Head of AJ Park’s commercial team, Mark helps clients to structure and execute commercial deals and provides advice on commercial and intellectual property (IP) strategy. He also works with clients acquiring IT systems and software. Mark’s clients span all industries and range from listed New Zealand companies, government departments, Crown Research Institutes and universities to SMEs and start-ups.
‘I enjoy helping clients look at their businesses, their IP and opportunities, and then working with them to negotiate the best deal possible. It’s exciting taking a set of facts and helping a client develop a strategy, business model and ultimately an agreement to get their product or service sold or their innovation commercialised.’
While others might describe him as relaxed, Mark sees himself as pragmatic and commercially-focused. He values rapport and mutual trust as essential ingredients in a successful long-term working relationship.
‘I like helping clients understand the role IP can play as a tool to improve their business, rather than being the end game in itself. Business is often about taking opportunities in a pressured environment and I like being responsive and creative so deals can get done while making sure the client’s key interests aren’t overlooked or bargained away.’
Mark Hargreaves' advice throughout the license negotiation was prompt and clear, and his competence earned the respect of the US participants.- John Arimond, Windflow's Chief Technology Officer
Mark has a successful track record of working across different jurisdictions and in different firms and businesses, and developing great relationships with staff and clients around the world.
Mark’s work history includes two years as in-house technology counsel for Citigroup in London. He subsequently spent three years at Mallesons Stephen Jaques in Australia working in IT law, M&A, and IP commercialisation, as well as time at Simpson Grierson in Wellington, New Zealand.
Mark first joined AJ Park in 1995 before going overseas, and returned to the firm in 2007. He believes AJ Park has a unique culture and a specialty focus on technology law, IP strategy, and commercialisation.
‘We have a real depth to our knowledge and skills. There’s a move towards service providers with real niche capabilities or scale. AJ Park has both, which is a great advantage. In terms of the culture, we have a great balance between doing interesting and complex work while maintaining a relaxed pace and feel.’
Among his more high-profile projects, Mark helped Air New Zealand secure IP protection and negotiate licensing agreements allowing other airlines to use its innovative Skycouch™ economy class seat.
Mark's recent accolades include being:
- IAM Strategy 300 winner for 2021
- highlighted in the IAM Patent 1000 2020—‘Mark helms the commercial team, which makes light work of bringing the inventions of start-ups and listed companies, as well as government departments and research institutes, to market.’
- selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers™ in New Zealand 2021 in the field of IP law
- named in The Legal 500’s Asia-Pacific 2021 guide and elite ‘leading lawyers’ list
- named in the inaugural IAM Strategy 300 Global Leaders guide 2021
- named in the IAM Strategy 300 2020 as a world-leading IP strategist (This unique guide is an annual publication listing individuals that have shown to possess world-class skills in the development and roll-out of strategies that maximise the value of patents, copyright, trade marks and other IP rights. Only those nominated multiple times by different parties as outstanding IP strategists are listed in the IAM Strategy 300. Those who appear on the list, which is limited to 300 individuals worldwide, are regarded as ‘best in class'. Mark has been named in the IAM Strategy 300 every year since 2016.)
- highlighted in the 2019 and 2020 IAM Patent 1000 as 'enhancing the transactional prowess of the firm'
- BA, University of Canterbury (1994)
- LLB (Hons), University of Canterbury (1994)
- Registered Patent Attorney (New Zealand and Australia)
- Admitted as a Barrister & Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand
- Admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Australia
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