What prompted your interest in intellectual property?
In my twenties (many years ago!), I worked with CBS Music (now Sony Music) in a business affairs role and then managed a record company. In those positions I used to “brief” one of the early pioneers of IP in Australia, Jim Lahore, who was a Partner at Mallesons Stephen Jacques. Most of that work involved protecting and advising on copyright and trademark matters for the labels and its roster of artists, so that started my interest.
What is the best advice you have received?
Never sue those who buy ink by the barrel.
As a lawyer, what sort of trends do you see impacting the IP industry?
There are a few significant trends. Firstly, boardroom pressure on IP strategy. Secondly, the massive increase worldwide in patenting and patent licencing, and the use of a patent portfolio to force smaller companies into taking patent licences. Thirdly, the use of IP to totally deconstruct and change the way we distribute content, whether it be audio, visual or both.
What have been the highlights of your career?
I’ve been very fortunate to represent many of the Hollywood A-list including Michael Jackson, Meg Ryan, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Katy Perry, Christina Aguilera, Leonardo Di Caprio, Keith Urban, Jennifer Aniston and most of Australia’s Oscar winners including Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts and Russell Crowe.
What are your favourite pastimes?
Surfing, boxing and dining out.
Would you rather be known as a one-hit wonder for a novel or a song?
Definitely a song. Someone like Carl Douglas (“Kung Fu Fighting”), Young MC (“Bust a Move”), or Rick Derringer (“Rock n Roll Hoochie Koo”).