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Humphrey Foote

Humphrey Foote

Senior Associate

AJ Park IP Limited, Wellington

Humphrey specialises in protecting innovations in the life science, biotechnology, agricultural, horticultural and pastoral sectors.

Humphrey has particular expertise and extensive experience in protecting gene and protein sequence based inventions and plant biotechnology based inventions.

At AJ Park, Humphrey:

  • drafts patent specifications for a wide range of life science and biotechnology inventions
  • files and prosecutes patent applications in over 40 countries throughout the world
  • files plant variety applications in Australia, new Zealand and over 20 countries worldwide
  • advises on patentability and patent filing strategies
  • advises on freedom to operate, patent infringement and validity
  • prepares oppositions to challenge and defend patents applications
  • advises on protection strategies for plant-based IP.


Humphrey's clients include:

  • Plant and Food Research
  • AgResearch
  • Grasslanz Technology Limited
  • PGG Wrightson
  • ViaLactia Biosciences
  • Pastoral Genomics
  • Scion
  • Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR)
  • Lincoln University
  • University of Otago.

Previous work

Humphrey has been in the biotechnology industry for over 20 years, split roughly between academic and commercial positions. Humphrey is passionate about helping realise the potential of biotechnology.

Before becoming a patent attorney Humphrey did post-doctoral research in molecular biology in internationally acclaimed laboratories in the United States and United Kingdom. Humphrey came to New Zealand in 1999 and worked as a research project leader for New Zealand's then largest biotechnology company.

Humphrey's experience with the patenting process from an inventor's perspective gives him a unique advantage when protecting his clients' inventions.

Other credentials

Humphrey is a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) Plant Biotech Subcommittee.

Humphrey has presented on protection of plant IP on multiple occasions.


  • 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)