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Carol Burnton

Principal | BSc (Hons), LLB (Hons), LLM, Dip PC Form
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About Carol

An insightful advisor devoted to science - here to help you achieve your business goals

Carol elected to become a patent attorney to pursue her interests in scientific advancement and legal analysis as a dedicated professional service provider.

She brings to her practice a unique skill set, drawing from laboratory work in both the chemical and biological sciences as well as her comprehensive legal training. These skills are used in drafting and prosecuting patent applications and providing strategic patenting advice to her clients.

Carol is keenly interested in technologies in which chemistry and biology interact, such as in medicinal and pharmaceutical sciences, food technology and cosmetics. She has extensive experience with patents for over-the-counter, prescription, hospital, and diagnostic products.

Highly regarded for her contentious patent work, including oppositions, re-examinations and freedom to operate advice, Carol is experienced in challenging and defending the validity of pharmaceutical patents before the Patent Office and working with litigators before the Federal Court of Australia.  

Carol has extended her primary training by qualifying as a cosmetic chemist. This qualification supports her particular specialist knowledge in cosmetic and dermatological inventions by providing a deep understanding of topical formulation and active ingredient delivery.

Before joining FPA, Carol worked as a solicitor for Herbert Smith Freehills, where she gained experience in intellectual property litigation, contracting and due diligence reviews in preparation for mergers and acquisitions.

Carol joined FPA in 2008 after completing an honours thesis in biochemistry in the immunology laboratory of the Institute for Molecular Biosciences at the University of Queensland.

Her thesis on cellular cytoplasmic responses to double-stranded DNA received the award for the best honours thesis in biochemistry in 2007. Carol’s research resulted in co-authorship of a paper, which was published in the highly ranked, peer-reviewed journal Science in 2009.


  • Best Medical Device IP Law Firm – Australia, Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Awards, 2023
  • Awarded ‘best honours thesis in biochemistry’ by The University of Queensland for research on cellular cytoplasmic responses to double-stranded DNA, 2007
  • Patent Law Prize for best results in the Patent Law subject in the Melbourne University Masters of Law course, 2009


  • Bachelor of Science (Honours by thesis), University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Laws (Honours), University of Queensland
  • Masters of Laws, University of Melbourne
  • Diploma of Personal Care Formulation, Institute of Personal Care Science
  • Registered Trans-Tasman Patent Attorney
  • Solicitor


  • AusBiotech
  • Life Sciences Queensland
  • Royal Australian Chemical Institute 
  • Australian Society of Cosmetic Chemists
  • Institute of Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys of Australia (IPTA)

We have recently started working with Carol on a opposition. I have been impressed by her efficient turnaround of material and her strong communication skills. She has also provided insightful advice.

Having worked with Carol on a number of difficult patent matters, I have been impressed by her breadth of knowledge and high level of professionalism, together with the quality of the support and advice received.


Awards & Recognition

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