Seven promoted at AJ Park, part of 25 promotions at IPH member firms

04 August 2023

Seven promoted at AJ Park, part of 25 promotions at IPH member firms

Australian Securities Exchange-listed IPH Limited has promoted 25 across a number of its member firms and businesses, including seven new principal appointments. IPH employs more than 1,200 people working in Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

Among the promotions were seven at AJ Park, including Duncan Schaut, who helps clients develop and implement their intellectual property strategy with a focus on patent and registered designs. The Auckland-based Schault was one of seven promotions to principal at IPH firms.

Schaut specializes in all aspects of patents, registered designs and copyright and their commercialization. He has a deep understanding of the aeronautical, building, cleantech, Greentech, infrastructure, manufacturing, marine, medical devices, mining and mineral, packaging, recreation, sustainability and transport fields. Prior to working at Baldwins (now AJ Park, he worked as an IP specialist both in leading IP firms and as in-house IP counsel. Before that, he worked as an R&D thermal and mechanical design engineer for a multinational power electronics company.

Kate Giddens has been promoted to special counsel in Wellington, where she specializes in trademark protection, management and enforcement, and provides strategic and commercially driven portfolio advice. She has particular expertise in the automotive, entertainment, food and beverage, sportswear and telecommunication industries. Before joining Baldwins (now AJ Park), Giddens worked at the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) as a senior trademark examiner.

Victoria Watts has been promoted to special counsel in Auckland, where she is a trademarks specialist with extensive international experience, advising on brand strategy and portfolio management across a broad range of industries. Watts has been practising in the field of intellectual property law for nearly 20 years in the UK, Europe and New Zealand, working with a wide spectrum of clients, from small start-ups to some of the world’s biggest brands. She advises on brand strategy, trademark filing and prosecution, and enforcement of trademarks across various industries, including cosmetics and toiletries, food and beverage, nutraceuticals, animal health and computer software. Watts first qualified as a solicitor in the UK, and worked at major law firms in London and Paris where she advised clients on their local and global protection and enforcement strategies.

Paul Renwick, a lawyer in the firm’s Auckland office, has been promoted to senior associate. A lawyer with AJ Park’s engineering and IT team, Renwick specializes in all aspects of patent law in a range of technology areas, including electrical and electronic, mechanical, IT and software. He works with a mix of local SMEs selectively filing in New Zealand and overseas, and large companies with global patent portfolios.

Daniel Thorpe, a lawyer in the firm’s Wellington office, has been promoted to senior associate. With a focus on mechanical devices and inventions at the edge of patentability, Thorpe works with individual inventors through to large multinational corporations advising on patents, registered designs and IP strategy. Thorpe works in a number of technology areas, including medical devices, power generation, high-tech consumer electronics, green-tech and automotive.

Ben Williams, a lawyer in the firm’s Wellington office, has been promoted to senior associate. Williams works with a range of clients to ensure protection of their brands, as well as helping them to secure trademark registrations. He also assists with trademark clearance searches, prosecution, opposition, revocation and invalidity proceedings. Before joining Baldwins (now AJ Park), he spent four years specializing in trademarks in the UK and Europe at Barker Brettell and A.A. Thornton & Co., where he acted for clients in the sporting, fashion, academic and engineering sectors.

Matt Currie was promoted to associate at the firm.

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