"IP is a commercial tool"

"It’s essential to understand what your IP can do for you and what it can’t. It’s a key tool in implementing your business strategy."

In IP, every situation is different, says Steven Starkie. Even with the same product, a big company with money might choose to patent globally and manufacture themselves, while a small company with a patent might choose to license the patent rights to a larger company in return for a percentage or to sell the patent for a lump sum. 

Steven specialises in electronics, IT and mechanical technologies including computer software, business methods and electrical circuits as well as mining, automated mining systems, data acquisition, analysis and warehousing systems.

He has broad experience in the UK and Europe as well as Australia and his view is that your IP strategy must align with your business strategy. "You need to understand exactly what is being patented and what you want to use the patent for. In other words, what is the business strategy surrounding your decision to obtain a patent? Is it offensive, defensive, to provide your business with an additional income stream, or primarily marketing driven?"

"Sometimes getting the patent is the easy part. The issue is whether a patent can be obtained that is worth something, that achieves your business needs and continues to have value in years to come."


  • Master of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (with French) – University of Nottingham, UK
  • Diploma in Intellectual Property Practice – Institute of Patent Attorneys of Australia
  • Certificate of Intellectual Property Law – University of London
  • Registered Patent Attorney (Australia and New Zealand)
  • Qualified European Patent Attorney