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Respected Dutch IP lawyer John Allen, his wife and three sons, among those who perished on Flight 17

John Allen worked for the NautaDutilh law firm

The Dutch legal community is remembering John Allen, an attorney specializing in intellectual property, who was killed along with his wife and three sons in the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash.

Allen worked for NautaDutilh, which announced the passing of its “much-loved” partner. Allen, 44, his wife, Sandra, and their sons, Christopher, Julian and Ian, were all aboard the flight that crashed in the Ukraine.

In his professional life, Allen played a key role at the law firm. “He was very important in building the intellectual property practice group, where his expertise and skills in patent litigation and technology-related disputes were highly praised by his clients and peers,” according to an online tribute released by the firm.

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"All of us who had the privilege of working with John during his 18 years at NautaDutilh came to know him as a kind, down-to-earth and humorous man and many of us have also lost a friend,” the law firm added in a personal recollection of Allen. “He will be dearly missed."

Allen first started working for the law firm in 1996 and was named a partner in 2007. Born in the United Kingdom on March 27, 1970, he resided for many years in The Netherlands.

Allen specialized in European patent litigation. Many of his cases related to technology companies. His abilities as a lawyer were recognized by his peers, and he was among a handful of lawyers from The Netherlands who were listed in Who's Who Legal for patent law, and was included on the Intellectual Asset Management Patent 1000: The World's Leading Patent Practitioners.

He was often chosen to speak at intellectual property conferences, and was an active member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association and the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property.

Allen was part of the law firm’s team that represented clients before the Court of Justice of the European Union. Among his specialties were European patent litigation, litigation in technology-related disputes, technology transfer and licensing transactions.

He had many diverse clients, including a Dutch company that manufactures cow-milking robots. His notable cases included those involving the Dutch Central Bank, a large cable company, a noted medical devices firm, and a Dutch television network operator.

He also gained recognition for his work on a case involving commodity importers in litigation over DNA patents. Allen argued on this case before the Court of Justice of the European Union, which led to the decision in Monsanto v. Cefetra.

A graduate of Erasmus University Rotterdam, Allen also took post-graduate courses in telecommunications and competition law at Amsterdam University, Nijmegen University (Grotius Academy) and King's College London.

NautaDutilh also noted how Allen had “many talents” and “he generously shared his musical and athletic abilities” with members of the law firm.

NautaDutilh has a strong presence in Western Europe. Its offices are located in Amsterdam, Brussels, London, Luxembourg, New York City and Rotterdam. The flight originated in Amsterdam, and the Allen family was apparently heading to Kuala Lumpur, when the Boeing 777 crashed in the Ukraine last week. It was apparently downed in a remote area controlled by pro-Russian separatists, with all 298 passengers and crew killed,InsideCounsel has reported.

There is no word yet on when a memorial service will be held by the Allen family’s surviving relatives and their friends.

"Our thoughts are with John's family and his friends in and outside the office," the law firm said in the statement.

Contributing Author

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Ed Silverstein

Ed Silverstein is a veteran writer and editor for magazines, websites and newspapers. A graduate of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, he has won several...

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