Duncan de Geest
Duncan’s work involves advising clients looking to secure patent protection in fields such as nanotechnology, materials science, medical devices, small-molecule pharmaceuticals, and process technology.
Duncan’s clients range from New Zealand companies and research organisations, such as crown research institutes and universities, to large research-driven multinationals located throughout Europe, Japan and the United States. He works directly with clients and is also instructed through international law firms working on behalf of overseas clients to obtain IP protection through the New Zealand and Australian patent offices.
I like the exposure my work gives me to a range of different things. You don’t need to be an expert in everything, but you do need the ability to quickly acquire a workable knowledge of many different fields.
Before joining AJ Park in 2001, Duncan completed a BSc (Hons) and PhD in chemistry at the University of Canterbury. He went on to carry out post-doctoral research at the University of Otago in organic and inorganic design, synthesis and characterisation. But he never forgot the guest lectures given by a visiting patent attorney—he’d been intrigued. He applied for a job at AJ Park and moved to Wellington, completing his law degree part-time and becoming a registered patent attorney.
'You wouldn’t become a patent attorney if you weren’t an inherently curious person who wants to know how things work. It’s a job that’s very detail oriented.'
While positive client feedback is always welcome, Duncan derives satisfaction from knowing he’s done a good job and from collaborating with his colleagues.
'The IP profession as a whole is very collegial; it’s perhaps unique in that respect. It’s great to work with people at AJ Park. I like their willingness to help out and wrestle with issues to come up with the best solution for our clients.'