A “thorough understanding of business and technology” enables full-service firm Allens to craft “concise” IP solutions in line with patrons’ commercial goals. With a strong showing in contentious biotechnology, life sciences and pharmaceutical instructions, the team has been carving out a niche for itself securing patent term extensions for multinational pharmaceutical outfits – a programme spearheaded by former in-house counsel Linda Govenlock
. Drawing on her experience and chemistry qualifications, she stands out as a rights guardian before IP Australia and steps across the contentious/non-contentious divide to act in opposition and infringement proceedings too. Her role in a patent revocation and infringement case headed by Richard Hamer
has been invaluable to Pfizer against generic rival Apotex. A courtroom sharpshooter with a superb track record on behalf of originators, Hamer’s management of winning line-ups is a valued asset. Like Hamer, Sarah Matheson
is an experienced IP strategist and litigator; she has showcased her contentious dominance in the Full Federal Court of Australia, batting away injunctions that prevented GlaxoSmithKline from selling major name product Panadol in the country. Philip Kerr
and Andrew Wiseman
are pulling out all the stops to tackle an upswing in the number of high-tech and medical device instructions; both are acting for LED display manufacturer Nichia against its Australian vendor. “Trusted to push hard and deliver superb results,” Kerr is an “excellent litigator” who enjoys a pre-eminent standing in the community and has contributed to the Australian Patents Act. Counting healthcare, entertainment and food and beverage as his fields of influence, Wiseman is a transactional and litigation maven.
A well-established player in life sciences theatres, Ashurst has been undergoing something of a transformation over the last couple of years; a shake-up has seen the departure of one eminent litigator and the elevation of a biosimilar-focused associate to partner. Paying keen attention to the regulatory and IP implications of biosimilars in Australia, the troop honed this mastery in a standout case for Samsung Bioepis against Pfizer Ireland, relating to the latter’s Enbrel property. A fast-growing emphasis on fintech instructions marks a continuing trend, too; the multi-talented Kellech Smith
advises actors in this area on how best to develop and expand their portfolios with a view to exploiting long-term licensing opportunities. Immensely popular among chemical and pharmaceutical companies too, she has teamed up with Peter Chalk
to represent Apotex in the first-ever Australian case involving a cross-undertaking with a third party to determine damages for a pharmaceutical patent trial. Contentious savant Grant Fisher
can tackle chemical, life science, mechanical and computer invention instructions – and does so to great acclaim.
Bird & Bird
Maintaining a laser focus on the Asia-Pacific by virtue of its place in a wider international parent network, Bird & Bird’s Sydney outpost sets its sights firmly on contentious targets. Fighting on the side of world-leading names in the telecoms, manufacturing and pharmaceutical arenas, the set is a fixture in Australia’s courts. Tasked with deflecting potential infringers, Jane Owen
“is a superb IP lawyer with an enviable standing in Australian intellectual property. Clear and commercial in approach, she possesses deep technical knowledge, with which she efficiently conducts and resolves patent disputes”. She has recently taken point for Global Blue in the Federal Court against Visa and has dodged and parried multiple attacks on Generic Health from separate innovative rivals. “A joy to work with, Owen is at the top of her game.”
Effortlessly tackling litigation and licensing instructions for the country’s three largest telecoms operations, Clayton Utz is an alpha among the Australian litigation wolfpack. Boasting excellent client relationships across the board, the squad counts illustrious pharmaceutical multinationals alongside its domestic clients; for all these players,John Collins
’s “tightly and professionally run” enforcement campaigns are the first and best line of defence for valuable patent portfolios. “Thorough, strategic and realistic, Collins is a superb manager, but isn’t afraid to roll up his sleeves and get his hands dirty.” Alongside him is the “highly regarded” Richard Hoad
. An expert litigator at all levels of Australia’s legal system, the commercially savvy technology and IP lawyer is the man to turn to for transactional needs too.
Corrs Chambers Westgarth
Outdoing itself in the number of appearances made in the Federal Court over the last year, Corrs has upheld the incredible standards that its pharmaceutical, technology and mining followings expect in every instruction. Highlights include representing domestic outfit Precision Tracking against Domino’s Pizza in a high-value case encompassing patents, trade secrets and copyright, as well as its ongoing infringement crusade on behalf of Lundbeck against four generic drug manufacturers. A seasoned specialist in the life sciences, practice head Stephen Stern
takes ownership on the latter saga’s IP aspects, having offered his strategic insight and sage advice to Lundbeck for 15 years. Working in parallel to secure damages for the Danish titan, Kate Hay
is a versatile contentious whizz who adeptly advises and litigates across the group’s technical theatres of operation. Dispensing “sought-after, insightful advice” that is “excellent by any measure”, Odette Gourley
“is a proactive manager and coordinator who, while ensuring that cases progress locally, continues to pay close attention to the latest developments in other relevant jurisdictions”. She has been tasked with shielding Merck against Wyeth’s attempt to invalidate its pneumococcal conjugate vaccine-related patents. Rounding-out the ensemble, Eddie Scuderi
brings a finely honed transactional talent that is of the utmost value for his loyal fanbase.
Maintaining an “incredible focus on client service and relationship building”, one stop-shop Davies Collison Cave is habitually Australia’s top patent filer and also a pre-eminent name in patent litigation. Patent group principal David Webber
is a highly experienced prosecutor who consistently delivers vital support to electronics and software manufacturers alongside Richard Brown
, who boasts rich research and teaching experience in Australia and the United States. Like Webber, he showcases his contentious talents in opposition proceedings and contributes his technical know-how in infringement disputes. Michael Caine
heads up the organic chemistry and pharmaceutical group. A member of the government’s Patents Consultation Group, the IP law authority manages the firm’s submissions to the government regarding Australian patent law and practice. In biotech briefs, Cain’s teammate Bill Pickering
excels, combining expertise in immunology alongside intimate familiarity with both national and global IP markets. When infringement headaches loom, Paul Dewar
distinguishes himself. The litigation leader’s “professionalism is impressive in itself. The ability to put witnesses at ease prior to deposition” is a distinct advantage that wins him fans in the courtroom. Having recently completed a term as IP Committee chairperson for the Law Council of Australia, Ian Pascarl
has re-oriented his practice toward life sciences litigation. Recently, he has been acting in the Federal Court on behalf of Bayer in a dispute against Generic Health and Lupin Australia relating to oral contraceptives Yasmin and Yaz. Sharing Pascarl’s life sciences focus, Richard Jarvis
has been winning courtroom skirmishes for players in the sector for over 35 years. The battle-scarred litigator brings hard-won expertise and wisdom to every instruction. Decades in the transactional space have instilled in Rodney De Boos
a rarely matched ability to commercialise IP assets, a distinction prized among pharmaceutical patrons.
“Transactional powerhouse” DibbsBarker is a vital ally for any outfit bringing new technology to market. Steeped in the start-up scene, Robert McInnes
maintains an excellent network of technology incubators, venture capitalist outfits and university contacts and guarantees technologists the best chance of realising value from their innovation. The former angel investor knows how best to shape a burgeoning outfit into an attractive investment prospect. A busy litigation practice broadens the contingent’s appeal to a wider audience.
One of the brightest lights in pharmaceutical patent litigation, DLA Piper’s Australian squad is the preferred counsel for Pfizer and ResMed when faced with must-win disputes in the Australian courts. Feeding back lessons from domestic enforcement campaigns into global strategies, the set has optimised its performances and showcases a phenomenal grasp of what works and what does not in any IP clash. IP team leader Robynne Sanders
takes point on local strategy, representing a steady stream of manufacturing and mining actors. Alongside one of the group’s London-based partners, she collaborated on the development of Global Patent Laws, a tool that furnishes clients with strategic and comparative analyses of patent enforcement options in various jurisdictions. Fellow hotshot litigator Nicholas Tyacke
complements his colleague’s innovation with ample experience in both US and Australian courts. He is a prime pick for pharmaceutical multinationals seeking someone to run the distance in cross-border clashes.
Large companies, non-profits and public-sector entities alike flock to FAL Lawyers for its no-nonsense and client-friendly prosecution services. A skilled rights guardian on both national and international stages with robust commercial acumen, the ensemble stands out for the value it adds to research-intensive industries. Jenni Lightowlers
draws on experience working for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Organisation to deliver airtight patent briefs that resonate. Lightowlers founded FAL Lawyers alongside Peter Francis
, who is sought after for his ability to transform innovative technology into commercially viable products.
“A culture of excellence and reliability” is apparent in every instruction handled by FB Rice, “a top-notch patent attorney firm that tackles the most challenging domestic and international briefs for an enormous client base. Without ever breaking a sweat, the troop forecasts and plugs any gaps that may emerge when securing rights; its attorneys cooperate with third parties and take an essential role in developing commercial IP strategy”. As steward for Boeing’s Australian portfolio, John Landells
has earned his place in the IAM Patent 1000
for the first time, and with it the outfit’s ascension to the gold tier. “A peerless assessor of inventions’ commercial value, the chemically trained professional exceeds expectations when deciphering complex technology. Technical gifts aside, he works seamlessly with people from all walks of life and is a pleasure to deal with.” In biotech Ian Rourke
and Jenny Petering
represent the best on offer. With a research background and a PhD in molecular neuroendocrinology, Rourke proves exceptional when drafting molecular diagnostics patents. “Petering is intimately familiar with her industry and cooperates seamlessly with R&D teams to deliver responsive and pragmatic advice”. Overseeing every instruction, managing partner Brett Lunn
boasts technical knowledge far broader than his polymer physics training would suggest.
Fisher Adams Kelly Callinans
Putting its remarkable skills to good use in the biotech, engineering, life sciences and chemical arenas, Fisher Adams Kelly Callinans acts as a patent hub for the Asia-Pacific region. Its “extremely knowledgeable and effective team” relish in promoting IP rights across the region, channelling the “skills, experience and innovative minds that make up the group” into securing the most robust rights protection possible. Managing partner Mark Egerton should be the first port of call for interested parties.
FPA Patent Attorneys
A recent restructure has done little to dampen FPA Patent attorneys’ 150-year reputation for excellence. A major patent prosecution player in the IT space, the set acts for the lion’s share of top Australian universities, handles a significant inbound caseload on behalf of major multinationals and has recently seen an uptick in outbound filings in Southeast Asia. Credited with fostering this demand, James Cherry
manages the Australian and Southeast Asian practice with a steady hand. He champions the rights of many of the world’s leading pharmaceutical outfits at the patent office, along with colleagues Tom Gumley
and Karen Bentley
. Both hold the highest qualifications in medicine; Gumley “is a safe pair of hands for life sciences applications”, while Bentley is “a source of outstanding scientific and legal acumen who provides proactive and insightful advice while never letting go of the big picture”. Trans-Tasman and south African patent attorney John Dower
is the man to call for those with an electronic or mechanical engineering brief. Carl Harrap
is recommended based on “his ability to condense difficult telecoms concepts into a form the court can understand”. “Routinely putting out work of the highest quality,” Adam Denley
earns his place in the guide for “his top-notch writing and analysis” and his “incredible responsiveness”.
Forming tight-knit relationships through a commercially attuned approach, Griffith Hack plays host to “a substantial domestic client base”, which values its panoptic technical coverage and pan-Asian patent portfolio management dexterity. In this respect, Rosie Stramandinoli excels, advising on Colgate Palmolive’s patent and designs portfolios in 13 Asian countries. Well-versed in drafting, opposition and re-examination, she has carved out a niche as a specialist in India’s pharmaceutical market. Alongside Stramandinoli on the life sciences/chemical contingent Janelle Borham is quick to understand the unique needs of any rights holder and carefully tailors her services accordingly. Nick Mountford is a precision prosecutor chiefly operating in the electrical and electronic engineering area. Always the first to see and take advantage of opportunities to monetise his devotees’ innovation, his proactivity and technical gifts have been vital to gaming and software producer Aristocrat Technologies Australia Limited when faced with examiner rejection. The outfit is also among the top three filers of IP lawsuits before the Federal Court, with Derek Baigent and Russell Berry forming the backbone of an impressive litigation practice. A transplant from Bristows in the United Kingdom, Baigent is a straight-talking, technically gifted litigator, whose strategic vision guarantees his status as preferred counsel to a diverse list of industry giants. Drawing on 30 years of practice in IP and IT matters, Berry dispenses to-the-point advice in contentious and transactional settings.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
“One of the leading international law firms in possession of substantial IP expertise”, Herbert Smith Freehills is a premium destination for industrial alphas seeking counsel through big-ticket litigation. Among a legion of top litigators, global pharmaceutical practice co-leader Shaun McVicar
stands out for his untouchable reputation in multi-jurisdictional disputes – experience in Singapore and Indonesia is invaluable for rights holders seeking regional representation. Having held the line for Apple in the local arm of its global dispute with Samsung, Sue Gilchrist
has consistently demonstrated what she can offer technology and life sciences operations. An active member in the Trans-Tasman IP community, she recently concluded her chairmanship of the IP Committee of the Law Council of Australia. Sharing Gilchrist’s technical focus Rebekah Gay
complements her scientific background with broad legal specialities in adjacent fields, including consumer law. Combining training in physics with time spent in-house, Patrick Sands
is a dexterous player in complex contentious briefs. Broadening the unit’s focus to include the transactional space, commercial whizz Kristin Stammer
channels two decades of experience working on global licensing deals into securing licensing agreements that pass muster under the most meticulous scrutiny.
Drawing on a global network, Jones Day’s small but perfectly formed Sydney bureau scores hit after hit in landmark infringement bouts. Jumping into the ring for illustrious life sciences patrons, Lisa Taliadoros
and Anthony Muratore
co-chair the IP practice in Australia. Fighting side by side in the Australian arm of Merck’s global battle against Gilead relating to the latter’s infringing Hepatitis C treatment Sovaldi, the duo have showcased their abilities in complex multi-jurisdictional disputes; a final victory on behalf of Merck bears testament to the cross-border cooperation and local talent on offer. Taliadoros boasts valuable research experience at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Agency (CSIRO) and Centenary Institute of Cell Biology and Cancer Medicine; she showcases a remarkable appreciation for innovation in the courtroom on behalf of many big names including AbbVie and Sanofi. Muratore’s 35 years of experience fighting the most significant battles in Australian IP earns him veteran status.
Unparalleled insights into Chinese and Australian IP laws underpin the King & Wood Malleson litigation and transaction national patent practice. “Highly capable” Melbourne-based Matthew Swinn
“has a very long track record of winning significant patent litigations”. Over in Brisbane, John Swinson
adroitly litigates in the IT space. He also sits on the South China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission panel of arbitrators. In Sydney, Kim O’Connell
and Scott Bouvier
take centre stage. O’Connell provides ample firepower in pharmaceutical and biotech disputes and also guides clients through the regulatory labyrinth. Equally bright in transactions and litigation, Bouvier approaches patent work with a distinctly strategic mind-set.
Having served universities, government agencies and international titans for over 40 years, Australian IP heavyweight Madderns holds particular sway in the IT and engineering fields; its highly qualified attorneys bring their rich industry experience to cases for these sectors’ major players. Two patent attorneys registered to practice before the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China add weight to the firm’s regional offering and broaden the appeal to holders of extensive portfolios. A sports technology practice opens additional doors and is a selling point for clients in this area. Heading this unit is Stephen O’Brien
, an electronic and electrical engineering maven driven by a passion for maximising the value of domestic outfits’ assets.
Thriving on the cross-pollination of its prosecution and litigation practices, MinterEllison is a one-stop source of advice and actionable strategies on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide. A large chemical, pharmaceutical and mechanical division helps it to provide effective representation for both originators and generics, who value the versatility of Wayne McMaster
across licensing, disputes and portfolio management. Similarly able, colleague Shyama Jayaswal
focuses her talents in the organic chemistry realm. She is “a delight to work with and is highly recommended for her insightful and timely advice”. With regulatory savvy and an impressive background in genetics, John Fairbairn
strides confidently through a host of technical fields. Overseeing all three in his position as IP practice head and playing a decisive role in the streamlined IT team, Robert Cooper
is an all-rounder who draws on 20 years of experience in intellectual property to develop potent strategies for his clients.
Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick
CSIRO and CCL Secure’s preferred prosecutor, Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick celebrates 130 years in practice in 2018; with outposts in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide as well as a one-stop Asian filing capacity, it caters to the needs of Australian and international clients. “Taking the time to understand the big picture, the contingent strikes up an excellent rapport with inventors so as to provide a timely service that meets all commercial needs.” After 42 years in practice Graham Cowin
recently retired from the partnership, yet the engineering whizz continues to advise Australian industry in his new role as consultant. Assuming Cowin’s duties as managing partner, Ross McFarlane
boasts mastery in electronics and software arenas. Taking charge of a respected electronics, physics and IT unit, Saskia Jahn
effortlessly manages patent portfolios of all sizes. A new addition to the IAM Patent 1000
, Chris Schlict
takes charge of the commercial/litigation practice group and provides sufficient firepower to deflect or launch any courtroom challenge.
Shelston IP Pty Ltd
Keeping future enforcement priorities firmly in mind, Shelston IP conducts an exceptional programme of core prosecution services. Value is added throughout the patent lifecycle by a straight-shooting litigation team and a long list of support functions, including assistance with securing funding and reacting to legislative changes in the IP environment. The offices are staffed with crack prosecutors, from which Paul Harrison
stands out; recently concluding a term as president of the Asian Patent Attorneys Association Australia Chapter, Harrison is “renowned for his robust engineering expertise”, though his talents are in demand among a broad heavy-industry following. Newly ranked Kieran Williams
and Greg Whitehead
share a fanbase of ASX-listed companies that value their technical gifts. Williams “is an attorney who keeps clients’ best interests in mind”. “Always rolling up his sleeves”, the trained neuroscientist is no stranger to getting his hands dirty in research settings and counts three research fellowships on his CV, alongside time as a patent examiner at IP Australia and a research scientist at GSK Australia. Devoting his time to instructions in the mechanical engineering space, Whitehead focuses on advising mining operations and technology start-ups. With unparalleled knowledge in gene-based patentable subject matter, Grant Shoebridge
most recently established precedent in the influential Arrowhead
decision. Leading the commercial law team with aplomb, Chris Bevitt
offers his remarkable business acumen to rights holders seeking commercialisation opportunities.
Spruson & Ferguson
With the most comprehensive Asia-Pacific network among Australian firms, Spruson & Ferguson “always blazes a trail” in regional IP matters. “Handling everything from patent drafting to litigation, the group delivers a one-stop service that enables patrons to compete with their very best competitors;” it showcases an “intuitive grasp of clients’ technologies and their audiences, while its incredibly sound commercial strategies distinguish it even further from its rivals”. Aeronautical engineer Gregg Gurr
is a safe pair of hands for aerospace, manufacturing and mining briefs; in courtroom settings, John Afaras
advocates with zeal to come home with remarkable victories.
Combining a crack life sciences practice with booming corporate and transactional divisions, Western Australian group Wrays holds significant sway among both domestic and multinational actors across a diverse technical array. Regional portfolio management stands out as a particular forte; the line-up handles IP strategy for Amgen and Neometals along with many big-name patrons. The recent acquisition of EKM has strengthened the offering to the tune of three patent attorneys in the Melbourne office, while two more join the Sydney contingent. Boasting diverse experience, Gary Cox
earns a reputation as “one of the most brilliant and creative patent practitioners in Australia”; having made his name in biotech and pharmaceutical briefs, he is a steadfast IP watchdog for a devoted fanbase that includes Eli Lilly & Co, on behalf of which he has coordinated an ongoing national IP strategy and enforcement campaign that has seen his team doing battle in the Federal Court.