Odette Gourley

Partner. Sydney.

+61 2 9210 6066 |   |  vCard
Odette Gourley

At the top of her game, Odette is not only leading the field, she’s changing the rules.

With more than 20 years’ experience in intellectual property, regulatory law and commercial litigation, Odette has acted in landmark cases that have redefined distinct areas of trademark and patent law.

Her track record includes major cases for leading companies in IP-driven sectors, including pharmaceutical, medical devices and biotechnology, fast moving consumer goods, food and beverages, manufacturing and services including media and communications, R&D, financial services, advertising and market research.

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At the top of her game, Odette is not only leading the field, she’s changing the rules.

With more than 20 years’ experience in intellectual property, regulatory law and commercial litigation, Odette has acted in landmark cases that have redefined distinct areas of trademark and patent law.

Her track record includes major cases for leading companies in IP-driven sectors, including pharmaceutical, medical devices and biotechnology, fast moving consumer goods, food and beverages, manufacturing and services including media and communications, R&D, financial services, advertising and market research.

In addition to her prowess as a litigator, Odette has expertise in all areas of regulatory and administrative law and is an expert in brand strategy, trademark portfolio management, marketing and advertising law, and product liability issues affecting regulated products.

With a unique and deep understanding of the commercial drivers steering innovation, Odette assists her clients to realise opportunity.

“Smart, direct and effective. She knows her stuff - and, more importantly, how to win a case” World Trademark Review
Odette Gourley

Odette's Expertise

  • Landmark case: E&J Gallo v Lion Nathan Australia Acted for the successful applicant in this High Court case that re-established the orthodox position that trade mark use requires use as a badge of origin with the result that the trade marks of international brand owners are used when goods are sold to Australian consumers, even after circulation in international distribution channels and imported into Australia by a retailer not known to the brand owner.
  • International litigation: Aktiebolaget Hassle v Alphapharm Pty Ltd Acted as the team leader for the patentee in what became a landmark case in patent law. On appeal, the High Court reversed a judgment and, in so doing, re-set the standard for inventiveness of drug formulation patents in a decision of fundamental importance to global pharmaceutical companies.
  • Marketing law appellate court guidance: Johnson and Johnson v Unilever In this important decision for FMCG, the Federal Court of Australia ruled on challenges made by Unilever on superiority claims for tanning body moisturiser products first launched by Johnson & Johnson. The judgment provides guidance to advertisers and marketers on the standards to be applied in market research to justify comparative superiority claims of that kind for consumer products.
  • Global brands: Winnebago v Knott Investments Odette acted for the famous American manufacturer of recreational vehicles Winnebago Industries Inc in recovering its brand Winnebago more than 30 years after unauthorised use first started in Australia. The case is now an important authority on various aspects of IP law including the availability of damages for an infringer’s use of the owner’s IP on a notional licence basis, even where the IP owner would never have granted a licence.

Odette's Leadership

  • Intellectual Property Society of Australia and New Zealand Member and Invited Speaker
  • Licensing Executive Society of Australia and New Zealand Member and Invited Speaker
  • International Trademark Association Member, Committee Member and Invited Speaker
  • Australian Corporate Lawyers Association Member
  • Copyright Society of Australia Member
  • Australian Information Industry Association Member
  • Law Society of New South Wales Member
  • Australian Self Medication Industry Association Member
  • Law Council of Australia Member
  • College of Law Invited Speaker
  • University of New South Wales Invited Speaker
  • Obesity Australia Limited Honorary Adviser

What others say

  • “Best Lawyer - Life Sciences Practice” Best Lawyers Peer Review, 2015-2018
  • “Best Lawyer - Litigation” Best Lawyers Peer Review, 2014-2018
  • “Best Lawyer - Biotechnology Law” Best Lawyers Peer Review, 2013-2018
  • “Best Lawyer - Intellectual Property Law” Best Lawyers Peer Review, 2008-2018
  • “Odette Gourley has an 'impressive breath of knowledge'” Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2017
  • “Leading Lawyer - Intellectual Property” Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2014-2017
  • “An established figure in the IP sphere, boasting a particular depth of expertise in patents and trade marks
    Chambers Asia Pacific Guide, 2016
  • “Odette Gourley is another mover and shaker in the antipodean IP world. ” World Trademark Review, 2016
  • “Top 250 Women in IP” IP Stars, 2016
  • “She is pragmatic, down to earth and really efficient” Chambers Global Guide, 2015
  • “Leading Lawyer - Intellectual Property: Trade Mark & Copyright and Intellectual Property: Patents” Chambers Asia Pacific and Global Guides, 2008-2015
  • “Strong advertising law expertise” Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2015
  • “Trusted adviser...Outstanding at anticipating a client’s needs and coming up with creative ways to achieve the client’s objectives” World Trade Mark Review 2015
  • “Lawyer of the Year - Biotechnology - Sydney” Best Lawyers Peer Review, 2014
  • “Sources single Odette out as 'an expert in IP,' and are impressed with her 'good strategic advice' and practical approach” Chambers Global Guide, 2014
  • “Odette Gourley’s track record marks her out as a game-changer when it comes to demanding disputes. Her blend of contentious and brand strategy, regulatory and administrative law expertise resonates with top multinationals.” World Trademark Review, 2014
  • “Brilliant operator...takes on many of the toughest suits - and wins” World Trademark Review, 2013
  • “Intelligent and experienced and clients respect her skills as both a litigator and an adviser and as bringing a breath of fresh air to client relationships” Chambers Global Guide, 2012
  • “Best Lawyer - Intellectual Property Litigation” Euromoney Women in Business Law Awards, 2011 & 2012

Odette's Thinking