Patent & Trade Mark
Prue Cowin
Prue Cowin

Level 14, 90 Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel +61 3 8618 4107
Fax +61 3 8618 4199
Recent Publications
16 Jan 2017
Inventorship has been described as “one of muddiest concepts in the muddy metaphysics of the patent law.” Mueller Brass Co. v. Reading Industries, Inc., 352 F.Supp. 1357, 1372 (E.D.Pa. 1972). Determining inventorship is a complex issue that is undertaken on a much stricter basis than authorship of a scientific publication. It can also be a particularly contentious issue when people are not named as inventors. Not only can this lead to alienation, but it can also lead to legal issues. For example, a patent may be invalid if incorrect inventors are intentionally named. During litigation, a defendant may also be able to identify an unnamed inventor and obtain an assignment from them, thereby qualifying as a co-owner of the patent and no longer subject to the litigation.

12 Sep 2016
In August 2015, we reported on a decision of the Australian Patent Office dealing with three applications by Abbvie Biotechnology for extensions of term to its Australia Patents 2012261708, 2013203420 and 2013257402 on the basis of ‘Swiss-Style’ claims.

06 Sep 2016
Monoclonal antibodies are important human therapeutic agents and represent some of the largest selling drugs in the world. Patents relating to antibodies are treated differently to some other compounds in some jurisdictions. This article touches on some of the important requirements for antibody patenting in some major Asian jurisdictions, namely Japan, China and South Korea.
Prue joined FB Rice in 2013 and is an Associate in our Melbourne Biotechnology team. She completed her PhD at Monash Institute of Medical Research, investigating the effects of environmental chemicals on prostate disease.  Her comprehensive PhD led to a number of publications in high-ranking field specific peer-reviewed journals.

Prue continued her scientific training at the highly reputed Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre where she conducted comprehensive studies investigating acquired chemo-resistance in ovarian cancer, a lethal gynaecological malignancy.

During both her PhD and post-doctoral training, Prue expanded her knowledge, technical research skills and communication skills across multiple scientific disciplines.  Her communication and interpersonal skills assisted Prue in forming invaluable networks with national and international collaborators, as well as communicating her research to the general public.

In acknowledgement of her strong combination of communication skills and scientific knowledge, Prue was awarded The Bulletin Bayer Smart 100 Young Achiever of the Year in 2007.

Prue is a registered Australian Patent and Trade Marks Attorney.


  • Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Honours), Monash University
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Monash University
  • Masters of Intellectual Property Law, The University of Melbourne

Areas of Interest

  • Molecular and cell biology
  • Cancer genomics (including next generation sequencing)
  • Cancer genetics
  • Biological therapies including antibodies, proteins, peptides, stem cells

Industry Teams

Professional Affiliations

  • Member Institute of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys of Australia
  • Member Intellectual Property Society of Australia and New Zealand
  • Member of AusBiotech
  • Member of BioMelbourne Network