Denis Tuffery

Consultant, Wellington 


 B. Sc  1967 Victoria University of Wellington

M. Sc(Hons) Chemistry 1968 Victoria University of Wellington

Registered patent attorney, New Zealand and Australia

Work History

Denis has spent over 40 years working in the patent field  both in New Zealand and Australia; a rewarding career as a partner in one of the leading patent attorney firms in New Zealand followed by patent consultancy roles on key cases  for  patent attorney  firms both in New Zealand and Australia.

He has handled a wide spectrum of patent work, from preparation and filing  of applications, prosecution of applications in NZ and abroad, oppositions in NZ and Australia, Europe and China, other evidence based subjects such as restorations, extensions of time, patent term extensions, supporting Counsel on litigation both in NZ, Australia and overseas and the raft of work that accompanied such efforts. These included reviewing and writing opinions on freedom to operate  and validity issues, briefing experts, preparing draft evidence and researching case law.

Denis has specialised in protection for chemical inventions for innovative multinational companies including Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi, BASF, Bayer, Novo Nordisk, Du Pont, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Bristol-Myers-Squibb, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, Takeda, Shionogi and Gilead. He has also acted for significant NZ companies in this space including Nufarm, Argenta, New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research, as well as in the mechanical engineering sector including Fonterra ( spray drying apparatus ) and Dux Engineers (plumbing equipment). 

He has also worked with registered designs, supporting counsel on one of New Zealand’s landmark copyright cases - UPL industries v Dux Engineers.

Denis has in-depth knowledge and experience of the practices and processes before the NZ and Australian patent offices. He has had responsibility for many of New Zealand ‘s leading cases, including oppositions, restorations, extensions of time and other applications. 


  • Council member of NZ Institute of Patent Attorneys 1992 to 1996. President 1997 to 1998.
  • Vice President of NZ group of Asian Patent Attorneys Association (APAA) for 6 years to 1998. Council member for the APAA Headquarters group - 1994 to 1998. On Patents Committee 1988 to 1998.
  • President of AIPPI NZ for 2 years

Opposition cases in NZ and Australia 

  • Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited v Meiji Dairies Corporation [2014] APO 64 (16 September 2014) 
  • Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited and Kraft Foods Global Brands LLC v Leprino Foods [2015] APO 22 (25 May 2015) 
  • Merial New Zealand Limited v Jurox Pty Ltd [2016] APO 63
  • Dyno Nobel Inc v Orica Australia Pty Limited [2003] APO 13 (21 March
  • Ashmont Holdings Limited v American Home Products and Nature Vet Pty Limited [2002] APO 24 (24 June 2002) 
  • NALCO CHEMICAL COMPANY v W R GRACE & CO - CONN [2000] APO 4 (7 January
  • Merial New Zealand Limited v Jurox Pty Ltd [2017] APO 5 (18 January 2017)
  • Merial Limited v Jurox Pty Ltd [2011] NZIPOPAT 9 (30 May 2011)
  • Reel SA & ASMI v Pechiney [2006] NZIPOPAT 37 (28 August 2006)
  • Miles Inc v Bayer AG [1997] NZIPOPAT 27 (22 July 1997)

High Court and Court of Appeal cases in NZ assisting counsel:

  • Ancare, Monsanto v Stauffer, Pharmac
  • Dow v Ishihara (1986) 1 TCLR 332
  • AB Hassle v Pharmacia (Australia) Pty Ltd, HC Wellington, P322-95, 28 March 1996
  • UPL Group Ltd v Dux Engineers Ltd (1988) 2 TCLR 687(HC): [1989] 3 NZLR 135(CA)

Contact us for prompt, helpful advice:

+64-4 801 7481