James & Wells

WTR Research

The WTR 1000 focuses exclusively on trademark practice and has firmly established itself as the definitive 'go-to' resource for those seeking world-class legal trademark expertise.

Gold - Firms

Having had a year to settle in comfortably into the gold tier among the top firms in New Zealand, James & Wells is a “full-service IP boutique with a recognised trademark practice”. The outfit is known for filing more trademarks than any other independent IP firm in the country, while its stellar reputation extends beyond its prosecution practice to encompass its “outstanding litigation department”. The IP team is well regarded, earning high praise from peers and clients and peers alike. “James & Wells features a group of highly experienced practitioners.” “Their team of experts ensures you get the most experienced person for each specific job.” On a mission to build and strengthen business relations among colleagues in Asia, James & Wells set up a dedicated Asia division to provide services for Asian IP firms assisting clients with IP protection in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands. A founding partner and also former president of the New Zealand Intellectual Property Association, Ceri Wells is frequently approached by companies looking for help with developing IP strategies to fit their business objectives. Food and beverage, biotech and agribusiness are his specialty areas. Captain of the trademark team Carrick Robinson’s background as a tax accountant serves him well as he assists clients with IP valuation. With litigation experience at all levels in Australia and New Zealand, it is no wonder that “excellent litigator” Gus Hazel attracts “deep respect” from his peers, who see him as a “great collaborator”. One to “always offer timely communication and clearly an expert in his field as evidenced by the quality of information, explanations and recommendations supplied”, Ben Cain “installs great confidence in his clients to make the best decision for their business”. His “awareness of commercial realities and realistic assessments of likely outcomes” are also appreciated.

Firm Profile

Founded in 1979, James & Wells is an internationally recognised, privately owned Australasian firm of patent and trademark attorneys, IP experts and litigation lawyers. The firm’s attorneys have scientific and technology qualifications in all major subject areas and are proficient in the main European and Asian languages. With offices throughout Australia and New Zealand, they provide a full suite of IP filing and renewal services in both countries, as well as the Pacific Islands.

Award-winning trademark team

Led by three experienced partners, the 20 plus-strong trademark team files more New Zealand trademarks than any other independent IP firm.

James & Wells’s large local and international client base ensures that its trademark attorneys are well practised in brand evaluation and strategies, clearing trademarks for use, preparing and filing applications, and obtaining registered trademark protection in New Zealand, Australia and internationally.

With significant experience across all industry sectors, including medical technology, pharmaceutical, information and communication technologies, food and beverages, natural products, electronics, telecommunications, software and agribusiness, the firm’s experienced specialists routinely work with clients to develop strong brands and marketing strategies. They review publicity material to ensure correct trademark use and regulatory compliance and conduct IP audits and gap analyses to identify strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. The team prepares long and short-term filing strategies in Australia and New Zealand, and internationally via the Madrid Protocol and other methods.

In coordination with its commercial and litigation teams, the firm’s trademark team also offers IP due diligence, assignment, licensing and infringement assessment, copyright infringement, parallel importation, opposition, revocation, and invalidity action advice.

Litigation strength

James & Wells has New Zealand’s largest and most successful specialised IP litigation team, with a reputation for providing effective representation in both New Zealand and Australia.

The team is responsible for two-thirds of all patent oppositions currently before the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand; it also handled three of the first six oppositions decided under the amendments to the Australian Patents Act known as ‘Raising the Bar’.

Dedicated Asia division

The firm’s dedicated Asia division provides services for Asian IP firms representing clients that wish to secure IP protection in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

Placing a strong emphasis on building trusted relationships, the firm’s head of Asia team and partners travel regularly to meet with colleagues in China, Japan, South Korea and elsewhere in the region. The multilingual team also frequently hosts colleagues visiting from Asia to make introductions and connections that help strengthen and broaden business relations.

Proudly independent

As the only independent firm with offices located in both Australia and New Zealand, James & Wells always puts client interests first.

Without the distraction of public shareholder demands for increased profits and conflicts of interest with other IP firms that are owned by the same corporation, James & Wells is committed to providing the right combination of client service and quality at competitive rates.

Recognised expertise and winning service

James & Wells is recognised as the authority on IP matters. The firm is the trusted author of New Zealand’s most comprehensive legal text on IP law, James & Wells Intellectual Property Law in New Zealand. The textbook, published by Thomson Reuters, is now in its third edition and the online version is continually revised to keep local and international attorneys up to date with legal developments.

As authors of comprehensive IP law texts and legal articles, and with a prestigious litigation team constantly testing the law, it is not surprising that James & Wells stands out in the Australasian IP law scene. James & Wells has won the New Zealand Law Awards four times and is ranked as a leading firm in WTR 1000, IAM 1000 and IAM 300 – to name a few.

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