. He was a Chartered Patent Agent, European Patent Attorney and Registered Trade Mark Agent. He has a degree in natural sciences from Oxford University and had a special interest in textile technology, mechanical engineering and trade mark law. He joined the partnership in 1964. Initially with Wilson Gunn & Ellis, he moved to the firm M'Caw & Co. in their offices in Market Street up until the death of Mr. Worthington. He moved M'Caw & Co. into the offices of Wilson, Gunn & Ellis in the early 1980s. Harry retired at the end of April 1993 after 35 years with M'Caw & Co. Prior to going to University, Harry did his national service with the RAF. He eventually settled in Bramhall, near Stockport.

Peter John Low Past Partner - Wilson Gunn

Peter Low

Peter Low entered the profession with a London practice before joining Wilson Gunn in 1969. Peter went on to qualify as a Chartered and European Patent Attorney and became a Partner in 1980. Although qualified to act in trade mark matters, Peter specialised largely in patents, having a particular interest in chemical and biochemical inventions. He was involved in a number of major inter-partes patent matters and presented cases personally before the European Patent Office, UK Patent Office and the UK Patents County Court. Peter set up the Manchester group for the Robert Schuman University of Strasbourg European Patent Attorney training course. He was actively involved in the education and training of Wilson Gunn's patent personnel for many years after his retirement in 1997, also acting as an examiner for the European Patent Attorney qualifying examinations.

William Gerrard Downey Retired Partner - Wilson Gunn

William Downey

Bill Downey graduated from University College London in electrical engineering. After leaving university, he spent a period in the hydro-electric department of a papermaking company in Quebec, Canada. Subsequently, Bill returned to London to join a private practice firm of patent attorneys dealing with contentious and non-contentious patent and design matters mainly for a number of global companies covering a wide range of subject matter but with particular reference to electrical, electronic, electro-mechanical and mechanical fields. He joined Wilson Gunn in 1970, qualifying as a Chartered Patent Attorney in 1972. He became a Partner of Wilson Gunn in 1980 and now is a consultant for the firm. He has lectured in the UK and abroad on intellectual property matters and has had many articles published. He has tutored for the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, the Robert Schuman University of Strasbourg European Patent Attorney Training Course and the Chartered Institute of Patent Agents Patent Administration Course. He is a former Chair of the Northern Branch of the Society for Computers and Law and a former Council Member of that Society.

Barry Quest Past Partner - Wilson Gunn

Barry Quest

Barry Quest graduated from Oxford University, gaining a masters degree in chemistry with research in biochemistry (synthesis and activity of antiviral heterocyclic drugs). After leaving university, Barry initially worked in an industrial research environment with the Wool Industries Research Association, investigating Fickian diffusion in keratinous materials, before joining the patent profession with the industrial patent department of The Dunlop Company Limited where he gained experience in mechanical engineering and electronics. He later moved into private practice and joined Wilson Gunn in 1969, qualifying as a Chartered Patent Attorney in 1974 and becoming a Partner in the firm in 1980. He has written many technical articles on electronic and also game inventions, and is an author of commercial game software. He was a past examiner in design law for the professional qualifying examinations as well as a co-author of the text book Design: The Modern Law and Practice. He was also a past President of the Licensing Executives Society (Britain & Ireland). Barry lectured internationally at professional, business and commercial seminars and conferences on patents, trade marks, designs, copyright and licensing, and has many published articles in these areas. Sadly and very much missed, Barry passed away in January 2012.

Antony John Allen Bubb Past Partner - Wilson Gunn Gee

Anthony Bubb

Tony Bubb joined the profession in 1956, initially working as a patent searcher with a London practice. By 1964, Tony had qualified as a Chartered Patent Attorney and he later went on to become a European Patent Attorney. In 1970, Tony was made a Partner in Gee & Co., the practice that would later form the London office of Wilson Gunn. Tony's patent practice covered a range of different technologies, although he developed particular expertise in the fields of electronic and mechanical engineering, especially in relation to computers, telephony and television. Tony also dealt with a wide variety of trade mark, copyright and design matters, as a Registered Trade Mark Attorney, Member of the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys and European Trade Mark and Design Attorney. He also served as a member of the Design and Copyright and Trade Mark Committees of the Chartered Institute of Patent Agents. Tony has now retired as managing partner of Wilson Gunn's London office.

Kathryn Johnson Past Partner - Wilson Gunn Roberts

Kathryn Johnson

Kate Johnson entered the profession in 1969. Kate went on to become a Partner in the Manchester firm of Elwyn R. Roberts & Co., before that business became part of Wilson Gunn. She specialised in trade mark matters as a Registered Trade Mark Attorney, a Member of the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys and a European Trade Mark Attorney. Kate handled a number of international trade mark portfolios, including major brands such as Umbro, BPB and Hovis. Kate passed away in January 2014.

Bruce MarshPast Partner - Wilson Gunn

Bruce Marsh

Bruce Marsh graduated from the University of Cambridge with a masters degree in law. Bruce was a Registered Trade Mark Attorney, having qualified in 1993, a Member of the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys and a European Trade Mark Attorney. He entered the trade mark profession with a London practice and joined Wilson Gunn in 1996, becoming a Partner in 1998. Bruce continued to work as a partner of the firm until he unfortunately lost his battle with cancer in 2013 at the age of 47. Described as "heavyweight, experienced and commercial" by Managing Intellectual Property IP Handbook, Bruce was well known in the profession.

Richard Hill Past Partner - Wilson Gunn

Richard Hill

Richard Hill has an honours degree in pure and applied physics from the University of Manchester and is a Chartered Physicist and Member of the Institute of Physics. Richard joined Wilson Gunn in 1988 and is qualified as a Chartered and European Patent Attorney and a European Trademark and Design Attorney. Richard became a Partner in 2001. He was a tutor for the Robert Schumann University of Strasbourg training course for European Patent Attorneys and has lectured on the Postgraduate Certificate in Intellectual Property Law course at Manchester University. Richard has contributed to the text European Patents Sourcefinder. Richard left the firm in 2010 to start his own business and recently returned a large client to Wilson Gunn.