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Helping his clients to resolve commercial disputes is at the core of James Neil's practice, which he complements by protecting and enforcing their intellectual property rights. 

Considered by his peers to be one of the best intellectual property lawyers in Australia, James has particular expertise in disputes concerning contracts, trade marks, counterfeit products, copyright, patents, registered designs, advertising / marketing, domain names, trade practices, franchising and misuse of confidential information (particularly in an employment context).  Clients appreciate James' pragmatic approach to resolving disputes, describing him as "excellent" and "very easy to understand".  That approach sees James working closely with his clients to develop strategies designed to resolve disputes as favourably and efficiently as possible.  If necessary, he uses his substantial experience in the Federal and State courts and in single / multi-panel arbitrations to protect his clients' interests.  

James also:

  • manages the global trade mark portfolios of a range of significant brand owners, helping them to protect their valuable brands both in Australia and overseas; and
  • helps his clients to avoid liability under consumer protection laws, including when they are subject to an ACCC investigation or court action.

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Expertise

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Intellectual Property

  • Toyota: James is currently acting for Toyota in multiple Federal Court proceedings concerning counterfeit products, trade mark infringement, copyright infringement and misleading conduct.
  • Myer: James regularly acts for Myer to protect and enforce its intellectual property rights, and to defend allegations of infringement.
  • 2XU: James regularly acts for 2XU in disputes concerning intellectual property and misleading conduct.
  • Confidential client: James acted for a consumer technology company in relation to infringements of its Australian patents by a competitor.
  • Spotless Group: James acted for Spotless in Federal Court proceedings alleging trade mark infringement, passing off and misleading conduct against Qantas.
  • Monash University: James regularly acts for Monash University to enforce its intellectual property rights, including to restrain misuse of confidential information and the "Monash" trade mark.
  • Swancom: James is acting for Swancom in Federal Court proceedings against McDonald's alleging trade mark infringement in relation to the use of the "CORNER" trade mark.
  • Godfrey Hirst: James acted for Godfrey Hirst in Federal Court proceedings against a competitor concerning copyright infringement and misleading conduct.
  • Acquire Learning: James acted for Acquire Learning in Federal Court proceedings against three former employees (and a company they formed) for misuse of confidential information, breach of fiduciary duties, related breaches of the Corporations Act and copyright infringement. This involved obtaining and executing Anton Piller (search) orders and preservation orders. 
  • KPM Industries: James acted for KPM Industries in defending Federal Court proceedings brought against it by a competitor alleging copyright infringement, trade mark infringement and misleading conduct. 
  • Confidential client: James acted in Federal Court proceedings for a substantial franchise business alleging trade mark infringement, misleading conduct and breach of a licence agreement. 
  • AgBoss: acted for AgBoss Group in a Federal Court proceeding against a competitor relating to allegations of copyright infringement, liability under the tort of passing off and contraventions of the Australian Consumer Law.

See Intellectual Property

Trade Marks

  • Toyota: James is currently acting for Toyota in multiple Federal Court proceedings concerning counterfeit products, trade mark infringement, copyright infringement and misleading conduct.
  • Spotless Group: James acted for Spotless in Federal Court proceedings alleging trade mark infringement, passing off and misleading conduct against Qantas.
  • Monash University: James regularly acts for Monash University to enforce its intellectual property rights, including to restrain misuse of confidential information and the "Monash" trade mark.
  • Swancom: James is acting for Swancom in Federal Court proceedings against McDonald's alleging trade mark infringement in relation to the use of the "CORNER" trade mark.
  • KPM Industries: James acted for KPM Industries in defending Federal Court proceedings brought against it by a competitor alleging copyright infringement, trade mark infringement and misleading conduct.
  • Confidential client: James acted in Federal Court proceedings for a substantial franchise business alleging trade mark infringement, misleading conduct and breach of a licence agreement. 

See Trade Marks

Patents

  • Confidential client: James acted for a consumer technology company in relation to infringements of its Australian patents by a competitor.  
  • Confidential clients: James has advised a broad range of clients on patent infringement and validity issues, including in a range of disputes which have settled on confidential terms. His patent experience spans various industries including retail consumer electronics, pharmaceuticals, automotive, mining, manufacturing, IT and fashion, among others. 

See Patents

Copyright

  • Toyota: James is currently acting for Toyota in multiple Federal Court proceedings concerning counterfeit products, trade mark infringement, copyright infringement and misleading conduct.
  • KPM Industries: James acted for KPM Industries in defending Federal Court proceedings brought against it by a competitor alleging copyright infringement, trade mark infringement and misleading conduct. 
  • Godfrey Hirst: James acted for Godfrey Hirst in Federal Court proceedings against a competitor concerning copyright infringement and misleading conduct.  
  • AgBoss: acted for AgBoss Group in a Federal Court proceeding against a competitor relating to allegations of copyright infringement, liability under the tort of passing off and contraventions of the Australian Consumer Law.

See Copyright

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

  • Labelmakers Group: James acted for Labelmakers, Australia's largest label producer, in a Federal Court proceeding against five former employees who departed Labelmakers with valuable confidential information and breached fiduciary duties owed to Labelmakers. This proceeding involved Labelmakers obtaining interlocutory injunctions against the five individuals and orders relating to the preservation of crucial evidence. 
  • Southern Mills, Inc (t/as TenCate Protective Fabrics USA): James acted for Southern Mills in a Federal Court proceeding against Bruck Textiles arising from misleading comparative marketing claims made by Bruck about products produced by Southern Mills. This proceeding resulted in favourable undertakings to the Court being obtained on an interlocutory basis and the matter being resolved on favourable terms to Southern Mills.
  • Acquire Learning: James acted for Acquire Learning in Federal Court proceedings against three former employees (and a company they formed) for misuse of confidential information, breach of fiduciary duties, related breaches of the Corporations Act, and copyright infringement. This involved obtaining and executing Anton Piller (search) orders and preservation orders. 
  • Confidential clients (franchising): James acted for various franchisors and franchisees in a range of disputes and court proceedings concerning breach of contract, contraventions of the Competition and Consumer Act and the Franchising Code of Conduct.
  • Confidential client (arbitration): James acted for a multinational biotech company in arbitration proceedings concerning supply and distribution agreements entered into with an Australian listed company. 
  • Confidential client (arbitration): James acted for a sports media company in arbitration proceedings concerning contractual rights to televise sports coverage. 

See Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Competition

  • Acquire Learning: James represented Acquire Learning in Federal Court proceedings brought by the ACCC alleging misleading or deceptive conduct and unconscionable conduct in relation to marketing activities. 
  • Toyota: James James represented Toyota in relation to allegations of misleading or deceptive conduct made by the ACCC concerning the leather content of certain Toyota vehicles.

See Competition

Advertising and Marketing

  • Southern Mills, Inc (t/as TenCate Protective Fabrics USA): James acted for Southern Mills in a Federal Court proceeding against Bruck Textiles arising from misleading comparative marketing claims made by Bruck about products produced by Southern Mills. This proceeding resulted in favourable undertakings to the Court being obtained on an interlocutory basis and the matter being resolved on favourable terms to Southern Mills.
  • Acquire Learning: James represented Acquire Learning in Federal Court proceedings brought by the ACCC alleging misleading or deceptive conduct and unconscionable conduct in relation to marketing activities. 
  • Toyota: James represented Toyota in relation to allegations of misleading or deceptive conduct made by the ACCC concerning the leather content of certain Toyota vehicles. 

See Advertising and Marketing

Leisure and Entertainment

  • Department of Health and Ageing: James acted for the Federal Government's Football World Cup Bid Task Force for Australia's (Soccer) World Cup Bid, which was based within the Department of Health and Ageing. This work involved advising the Task Force in relation to an agreement with the Australian Football League, the National Rugby League and Cricket Australia. Under that agreement, the Commonwealth would underwrite the payment of compensation to the various sporting codes, in return for those codes allowing the use of their stadia during the period of time that Australia would host the World Cup, if Australia's bid was successful. 

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Knowledge

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