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DARK, Andrew

Degree

Bachelor of Applied Science (Chemistry)

Graduation year

1990

Current position

Director - Dark IP
Director - Australian Society for Nano Medicine (ASNM)

Employer

Self

What are some of your career highlights?

I joined the Australian Patent Office straight out of Uni in January 1991 and worked as an Examiner of Patent in polymer chemistry until 1993. While working at the Patent Office I studies for the patent attorney examinations and entered the patent attorney profession in mid 1993. In 1995 I joined Davies Collison Cave, the pre-eminent IP firm in Australia where I finished my attorney exams and trained as a junior attorney, qualifying as a Registered Patent Attorney in January 1997. In 2005 I became a partner of Pizzeys Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys and all of this culminated in DARK IP being established in January 2012. The highlight so far has been running my own successful boutique IP firm, but the firm is still young!

Describe the most enjoyable and challenging aspects of your job

The most challenging aspects of the job are keeping up to date with the IP laws in the major jurisdictions and, also, getting up to speed on cutting edge technologies in a wide variety of technical fields. The most enjoyable part of the job is taking a start-up client from initial development of their innovation, through to protection via patents and, finally commercial success. Seeing clients achieve great success is fantastic. Also, achieving personal success is extremely rewarding, particularly when you have taken your company from nothing to something fairly special, as we have.

What are your strongest memories while you were studying at Federation University Australia?

I still remember the great friends that I went through uni with, though unfortunately I am not in touch with many of them. Also, the lecturers stay in my mind. I will never forget Roy Schrieke’s inorganic chemistry classes, Barry Shearer’s taking us for organic chemistry classes and David Webb one on one on the XRF for mineral chemistry. I think we were really lucky as it was a small group of kids with some pretty amazing lecturers!

Do you have any advice about life after study to pass on to current students?

I’ve really enjoyed my progression through my working life post-uni. Working in a large organisation is great to find your footing and get good training. Running a business is hugely challenging, but an awesome experience. I’d say if you want to start a business once you’ve got the grounding, go for it. The measure of a company’s success will generally be directly related to the work you are prepared to put in to it, perhaps with some exceptions. My recommendation - always be on the front foot and, if you are successful, never be complacent.

In one sentence what words of wisdom would you pass on to students

Be brave and don’t fear failure - some of the greatest rewards follow great risks.