John Dower

Principal, Sydney | BSc(Elec Eng), BProc

Direct +61 2 8267 3907

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John is a registered patent attorney in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. He has extensive international experience in the drafting and prosecution of patent and design applications, as well as in most other aspects of patent law.

John provides strategic advice on building and managing patent portfolios, and on creating readily enforceable patent rights for a broad base of local and foreign multinational clients.  John also has a busy oppositions practice and works closely with the Herbert Smith Freehills IP Litigation team in cases for large multinational clients.

Technical experience

John has a strong technical background in electrical and electronic engineering, as well as mechanical engineering, and supports clients in technical areas such as: 

  • Mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets and related GUI and touchscreen technology
  • All types of electrical appliances, including beverage makers
  • DSP applications including sound and image processing technology
  • Software, internet and business process related patent applications in various technical areas, including digital rights management
  • Electric motors and generators

John also has dealt with many power electronics inventions, electronic identification and tracking systems and associated transponders, telecommunications networks, electronic detonators, electronic control and detection systems and MEMS devices. He also understands many different types of medical devices and systems, including medical/cochlear implants, MRI technology, stents, diagnostic equipment, non-wovens and intravenous devices, such as IV catheters.

John has successfully opposed and defended patent applications in opposition proceedings before the Australian Patent Office, including in the areas of financial transaction systems, process engineering, and gaming systems and platforms.

John qualified as a solicitor and patent attorney in 1990 at a boutique firm in South Africa, where he was involved in the drafting and prosecution of local and foreign patent applications, opinion work, IP strategy advice and patent litigation. He joined FPA Patent Attorneys in 2001 as a consultant and became a Principal in 2003.

John has lectured specification drafting for the Masters of IP course at the University of Technology in Sydney.

Areas of expertise

  • Electronic and Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering and Manufacturing
  • Information and Communication Technology
  • Analytical Instrumentation
  • Consumer Products and Design
  • Energy
  • Software Patents
  • Medical Devices


  • Bachelor of Science (Electrical and Electronic Engineering), University of Cape Town
  • Baccalaureus Procurationis, University of South Africa
  • Registered Patent Attorney (Australia, New Zealand and South Africa)


  • Fellow: Institute of Patent Attorneys of Australia
  • International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Asian Patent Attorneys Association
  • Intellectual Property Society Australia and New Zealand (former Vice-President)
  • Intellectual Property Owners Association