Institute Council

The affairs of the Institute are managed by a Council elected annually from Fellows of the Institute. The Council comprises one president, two vice-presidents, twelve councillors and the immediate past president. All positions are voluntary and the Council endeavours to meet on a six weekly basis, or at least  eight meetings are conducted annually.

The members of Council for the period April 2023 to March 2024 are:

President

Jennifer McEwan

Jennifer McEwan is a registered patent attorney, registered trade mark attorney and practising lawyer.  Jennifer has been on IPTA’s Council since 2012 and headed the Membership Committee until April 2015.

Currently, Jennifer serves as President of IPTA.  She has been Convenor of the Annual Conference Committee as well as Co-Convenor of the Trade Marks Committee.

Jennifer McEwan is a registered patent attorney, registered trade mark attorney and practising lawyer.  Jennifer has been on IPTA’s Council since 2012 and headed the Membership Committee until April 2015.

Currently, Jennifer serves as President of IPTA.  She has been Convenor of the Annual Conference Committee as well as Co-Convenor of the Trade Marks Committee.

Jennifer has been very active on the Conference Committee and has contributed to the organisation of IPTA’s annual conferences, including developing topics, inviting presenters, introduction of the now regular YIPTA Breakfast Session.  Jennifer is committed to providing members with high level and stimulating annual conferences, and has worked hard to ensure each annual conference with which she is involved is a success.  Having established and worked in a boutique IP firm for over 10 years, Jennifer believes it is important for smaller practices to have a voice on Council in order to provide balance and to help ensure the needs of “small firm’” members are met.

Vice Presidents

Dr John Landells

John Landells has about 18 years’ experience in the patent profession, is a registered patent attorney in both Australia and New Zealand, and a Fellow of IPTA.

John has a PhD in Chemistry, Bachelor of Laws (LLB), and is a legal practitioner in both Australia and New Zealand.

John Landells has about 18 years’ experience in the patent profession, is a registered patent attorney in both Australia and New Zealand, and a Fellow of IPTA.

John has a PhD in Chemistry, Bachelor of Laws (LLB), and is a legal practitioner in both Australia and New Zealand.

John specialises in the patent field and has particular expertise in a broad range of chemical based technologies including materials chemistry, pharmaceuticals and formulation chemistry.

John is currently serving as Vice President of IPTA and has been Convenor of the Ethics and Disputes Committee and the New Zealand Legislation & IPONZ Business Relations Committee.

Dr Grant Shoebridge

Grant Shoebridge has over 15 years’ experience in pharmaceutical and biotechnology-related intellectual property. Grant has a PhD in immunology and spent over 10 years working in a range of medical research fields including, HIV, cancer and vaccine-based research.

Grant Shoebridge has over 15 years’ experience in pharmaceutical and biotechnology-related intellectual property. Grant has a PhD in immunology and spent over 10 years working in a range of medical research fields including, HIV, cancer and vaccine-based research.

For the past several years Grant has led IPTA’s political engagement (lobbying) strategy, particularly in relation to proposed changes to Australian patent legislation and innovation policy.

Grant is a recognised authority on gene-related patentable subject matter. He made submissions to a Senate Inquiry into the patentability of genes and biological material and was involved in IPTA’s intervention application to the High Court appeal in D’Arcy v Myriad Genetics Inc. Grant also successfully acted for the Applicant in Arrowhead Research Corporation [2016] APO 70 – which set an important precedent in relation to the patentability of gene-based pharmaceutical inventions in Australia.

For three years, Grant was course coordinator for “Interpretation and Validity of Patent Specifications” which is part of the University of Technology, Sydney postgraduate law program, and the Masters in Intellectual Property, which provides a pathway to registration for Australian patent attorneys. Grant also lectured for the University of NSW course “Myths and Realities of Personalised Medicine: The Genetic Revolution”.

Grant joined the IPTA Council in 2016.

Councillors

Brendan Cheong

Brendan has been Rio Tinto’s Principal IP Counsel since 2013.  At Rio Tinto, Brendan advises on IP exploitation strategies, commercialisation opportunities, partnerships, freedom-to-operate risks, and IP protection.

Prior to joining Rio Tinto, Brendan worked at several patent law firms in Australia and Japan.

Brendan has been Rio Tinto’s Principal IP Counsel since 2013.  At Rio Tinto, Brendan advises on IP exploitation strategies, commercialisation opportunities, partnerships, freedom-to-operate risks, and IP protection.  Prior to joining Rio Tinto, Brendan worked at several patent law firms in Australia and Japan.

Brendan holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Computer Systems) degree and a Bachelor of Science (Maths & Computer Science) degree from the University of Adelaide.

Brendan is seeking to increase awareness among the profession and wider corporate sector of the unique skill sets that in-house IP counsels have, and the benefits they bring to their companies.

Prue Cowin

Prue is a Senior Associate patent attorney in the Biotechnology group at FB Rice with over 10 years’ experience in the industry. Prue is passionate about biotech and IP.

Prue is a Senior Associate patent attorney in the Biotechnology group at FB Rice with over 10 years’ experience in the industry. Prue is passionate about biotech and IP and specialises in the areas of biological therapeutics and diagnostics such as gene and cellular therapies, antibodies, antibody-drug conjugates, proteins, peptides and mRNA vaccines, as well as processes for their manufacture. Her practice includes working with start-ups, SMEs and large corporates both locally and internationally to provide practical advice to assist them in developing and securing a valuable IP portfolio.

In her current position, Prue has gained extensive experience working with clients to develop global strategies to align their intellectual property needs with their commercial objectives, including through the preparation and global enforcement of complex international patent portfolios, conducting due diligence (e.g., associated with negotiation of manufacturing licencing agreements), providing global freedom-to-operate analysis, briefing counsel on IP issues and preparation of complex validity and infringement opinions on third party patents for litigation.

Dr Tony Davis

Tony Davis is a registered Australian and New Zealand patent attorney. He entered the profession in 2005 and spent over 15 years working in larger firms prior to joining RnB IP as a principal in 2020.

 

Tony Davis is a registered Australian and New Zealand patent attorney. He entered the profession in 2005 and spent over 15 years working in larger firms prior to joining RnB IP as a principal in 2020.

Tony has a PhD in molecular biology and immunology and undertook post-doctoral research in infectious diseases at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. During this time he published several articles in peer reviewed international scientific journals. He specialises in biotechnology and pharmaceutical-related patents across a range of technical fields including biological therapeutics, gene editing, mRNA vaccines, cell biology, and plant and food technology.

Tony joined the IPTA Patent Practice & IP Australia Business Relations Committee in 2021 and was appointed to IPTA council in 2023.

Kerry Dick

Kerry is an IPTA Fellow and a special counsel patent and trade mark attorney at Griffith Hack.

Kerry holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Automotive Engineering from the University of Hertfordshire and after completing a Master of Laws (Juris Doctor) at Monash University, was admitted to the Legal Profession in February 2010.

Kerry is an IPTA Fellow and a special counsel patent and trade mark attorney at Griffith Hack.

Kerry holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Automotive Engineering from the University of Hertfordshire and after completing a Master of Laws (Juris Doctor) at Monash University, was admitted to the Legal Profession in February 2010. Kerry graduated from Monash University with a Master of Laws in Intellectual Property, and registered as a Patent and Trade Mark Attorney in July 2013.

Kerry specialises in the patenting of mechanical inventions ranging from small gadgetry and tools to large scale machinery. A strong area of focus is automotive inventions, where she works across the full spectrum of automotive innovation including engines, gearboxes, differentials, suspension systems, glazing and sealing, and vehicle safety systems.

Kerry’s 13 years’ experience in engineering has seen her work for some of the world’s leading car manufacturers such as Land Rover, BMW, Mini, Chevrolet and GM Holden.

 

Ian Drew

Ian has been fortunate to work with a wide variety of clients in his career, from backyard inventors to major multi-national corporations.  He prosecuted trade mark matters directly before the IP Offices of Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the United Kingdom and the Pacific Island countries, and via associates in most countries of the world.

Ian has been fortunate to work with a wide variety of clients in his career, from backyard inventors to major multi-national corporations.  He prosecuted trade mark matters directly before the IP Offices of Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the United Kingdom and the Pacific Island countries, and via associates in most countries of the world.  Ian believes wholeheartedly in the value of IP rights as a driver of commercial success.

Ian is also a Senior Fellow at Melbourne University where he has co-taught the international section of the Trade Marks Practice course for the last six years. Ian has published widely on trade mark matters and presently co-authors the international registration section of Lahore: Patents, Trade Marks and Related Rights and the Australian trade mark practice section of Lexology’s publication Getting the Deal Through.

Ian is a regular attendee of INTA Annual and Leadership Conferences having spent four years on the INTA Bulletin, two as Chair of the INTA Asia-Pacific Law & Practice Sub-Committee.  For the last two years, he has been a member of the Harmonisation of Trade Mark Practice Committee, assisting on the Free Trade Agreement Sub-Committee.  Ian also recently finished a six-year stint on the Coburg West Primary School Council, including one year as Secretary and three years as President.

Ian joined the IPTA Council in 2021.

Philip Gehrig

Philip Gehrig holds a Bachelor of Engineering Degree with Honours from the University of Melbourne.  He specialises in the fields of patents and designs and his experience and expertise spans a broad range of mechanical engineering technologies.

 

Philip Gehrig holds a Bachelor of Engineering Degree with Honours from the University of Melbourne.  He specialises in the fields of patents and designs and his experience and expertise spans a broad range of mechanical engineering technologies.

These include aeronautical and aerospace construction and components, medical devices and surgical instruments, prostheses and implants, mining and agricultural equipment, manufacturing processes and machinery, and consumer products.

Philip joined the patent attorney profession in 1991 and qualified and practiced as an Australian patent attorney and a New Zealand patent attorney in Melbourne before moving to Europe, where he worked in Germany for many years. He qualified as a German patent attorney (Patentanwalt) and European patent attorney and was a partner of a leading patent and trade mark attorney firm in Munich, before returning to practice in Australia in 2017.

Philip is a Fellow of the Institute of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys of Australia (IPTA), a member of the German Patentanwaltskammer, a member of FICPI and a member of AIPPI.

 

Dr Claire Gregg

Claire joined IPTA as a student member in 2014.

At the 2017 IPTA Conference in Perth, Claire first heard the term “YIPTA”. Curious to know more, she quickly learned that this was an informal group for “young” IPTA members.

 

Claire joined IPTA as a student member in 2014. At the 2017 IPTA Conference in Perth, Claire first heard the term “YIPTA”. Curious to know more, she quickly learned that this was an informal group for “young” IPTA members. In Sydney where she was working at the time, she began organising social and educational events for her Sydney peers. In 2019, Claire was successful in her campaign to have YIPTA recognised as a formal committee of IPTA dedicated to engaging and supporting student and ordinary members with less than 5 years post-registration experience (i.e., those not yet eligible for Fellowship).

Claire has led a number of initiatives including educational, social, professional development, networking, ethics, wellbeing and diversity and inclusion opportunities, both in person and online. She was also influential in giving YIPTA members the opportunity to present at the annual conference and register for a reduced fee, as well as encouraging more YIPTA members to join IPTA committees and have their voices heard. Claire was the co-convenor of the YIPTA committee until she became a Fellow in 2021 and remains the only non-Councillor to have convened a committee of IPTA. Claire has also demonstrated a long-standing interest in the legal and policy issues relevant to the profession as a member of the IPTA Patent Legislation committee. She has been an active member of the Future Directions and Conference committees for several years. She is constantly contributing ideas to Council, assisting with submissions to IP Australia and engaging with the profession to ensure all members – no matter their level of experience – have their say in how IPTA operates. Claire joined IPTA Council in 2021.

William Hird

William joined the patent attorney profession in 1998 and is now in private practice. He joined IPTA council in April 17 and took on the role of Convenor of International Patents Committee.  

William joined the patent attorney profession in 1998 and has since worked in private practice. He joined IPTA council in April 2017 where he took on the role of Convenor of the International Patents Committee.  He coordinated IPTA’s submissions on grace periods, conflicting applications, and prior user rights at the Industry Symposium held in Munich in June 2017 including members of Group B+ and industry stakeholders. He also coordinated IPTA’s submission to the consultation paper on The Hague Conference Draft Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in April 2018.

In April 2019, Will took on the role of Convenor of the Patents Legislation Committee, where his focus has been to address a number of Australian patent law issues through his attendance at IP Australia’s Patent Consultation Group including the removal of the best method requirement and amendment to the Promise of the Invention approach to utility.

Having enjoyed a patent attorney practice with a local Australian focus for many years, Will has a keen interest in developments in Australian and International patent law. He is also passionate about training and education and is committed to ensuring IPTA stays relevant to the evolving IP profession.

Dr Andrew Jones

Andrew Jones has 20 years’ experience in the patent profession and has been a registered patent and trade mark attorney since 2004.  He spent 11 years working in the chemistry/life sciences group at one of the large firms before deciding to spread his entrepreneurial wings and start his own firm in 2013.

Andrew Jones has 20 years’ experience in the patent profession and has been a registered patent and trade mark attorney since 2004.  He spent 11 years working in the chemistry/life sciences group at one of the large firms before deciding to spread his entrepreneurial wings and start his own firm in 2013.

Andrew was elected onto the IPTA Council in 2017, and is keen to be involved in any way he can.  Some of Andrew’s goals include fostering a camaraderie between all members and member firms, and promoting diversity and inclusion, in all its forms, throughout the profession.

Dr Annabella Newton

Annabella is a registered patent and trade mark attorney and works in pharmaceutical and chemical-related intellectual property.  Annabella has a PhD in organic chemistry and, prior to joining the profession, she worked in industrial and academic research in Australia and overseas.

Annabella is a registered patent and trade mark attorney and works in pharmaceutical and chemical-related intellectual property.  Annabella has a PhD in organic chemistry and, prior to joining the profession, she worked in industrial and academic research in Australia and overseas.

Annabella is an Innovation Mentor with CSIRO’s ON Program, Australia’s national science and technology accelerator, where she assists researchers with the translation and commercialisation of their research. She also provides talks and mentoring to various other start-up programs such as Translating Research at Melbourne (TRaM) and SBE’s Evolve program.

Annabella is passionate about IP education and provides lectures and workshops on intellectual property to academics and early-career researchers, as well as start-ups and small businesses. Annabella is also a Guest Lecturer in Intellectual Property at the Leo Cussen Centre for Law.

Annabella completed the Australian Institute of Company Director’s Company Directors Course in 2019.  She currently serves on the board for Women in STEMM Australia and is a past-president of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute’s Women in Chemistry group.

Annabella joined IPTA Council in 2021.

Megan Ryder

Megan Ryder is a registered trade mark attorney in Australia and a Fellow of the Institute of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys of Australia (IPTA).  She has practised exclusively in the area of trade marks for over 15 years and assists clients to protect, manage and defend their brands in Australia and internationally.

Megan Ryder is a registered trade mark attorney in Australia and a Fellow of the Institute of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys of Australia (IPTA).  She has practised exclusively in the area of trade marks for over 15 years and assists clients to protect, manage and defend their brands in Australia and internationally.  Megan has the privilege of working with businesses across a broad range of industries and has particular expertise in the food and beverage sector, especially with wine brands.  She is currently serving on the International Trademark Association (INTA) Geographical Indications Committee.

Megan joined the IPTA Council in 2023 and is passionate about IPTA being a valuable resource for both patent and trade mark attorneys and ensuring that the IPTA Council embraces diversity and inclusiveness.  She also recognises the importance of continuing education and training for all IPTA members in order to maintain the high standards that the profession aspires to.

Noelene Treloar

Noelene is a Fellow of IPTA, being a Patent and Trade Mark Attorney and a qualified lawyer with over 25 years’ experience across patent attorney firms, legal firms, and in-house corporate IP positions. Noelene has been Of Counsel at Adrian M. Trioli – Intellectual Property for over the past 7 years and is acutely aware of the challenges faced by small patent and trade mark attorney firms (and in-house).

Noelene is a Fellow of IPTA, being a Patent and Trade Mark Attorney and a qualified lawyer with over 25 years’ experience across patent attorney firms, legal firms, and in-house corporate IP positions. Noelene has been Of Counsel at Adrian M. Trioli – Intellectual Property for over the past 7 years and is acutely aware of the challenges faced by small patent and trade mark attorney firms (and in-house).

Noelene’s intellectual property experience has been accumulated across a wide range of industries including biotechnology, university, government and private sector R&D, FMCG, retail, IT, education and professional services. Her practice covers contentious and non-contentious matters relating to all forms of IP rights as well as their associated commercialisation. Noelene presently serves on a number of international IP-focused committees including the Geographical Indications Committee of INTA.

Past President

Janelle Borham

Janelle Borham is a registered Australian patent and trade mark attorney, and a registered New Zealand patent attorney.  Janelle entered the profession in 1994, and has been a partner at her firm since 2002.  Janelle has been a member of Council since 2007.

Janelle Borham is a registered Australian patent and trade mark attorney, and a registered New Zealand patent attorney.  Janelle entered the profession in 1994, and has been a partner at her firm since 2002.  Janelle has been a member of Council since 2007.

A key achievement of Janelle’s since becoming a Council member was to establish the IPTA webinar service through which IPTA has been able to offer frequent CPE presentations to members across Australia.  Janelle invites members to approach her with suggestions of speakers, both local and international, who are able to make presentations to IPTA members through the webinar service or otherwise.  Janelle’s focus on member education has created a natural fit with the IPTA Conference Committee, which is another major avenue through which IPTA seeks to bring its members up to date with the latest in local and international developments in the IP field.

Currently Janelle serves as Past President of IPTA.