Charles is a registered Australian and New Zealand Patent Attorney with over six years of experience in drafting and prosecuting Australian and overseas patent applications. In addition to patent prosecution, Charles also works closely with clients to prepare thorough validity and infringement opinions. His practice also involves protecting clients’ registered designs in Australia and overseas.
Charles has a background in mechatronic engineering which places him in a position to appreciate and understand inventions in a variety of technology fields. This combination of knowledge in the mechanical, electrical, electronic, and computational fields is appreciated by his clients as it reflects the fusion of technologies often found in their commercial products.
When appropriate, Charles’ preferred approach is to begin a client engagement with a one-to-one discussion, whether the client is based in Australia or overseas, an IP Manager or an inventor. His view is that this fosters faster understanding of each other’s ideas, and aids identification of relevant legal and commercial issues. This assists in providing the clients with the right IP services and outcomes at costs that are balanced with the client’s commercial objectives.
One of Charles’ favourite parts of his job is to visit local clients to see new ideas and inventions in action. Aside from satisfying his own curiosity, he feels this is one of the best ways to understand how an invention works and the underlying inventive concepts. It is also a good way to identify other potentially valuable features that may not otherwise be readily apparent. Site visits allow Charles a better understanding of the environment, operation, and needs of a client’s business. All of this, in his view, assists him to prepare quality patent specifications that endeavour to be comprehensive, valuable, and most importantly, meet the commercial expectations of his clients.
"I have found communication to be central to the way FB Rice operates both internally and with clients. As an attorney, I am more aware of what is going on within the business and throughout the firm. This approach is good for morale and keeps the staff happy—the level of transparency creates a level of trust between everyone and a strong sense of belonging and working as part of a team. Included in this approach is a good amount of client contact no matter what level of the business you are in as an attorney. By engaging with local clients and inventors, I have the opportunity to go and see inventions and development being done by clients, which makes the work more real and less academic. As a result, I have a much stronger tie to my clients and their commercial outcomes.
"After joining FB Rice from another firm, I immediately noticed how much freedom staff are given to try different things. Everyone is open to, and encouraged to give, suggestions on how we can do things better to improve operations internally and to ensure we are providing our clients with the best service available. Perhaps this is on account of the young, diverse and dynamic partnership."