We recently sat down for a chat with Wrays’ Senior Associate, Tyson Keed. Tyson told us about his background and interest in science and talked us through his journey into intellectual property.
Tyson, before joining Wrays in 2010 you first studied nanotechnology. Did you do that with the intention of working in intellectual property?
Not at all, in fact, I don’t think I knew what a patent attorney was when I was studying. I have always been really interested in science and this led to me originally pursuing a degree in a scientific field. I chose nanotechnology because it was a relatively new field that combined a lot of different science disciplines. However, towards the end of my degree, I was really struggling to see myself working in a research environment and I began to explore other options. It was during this time that I was introduced to a patent attorney and I completed some work experience here at Wrays. I was instantly fascinated by the mixture of science and innovation that went into solving real-world problems and the way in which all that work could be protected by patents. I have been at Wrays ever since.
What type of clients do you typically work with, and what does innovation look like to them?
My clients are primarily from the mining industry, particularly mineral processing technologies. The mining industry is typically thought of as relatively slow-moving, but my experience as a patent attorney has shown me that this could not be further from the truth. My clients in this space are constantly looking for ways in which to improve their operations, whilst also reacting to a multitude of external pressures. Lately, the industry has been led by the increased demand for battery materials and finding solutions for extracting such materials from sources that have previously been considered too difficult to treat.
Can you share with us a highlight you’ve enjoyed during your time at Wrays?
It is very rewarding being able to assist my clients with protecting their new technologies and seeing how they can use this protection to commercialise the technology. A definite highlight was a client of mine being able to utilise their patented technology to enter into a joint venture with a multi-national company to commercialise their lithium-ion battery recycling process.
Tyson, you are the current Chairperson of the WA Regional Committee for the Licencing Executives Society of Australia and New Zealand (LESANZ). What is the purpose of the society?
LESANZ is an organisation that aims to create a community that supports all aspects of innovation and commercialisation. The membership comprises mainly of professionals from a range of industries who are involved in this space. The primary focus of the organisation is to provide education sessions and networking opportunities to exchange ideas and encourage innovation.
Personally, I find the society to be a fantastic resource for anyone who engages in R&D activities and is looking for assistance in commercialising their technologies. The members are all enthusiastic about innovation and are always willing to provide advice to those who are in the early stages of development.
What does your current role with LESANZ entail, and what has it taught you?
I am the chair of the Western Australian LESANZ committee. The role of the committee is to organise and run local events. The biggest challenge faced by the committee is to deliver engaging events that have topics that apply broadly across multiple industries. The role has taught me the importance of surrounding yourself with talented people with a diverse range of skills. It has also shown me the benefit of partnering with other businesses/organisations to achieve success.
And finally, when you’re not absorbed in the world of IP, how do you keep yourself busy?
Most of my spare time at the moment is taken up with renovations to my house. I am really enjoying the challenge it presents and the new skills I am learning along the way.
If you’d like to find out more about LESANZ, visit lesanz.org.au.