THE increasing development of mining services technology in Western Australia has led to a surge in the need for intellectual property protection, evident in this week’s merger of local law firm Mallon & Co with the Perth office of national firm Griffith
THE increasing development of mining services technology in Western Australia has led to a surge in the need for intellectual property protection, evident in this week’s merger of local law firm Mallon & Co with the Perth office of national firm Griffith Hack.
Mallon’s five specialist technology and IP lawyers will join with Griffith Hack’s 15-person IP team in Perth.
Mallon & Co founder Paul Mallon said the aim was to meet the demand for IP protection in WA.
“The whole idea of the move is to combine to good patent attorney services with good legal services, so you don’t have to necessarily go east or get a lower level of service,” he said.
Mr Mallon said the majority of his work was mining and biomedical technology cases involving patent litigation and breach of confidence issues.
He said there were common mistakes made when it came to IP and protection of businesses.
“The technology in WA is fantastic, some of the mining technology is world-class; you just have to be clever about how you protect,” Mr Mallon told WA Business News.
“The bigger players obviously are more across these issues than the smaller players, but sometimes they actually spend too much on IP protection and it’s a little bit more subtle than that.
“For example, they’re filing patents for everything when they don’t need to or seeking to protect their intellectual property when there are no competitors.”
The merged firm will rank second among specialist IP practices in WA, behind market leader Wrays, which has 65 staff in WA, according to WA Business News’ Book of Lists.
Other specialist IP firms in Perth include Elevation Legal and Lord & Co.
Bigger firms such as Freehills, Minter Ellison and Lavan Legal also have Perth-based IP teams.
Freehills senior associate and IP commercial transactions specialist Dan Zador said many companies and individuals were unsure of what could actually be protected.
He agreed that WA’s dominant mining sector had resulted in an increase in companies and individuals needing protection.
“There are large amounts of money involved. I actually work for a lot of private equity firms and venture capitalists who are looking to expand, and one of their particular growth interest areas is mining services,” Zador said.