John Hughes

John Hughes

Patent Attorney | Consultant
Contact John:


  • Agribusiness
  • Food & Nutrition
  • Beverages & FMCG
  • Life Science
  • Biotechnology

As a post-doctoral scientist, John worked in the United States at Yale University and subsequently as a research associate at Genentech Inc., mainly in microbial genetics and molecular biology. He also spent time at Cold Spring Harbor. He then joined a law firm in New York to begin training as a patent attorney, before returning to Australia.

John specialises in the drafting and prosecution of patent applications directed to all facets of biotechnology, including inventions relating to molecular biology, cytokines and stem cells, crop science, genetically modified plants, animals, and microorganisms, genetic molecule delivery systems, immunology, diagnostics, pharmacology, microbiology and agricultural technology. John joined Davies Collison Cave in 1989 becoming a Partner in 1995. In 1999, John helped the firm establish an office in Brisbane before returning to Melbourne in 2003.

John has particular experience in genomic, proteomic and transcriptionomic patents and the interface between biochip technology, molecular diagnostics and biomarker-assisting breeding protocols for plants and animals. He is also part of the firm’s Agriculture, Food Technology and Nutrition group and has a special interest in promoting intellectual property protection for pre-and post-farm gate innovation. John regularly provides strategic advice in the development of innovation in life science and agriculture.


  • Managing Intellectual Property ‘IP Stars’: Ranked highly as an Australian ‘IP Star’, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017
  • Asia IP Experts: Leading lawyer in patents, pharma and biotech, 2015


  • Fellow: Institute of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys of Australia
  • Member: AusBiotech Limited
  • Member: Australian Primary Principals Association
  • Member: Intellectual Property Society of Australia and New Zealand
  • Member: International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property
  • Member: International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys
  • Member: Licensing Executive Society of Australia and New Zealand


  • Bachelor of Science (Microbiology, Biochemistry & Immunology) (Hons.), Monash University
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Microbial genetics), Monash University
  • Post doctoral studies, Yale University and Cold Spring Harbor (Molecular biology)
  • Registered Patent Attorney (Australia and New Zealand)

Recent Articles by John