24 September 2015

Brisbane Law Firm Scores Major IP Ranking

Lance Pollard
Lance Pollard Commercial Lawyer

Brisbane law firm Bennett & Philp Lawyers has again achieved a significant ranking in the prestigious Doyle’s Guide to the Legal Profession, being named in the 2015 Guide as one of the leading intellectual property law firms in Brisbane.

Directors and Intellectual Property lawyer Tony Bennett also has again been named in the Doyle’s national report on Australia’s legal profession as one of the only six IP lawyers in Brisbane who qualify as “leading”, who “consistently draw the praise of both clients and peers” and who ” have particular skills or attributes”.

The firm was also singled out for distinction in its Intellectual Property work by Doyles in 2010.

Tony Bennett is thrilled about the recognition given to him in this 2015 independent survey of Queensland and interstate businesses, significant clients and significant peers.

Tony has been involved, since about 1987, in some of the leading intellectual property cases in Australian law and he continues to maintain that work through to now.

In two examples, at the moment they are working on a Full Federal Court appeal which will finally set the law in Australia on the “authorised use” and “control” provisions of Sections 7 and 8 of the Trade Marks Act 1995.

The firm is also working on a significant Federal Court patent case for a Queensland manufacturer involving the unresolved Australian law on the rights of owners and repairers of products to go about repairing and selling repaired goods without threat of patent infringement by a patent owner.

Bennett & Philp has recorded several significant wins in intellectual property law matters.

In 2011 it was involved in a landmark Australian Federal Court action of a decade-long global war between two competing alcohol brands.  It was a classic “David vs Goliath” battle pitting Bennett & Philp’s small Irish whiskey company Wild Geese Whiskey against Italian-based multi-national Campari which had argued that the Wild Geese brand too closely resembled its own Wild Turkey bourbon brand.

Those two parties are fighting each other again over the Wild Geese marks.  A full Federal Court appeal is due to be heard in November which will set the law in Australia on the control and use of a trade mark by its registered owner over licensees in particular.

Usually, Federal Court appeals are heard by three judges but the court, in this case, is taken the very unusual step of allotting five judges to hear the appeal, which indicates just how important the Federal Court considers the argument to be.

Also in 2011, the firm scored another headline win for a small Brisbane company after a gruelling three-year patent infringement legal war against a rival over the innovation patents for fish slaughtering devices, potentially worth millions of dollars to the global fish processing industry.

The matter went to the High Court where Bennett & Philp was successful in winning the case and preventing a rival firm from manufacturing fish stunning machines.

Other wins include a cutting-edge patent matter for computer programmes to translate English to Chinese and a High Court case for a major health supplements company on a trade mark infringement case. It also settled Australian law on who has the standing to challenge a registered trade mark.



Individual liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation (personal injury work exempted).

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