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Humphrey Foote

Humphrey Foote

Senior Associate

AJ Park IP Limited, Wellington

Humphrey brings a unique mix of commercial and research experience, coupled with patent and plant variety protection expertise, to help his clients protect their innovations. Humphrey also leads AJ Park’s plant sciences practice.


Humphrey specialises in protecting innovations in the life science, biotechnology, agricultural and horticultural sectors. His particular area of expertise relates to protecting molecular biology-based inventions, and innovations based on plant biotechnology and plant breeding.

Humphrey advises a number of locally-based research institutes, universities and companies. He enjoys helping his clients capture and safeguard the value in their innovations, and the opportunity to work with creative inventors, breeders and IP managers.


Humphrey’s 25-plus years in the biotechnology industry include both academic and commercial positions. Before making the move into IP, he conducted postdoctoral research in molecular biology in the United States and United Kingdom. He subsequently worked as a research project leader for a large New Zealand biotech company after moving to New Zealand in 1999.

In 2002, Humphrey joined AJ Park. Since then he has drafted patent specifications for a wide range of life science and biotechnology inventions, advising clients on patent filing and protection strategies for their IP throughout the world. He also a leading practitioner and filer of plant variety protection applications in Australia, New Zealand and more than 20 countries worldwide.

Working style

Approachable, well-respected and thorough, Humphrey is passionate and dedicated to helping his clients realise the potential of their innovations. He takes the time to fully understand the science behind their inventions so he can properly capture and best advise what’s required to support broad protection for their IP. He is also able to draw on his own experience as a researcher and inventor, to guide his clients through the sometimes complex IP protection process without the unnecessary use of jargon. His aim is to make the process as straightforward as possible for his clients.

Humphrey values clear communication, professionalism, responsiveness and providing top quality work in a timely fashion. The genuine desire to be the best possible advocate for his clients is a key consideration when negotiating with IP offices on their behalf.



  • BSc (Hons)(Bio Sci), University of Birmingham, United Kingdom (1989)
  • PhD (Mol Bio), University of Birmingham, United Kingdom (1994)
  • Registered Patent Attorney (New Zealand and Australia)