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Tim Stirrup Outset Photo_edited_edited.j

Tim Stirrup, PhD


I founded Prime Innovation in 2018 with the aim to work with innovators on the development of exciting new technologies.  I advise them on IP and commercialisation matters and at the same time get to learn from them about their new technologies.  I'm there in the lab, workshop or field as much as possible - there's no better way to understand a technology than to experience it first-hand.

BSc and PhD qualifications provide a grounding in the natural sciences including Molecular Biology and Biochemistry.  From working as a Research Scientist at the Liggins Institute (University of Auckland) I moved to the world of patent law in 2009.

I gained experience over 8 years working as a Patent Attorney at a top tier private practice IP law firm (Baldwins IP) in Auckland.  After qualification as a Registered Trans-Tasman Patent Attorney three years in, multinational clients placed their trust in me to obtain grant of their NZ and Australian patents.  This was mainly in the pharma, agritech and biotech fields.  Alongside this international work was managing and developing the patent portfolios of some fantastic NZ clients - taking some of the best Kiwi Innovation this century to the world.  Working on LanzaTech's early patent portfolio (and a stint in-house for them) was a highlight.  Their leadership in the 2nd generation biofuels market is a case study on how a solid technology and progressive IP strategy can lead to continued investment and growth in the cleantech sector.  Other NZ cleantech pioneers are among the clients that I'm also proud to have assisted. 

My journey to the commercial side of IP law continued as In-house Patent Attorney at Auckland UniServices Limited - the tech transfer office for the University of Auckland.  Managing the University's biotech and life sciences patent portfolio requires an efficiency of action and thought.  It involves communication, prioritisation, managing diverse project teams and providing legally sound advice.  The array of IP legal experience in this role is fascinating - licensing, ownership, NZ and overseas grants, revenue sharing, material transfer agreements, external contracting, investment advisory, IP strategy, equity arrangements, IP due diligence, it has it all and more. 

Advising on Mātauranga Māori has also been a constant in my IP journey across roles.  While I certainly don't profess to be an expert in Māori cultural matters, I have written articles and advised on international best practice for managing and protecting IP in genetic resources and traditional knowledge.  I've worked on agreements with Iwi to enhance trust and best recognise and protect taonga works and species.  I've also been lucky enough to work with Māori kaiārahi in bringing to life a new approach to assess and advise on Māori IP matters within UniServices.  


At Engender Technologies, Nilo and Neocrete I'm proud to be leading IP matter.  IP management and training, budgeting, FTO and strategic development of the portfolio are key to my role in helping take these pioneer's tech to market. 

A regular IP advisor to Outset Ventures, Bridgewest Ventures and Motion Capital, I provide IP due diligence services plus support early-stage portfolio companies to develop and protect their IP.  With tech unicorns LanzaTech and Rocket Lab as Outset alumni, it's an honour to be part of the team in helping this next generation of companies to take on the world.  

I've developed and led IP workshops for KiwiNet, University of Auckland and SfTI, plus had several published articles in the IP law field and co-authored legal texts - Lexis Nexis IP Practical Guidance Module and Annotated Commentary of the NZ Patents Act.

If this sounds like someone who could help upskill your team or boost your IP position, then get in touch!


"It has been a pleasure and a privilege working with you! [Company Name] has become a significantly more sophisticated company to a large extent due to our IP development and the professional manner in which we are generating and protecting it thanks to you!"
From an NZ cleantech pioneer

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