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Kate Wilson


As the go-to person for devising intellectual property strategies, Kate gets pulled in on big picture projects with James & Wells’ clients.

Business is in her DNA. Kate played a rather significant role building up James & Wells from a three attorney firm back in 1987 to New Zealand’s leading IP firm.

Even when it comes down to her hobbies, Kate is not one to do anything half-hearted. As an avid foodie, Kate has published her own cookbook Platter Chatter, featured on the TVNZ programme MasterChef and grows a lot of her family’s food on their lifestyle block. In addition to gardening, Kate plays an unconventional game of squash and is also an amateur artist.


  • B.Sc (Phys/Chem)
  • M.Sc (Hons) (Phys)
  • Patent Attorney – NZ and Australia
  • IP Strategist

Industry specialty

  • Agribusiness
  • Biotechnology
  • Chemical
  • Clean technology
  • Creative/Design/Media
  • Electronics
  • Food and beverage
  • Health technology
  • ICT - software
  • Mechanical
  • Natural products


  • Patents
  • Designs
  • Intellectual property strategy
  • Plant variety rights
  • Blue Sky Mining 
  • Portfolio management
  • Education
  • Competitive intelligence 

Credentials & experience

Kate’s passion for the success and growth of Kiwi businesses means she is an advocate for companies engaging in the big picture by capturing intangible assets, protecting intellectual property, and creating strategies that maximise opportunities.

This dedication to see New Zealand innovation thrive on a global scale means Kate is often called upon to act as a key note speaker for a range of organisations, locally and internationally.

Kate holds a Bachelor of Science (Physics and Chemistry), a Master of Science (Hons) (Physics) and is a Registered Patent Attorney in both New Zealand and Australia.

Industry recognition

Kate has been named for five consecutive years in the IAM Strategy 300. This isn’t just any old award - this is the most extensive guide to IP professionals in the world. Kate has also been listed in the IAM Patent 1000 (with judges commenting that "practice head Kate Wilson is passionate about developing the IP portfolios of domestic businesses, which respect her “true ingenuity” and strategic nous”).

She's also listed as an ‘expert of experts’ within the field of strategy by Managing Intellectual Property, was the recipient of the 2014 Lexology Client Choice Award , recognising excellent client care and quality service and is listed in the 2015 edition of Asia IP Experts for patents. 

In 2013 she was asked to speak on Idea Creation to the ASTP in Austria – a conference attracting R&D commercialisation groups from all around Europe.

Kate is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Patent Attorneys (NZIPA) and a member of the Association of Australian Patent Attorneys.

IAM Strategy 300

Ranked as a world leading strategist in the IAM Strategy 300.

IAM Patent 1000

Listed on the IAM Patent 1000.

Client Choice Awards

Recipient of the 2014 Client Choice Award for Patents, recognising excellent client care and quality service.

Leading Expert in Strategy

Ranked by Managing Intellectual Property, as an 'expert of experts' in the field of strategy.

But don't take our word for it

"Having regular meetings with Kate Wilson has been very useful in helping us develop strategies for our intellectual property. Her intellectual property skills and business acumen are highly ranked by us."

Dr Ian Boddy, General Manager Business Group

"Kate has focused the whole organisation on innovation and inventiveness; it has become part of our culture and the whole team is cognizant of the value generated by appropriate protection. We now see intellectual property as a key factor in our success."

Wayne Leech, fmr Bomac CEO

"Kate's vast experience in patents and other IP protection techniques means that the strategic advice provided is based on sound knowledge of what works and gives maximum payback in the commercialization of our inventions."

Richard Johnston, Intellectual Property Manager