August appointments

by NZ Lawyer24 Aug 2015
Baldwins Intellectual Property firm has announced the appointment of a senior associate and two new associates.

Ben Halberg has been promoted to senior associate after working as a patent specialist in the firm’s mechanical and electrical patents team since 2006.

He is a registered patent attorney in both New Zealand and Australia and has a degree in computer systems and electronics engineering.

Also a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Halberg has extensive experience advising clients on all aspects of intellectual property across a diverse range of technologies including electrical/mechanical transducers, solar power systems, agritech, consumer electronics and medical devices.

His work is predominantly patent-based, including novelty and freedom-to-operate searching, drafting patent specifications, prosecuting applications through examination to grant, challenging competitor’s patent applications, and advising on patentability, infringement, and validity matters.

He also advises on registered design rights and copyright.

Dr John Foulkes, a member of the mechanical & electrical patents team in Baldwins’ Auckland office, has been appointed as an associate.

Specialising in patents and registered designs, Foulkes has worked on drafting patent specifications and prosecuting applications for inventions covering rocket engines, wireless power transfer and computer systems.

His technical background is in electrical engineering, having completed a PhD at the University of Canterbury which focused on the ability of a novel lithography technique to fabricate small features of microchips.

He won the NZIPA’s Council Prize for overall outstanding performance in the patent attorney examinations in 2014 and is particularly interested in new products and ideas in a broad range of electrical and computer projects.

Lucy Hopman joined Baldwins in 2012 after graduating with an LLB and BSc from Victoria University of Wellington.  She has just been appointed as an associate.

Hopman is a trade mark and brand protection specialist who advises local and international clients on all aspects of trade mark and related intellectual property law, including availability, prosecution, opposition and infringement matters, as well as copyright, passing off and the Fair Trading Act.

She has written a number of articles concerning topical trade mark, branding and marketing issues. She also has a keen interest in fashion and media and has advised start-ups on how to commercialise and protect their assets.

Government appointments

Experienced commercial and property lawyer John Auld has been reappointed as the chairperson of the Real Estate Agents Authority for a two year term.

“The Authority is an independent Crown entity responsible for promoting high service standards and professionalism in the real estate industry,” Associate Minister of Justice Simon Bridges said.

“It provides information to buyers and sellers, provides guidance to agents, and deals with complaints about agents’ behaviour.”

Auld is an inaugural member of the Authority having been appointed as a member at its establishment in 2009.

In addition to his work as a lawyer he has a great deal of experience in corporate governance and in business generally.

He is a former council member and president of the Taranaki District Law Society, and a former council member of the New Zealand Law Society.

He served as a Disputes Tribunal Referee from 2009 to 2012 and is the Deputy Chair of Port Taranaki, the Deputy Chair of the Western Institute of Technology, and a former Deputy Chair of Taranaki District Health Board.