Chapman Tripp’s New Patent Law Play

Matt Sumpter Chapman Tripp patent law chief

There’s been a lot happening in the patent law area in recent years and a gap in the IP legal market has seen Chapman Tripp move into the patent place with a new IP practice group established to exploit the offshore ownership of the two biggest IP law players in the New Zealand market.

The firm launched its patent attorney services to provide trade mark, copyright and a full range of intellectual property services to the New Zealand market and also for international companies.

The IP market, including patents, designs, copyright and the ancillary areas are particularly lucrative and will be a substantial ‘value-add’ for Chapman Tripp

Patents Director at the firm, Matt Sumpter (pictured) said that the new patents business venture was designed to “support Aotearoa’s inventors and entrepreneurs”.

However the move was also a clear one into the local IP market, a lucrative one that follows the sale of AJ Park to the ASX-listed IP law firm IPH in 2017 for $66 million and the subsequent purchase of Baldwins last year by AJ Park for $7.9 million.

IPH recently announced its profit of almost $27 million with strong growth into the Asian market.

The sale of AJ Park was the first of any New Zealand IP firm and was the result of the legislation which took effect from February 2017, which removed restrictions on ownership structures for patent attorney firms. Baldwins was bought by AJ Park in October last year.

Sumpter said the new practice will initially focus on medical device technology, which tracks increasing demand for respiratory medical products given aging populations and, more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic.

The firm has appointed patent attorney and engineer Ben Halberg, who joins Chapman Tripp Patents as a Director. Halberg has considerable experience in the medical device business and with inventors across a diverse range of technologies including electrical and mechanical transducers, solar power systems, agritech products, and consumer electronics.

Chapman Tripp Consultant, Paul Sumpter, author of the leading intellectual property text book, and a registered patent attorney for over 40 years, also adds a wealth of experience to the team.

Sumpter said in a news release from Chapman Tripp that the firm is planning to add further attorneys as the firm’s new service offering expands over the coming months.

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