Industrial Chemistry Patents

Industrial chemistry is a key focus area of our business. This is because Australia and New Zealand continue to be profitable markets for multinational clients, and the costs for establishing a patent portfolio in these jurisdictions continues to be relatively low.

Importantly, there are a number of advantages to patent applicants and patent owners in this sector that enable patent strategy to be exercised with more flexibility in these jurisdictions than in others.

For example, amendment practice is more liberal before grant in Australia and New Zealand than in other countries, and indeed more liberal in Australia after grant. This is particularly relevant where there is a need to redefine the scope of a Markush claim, to modify a claimed range, or to replace ranges with other claim language formats, potentially making infringement easier to prove.

Innovation patents are available, potentially making it possible to protect end products which are easier to police for infringement and that would otherwise be deemed as obvious.

Finally, with respect to product by process claims which are available under Australian practice, the general principle is that the burden of proof is on the defendant to prove that the process used is different from the relevantly claimed process from which the defendant’s product has arisen.

Both Australian and New Zealand examiners in the chemical art groups tend to adopt the prosecution approaches on foreign counterpart applications, so there is opportunity to ensure consistency of Australian and New Zealand prosecution with that in other countries. This obviously has cost saving benefits. 

Having said this, our industrial chemistry team is focussed on getting the balance right by modifying strategy on foreign counterparts so as to obtain the cost saving benefits while obtaining the benefits under Australian and New Zealand law that are not available in other countries.

We think that all of these things will continue to make Australia and New Zealand attractive jurisdictions for patent applicants. The flip side is that the patent landscape is relatively complex and there is a continuing need for freedom to operate and infringement assessments.

Our industrial chemistry team of patent attorneys have postgraduate, and in some instances, postdoctoral qualifications in their relevant fields of expertise. They are highly experienced in all aspects of Australian and New Zealand prosecution, opposition and portfolio management. They place a premium on taking a holistic perspective on product protection, taking account of all relevant patents and patent applications of the client.

FPA Patent Attorneys technical range of expertise includes:

  • Surfaces
  • Coatings
  • Adhesives
  • Dyes
  • Plastics
  • Catalysts
  • Polymers
  • Cosmetics
  • Specialty chemicals
  • Cleaning & sterilising agents

FPA Patent Attorneys - our expertise in action

We represent a number of multinational clients generally in household products and consumer products, where the relevant technology is based on organic, inorganic, analytical and physical chemistry. We represent these clients before the Australian and New Zealand patent offices and we also manage certain portfolios in Singapore, and throughout South East Asia. We have represented these clients in Australian and New Zealand opposition proceedings and have also enforced patents in the Australian Federal Court.

We also file, prosecute and manage the global patent estates for Australian based clients, including publicly funded research, listed and private companies. We have particular expertise in diagnostic and sensor inventions based on catalytic, polymer and dye based chemistries.