John is a partner in Gilbert + Tobin’s Intellectual Property group.

He has many years’ experience dealing with all aspects of intellectual property law with a focus on patent litigation across a range of industries including life sciences, resources, and digital technologies.

John has acted in a number of leading cases in the Federal Court in recent years and he also has considerable expertise in advising leading corporations on strategic IP management. 

Legal 500 2017 notes “Head of the patent sub-practice and ‘diligent communicator’ John Lee is commended for his ‘extensive industry knowledge, attention to detail and customer focus’”.

He has lectured extensively at a number of universities on a range of intellectual property subjects and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

John has a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and a Bachelor of Science (Biochemistry) and is also a registered Patent Attorney.

John’s experience includes advising:

  • BASF (Ciba Specialty Chemicals) v SNF Australia - A long-running patent litigation relating to a mining technology.  John’s client, the German chemical company BASF has succeeded at every stage of this patent infringement case against SNF including at first instance in the Federal Court, on appeal to the Full Court and in resisting special leave to the High Court. This complex and hard-fought litigation has multi-jurisdictional reach with parallel actions in Canada and China and John has provided strategic oversight.
  • IP Transactional and Regulatory Projects - John regularly advises on IP and regulatory issues arising in transactions and in ongoing compliance regimes.  John has extensive experience advising on IP strategy and commercialisation and with the TGA, Pharmaceutical Benefits and Defence Export regimes.
  • Aristocrat v Konami - A successful patent infringement claim brought by Aristocrat against a competitor in relation to Aristocrat’s critical Hyperlink technology. Aristocrat succeeded at first instance and unanimously on appeal. The case is now in the quantum phase for assessment of the damages payable to Aristocrat.
  • EnGeneIC - Representing Australian biotech company EnGeneIC in relation to a patent dispute regarding mini-cell technology.
  • John has been active in establishing Gilbert + Tobin’s g+t<i> group including coordinating filing of patent applications for some of the firm’s legal technology innovations. 

John was recognised as IP Partner of the Year. 

Lawyers Weekly Australia 2017

John was named as a recognised practitioner in the Patent category. 

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2019

John was named as a recommended expert in the Intellectual Property section for 2019. 

IAM Patent 1000 2019

John was recognised in the Intellectual Property Law category. 

Best Lawyers 2020

John was named as a leading patent practitioner. 

Doyles Guide 2019