John Terry

Principal at Ellis Terry

John Terry is recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading IP lawyers and patent attorneys, and has been recognised in the IAM Patent 1000 and as a Managing Intellectual Property IP Star. Mr Terry was a partner for 10 years at one of the largest New Zealand IP firms before founding his own firm in 2006. Ellis Terry has established a reputation for its contentious and originating work and was recognised in 2017 by Managing Intellectual Property as the patent prosecution firm of the year.

Mr Terry has advised some of New Zealand’s most successful technology companies, assisting them with IP strategy and developing patent portfolios that deliver value. Some notable examples include: PowerbyProxi which developed a portfolio of over 800 of its own and licensed patents before being sold to Apple; Green Button sold to Microsoft; Aptimize sold to Riverbed Technology; Allflex sold to BC partners for $1.3 billion; ikeGPS listed on the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges; and Vizexplorer having a strategic investment and technology development agreement with Stanley Black and Decker and strategic partnerships with a number of large US companies.

Mr Terry is an all-rounder with solid patent attorney skills and commercial law experience, including IT and commercialisation agreements. He also has extensive experience in contentious matters, including over 50 patent oppositions and litigation in New Zealand and overseas. On this base he has built leading IP strategy skills and was selected by the government funding body, Callaghan Innovation, to be a provider under its Innovation IP programme to develop IP strategies for technology companies.

Mr Terry frequently advises investment funds, high-net-worth individuals, venture capitalists and investors in relation to technology acquisitions and performs their IP due diligence. He has become an integral part of investment teams, helping them to evaluate and develop the value of acquisitions.

Mr Terry’s clients have described him as:

  • “practical, approachable, bright and easy to work with”;
  • “simply a great guy who does great work”; and
  • an “unbelievably good lawyer with very sound skills”.

Professional associations

  • APAA
  • LES (Australia and New Zealand)
  • NZLS


  • Defensive patent aggregation
  • IAM/IC
  • IP management consultancy
  • Legal
  • Licensing
  • M&A
  • Technology transfer

Firm details

Ellis Terry
Level 11
Pencarrow House
One Willeston Street
New Zealand

Contact details