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John Hughes | Partner

B.Sc. (Hons.), Ph.D., Patent Attorney

John Hughes

Areas of Expertise

  • Patents
  • Biotechnology
  • Life Sciences

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, genetically modified plants, animals, microorganisms, immunology, diagnostics, pharmacology and microbiology. 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 and molecular diagnostics. He is also involved in protecting inventions relating to stem cell therapy and proteomic therapy. He is involved in both local and overseas work and has a substantial United States practice at the drafting and prosecution levels. John regularly provides strategic advice in the development of innovation. He also sits on a number of scientific advisory boards.

Affiliations and Memberships

  • 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
  • Visiting Researcher, Bio IP Course, Department of Medical Genome Sciences, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo


  • 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
  • Registered Patent Attorney (Australia and New Zealand)

John’s latest articles

Effect of Mayo Vs Prometheus on systems medicine patent eligibility

Systems medicine represents the transition of systems biology to a clinical paradigm.  Biomedical and biological… more »

Bio-reflections: the patentability of DNA and other biological molecules in Australia, the USA and China

This article, authored for the June 2010 Chinese-language edition of Managing Intellectual Property, discusses recent… more »

DCC celebrates 10 years in Brisbane

Davies Collison Cave is pleased to announce the 10th Anniversary of the Brisbane Office. The Office opened for business on… more »

Articles about John

DCC Out and About

Regional Victoria has the spotlight on small business over the next couple of months. Elizabeth Godfrey and Cheryl Hrvoj from… more »

Davies Collison Cave 2013 - 2014 Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) Wheel is now available

The 2013 – 2014 DCC PCT Wheel is now available online and in hard copy.  The Wheel provides a simple way to check… more »

DCC News and DCC Out & About

Davies Collison Cave is proud to have been announced as the winner of the 2013 Corporate Intl Magazine Legal… more »