Robert Cooper
Partner, Melbourne
I have 30 years' experience in handling all aspects of intellectual property and lead our national IP team. I specialise in assisting clients with IP disputes, patents, trade mark matters (including registration), confidential information, licensing and IT disputes.

I have successfully acted for numerous clients over several decades in patent disputes in areas such as pharmaceutical compounds and processes, mining equipment, medical devices, business methods, methods of treatment, mobile telecommunications and 2-way radios, ink-jet cartridges, multi-valent vaccines, mechanical devices, heavy engineering and various consumer goods. I have decades of experience in acting in substantial multi-jurisdictional patent disputes for patentees and revokers, in the Federal Court, Full Federal Court and Australian Patent Office.

I advise numerous clients on strategic patent licensing issues and especially where relationships become strained or disintegrate and IP ownership disputes arise.

I am a registered trade mark attorney and manage the trade mark protection needs of a range of Australian and International clients. I have successfully acted for trade mark owners in numerous Federal Court trade mark disputes.

In conjunction with my Australian litigation expertise, I hold a Masters degree in computing, a diploma in IP Law and am qualified to practise in England and Wales. I put my computing Masters to use in regularly advising clients in IT disputes.

Career highlights

  • I obtained the first judgment in Australia where a patent infringer was ordered to pay 'additional damages' due to the flagrancy of the infringement.
  • Another of my patent clients obtained the first judgment in Australia to confirm that a 'spring board' injunction could be granted to prevent the sale of non-infringing products.
  • I acted for Rio Tinto in its successful appeal to the Federal Court against a decision by IP Australia to refuse a patent application on three grounds for a method of processing ore.
  • I successfully acted for Hytera Communications in its large Australian dispute with Motorola regarding three patents in respect to its 2-way radios
  • I successfully acted for Sweet Rewards in its defence of a claim brought by Mars Australia in the Federal Court and on appeal in the Full Federal Court. The matter was cited by Asia IP as a ‘case of the year’.
  • I lead our substantial Melbourne pro bono practice and regularly advise pro bono clients on their trade mark and copyright matters and have lead a successful urgent High Court challenge to invalidate sections of the Commonwealth's electoral legislation. The 4:3 finding of the High Court delivered the day after the hearing and shortly before a national election held the sections invalid and approximately 110,000 potential voters were able to enrol to vote.

Awards & recognition

  • Leading Individual, Intellectual Property (Patents) - Chambers Asia Pacific: 2023 - 2016
    Clients say 'Robert is a strategic operator who understands the client's need as well as the best way to operate.' - Chambers Asia Pacific: 2023
    Robert Cooper is an 'expert in the field ' who 'partners with you to think outside the box and come up with solutions.' - Chambers Asia Pacific: 2022
  • Leading Individual, Life Sciences- Chambers Asia Pacific: 2023 - 2021
    Asia Pacific Legal 500 (APL500) regards Robert Cooper as 'client-focused, pragmatic and having significant respect throughout the industry'
  • Recommended – Intellectual Property, Best Lawyers: 2023 - 2009
  • Recommended – Biotechnology Law, Best Lawyers: 2023 - 2018
  • Leading individual, IAM1000, The World's Leading Patent Professionals: 2023- 2013
    Robert Cooper delivers 'a great combination of experience, technical skill and cost effectiveness. He has a very good ability to narrow down the fundamental issues at play and advise on them.' - IAM1000, The World's Leading Patent Professionals
    He is regarded as a 'calm, strategic thinker' - IAM1000, The World's Leading Patent Professionals
  • Leading Individual, The International Who's Who Legal - Patents: 2022 - 2013
  • Leading Individual, The International Who's Who Legal - Life Sciences: 2022 - 2015
  • Managing Intellectual Property IP Stars Handbook (Australia): – Trade mark star, Patent star: 2023 - 2014
  • Leading individual, WTR1000, The World's Leading Trademark Professionals: 2022 - 2017
    Robert Cooper is a 'bright strategic thinker' whose 'reliable and timely advice' covers branding, trademark disputes and a host of other IP issues - WTR 1000 – World Trade Mark Review.
    Robert Cooper is 'dedicated and determined, with brilliant technical legal skills' - WTR 1000 – World Trade Mark Review.
  • Leading Individual, World IP Review: WIPR Leaders - Patent Leaders: 2022 - 2017
  • Leading Individual, World IP Review: WIPR Leaders – Robert is also a leader in Life Sciences, Technology and Trade marks
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https://www.minterellison.com/people/robert-cooper