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Jacinta Flattery-O’Brien PhD

Special Counsel, Patent Attorney

PhD, BSc (Hons, University Medal), GradDipLS
Doctor of Philosophy (Molecular Biology)
Bachelor of Science (Hons, University Medal) (Molecular Genetics)
Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies
Registered Patent Attorney (AU & NZ)

Jacinta is a trusted and recognised leader in biotech/pharma patenting, identified as an “IP Star” by the highly regarded Managing Intellectual Property Journal (MIP) for her expertise.

She is a registered patent attorney with 20 years’ experience serving clients in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries.

Prior to being appointed as a Special Counsel of Pearce IP in 2020, Jacinta was a partner/principal for 14 years at specialist IP firm Shelston IP, where she was head of the biotechnology group.

Jacinta has extensive experience working with global biotech/ pharma/ biopharma companies to build and strategically protect their IP position. Her clients particularly value her responsiveness as well as her practical and commercially relevant advice delivered in a clear and concise manner.

Jacinta advises in relation to:

  • preparation and prosecution of applications for extension of term for patents covering blockbuster/high value pharmaceuticals (to date about 100 such applications);
  • prosecution of, and the provision of strategic advice relating to, patent applications in Australia, New Zealand and internationally;
  • patent oppositions at the Australian Patent Office;
  • freedom-to-operate clearances;
  • infringement and validity of patents;
  • drafting patent applications relating to biotech/pharma/biopharma inventions; and
  • prosecution of plant breeder’s rights (PBR) applications (Jacinta is a PBR “Qualified Person”, one of only a handful of Australian patent attorneys authorised by the Australian PBR office to certify PBRs).

Jacinta holds a PhD in molecular biology from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), and was awarded the University Medal for “outstanding academic performance” in her BSc(hons) as well as the CSL prize of the Biochemical Graduates Associates for achieving first place in the BSc(hons) programme at the same university. She enjoys working on complex matters relating to molecular biology, genetic engineering, biotechnology/protein expression, immunology, microbiology (eukaryotic and prokaryotic), stem cell technology, pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals, veterinary products and plant breeder’s rights (PBRs).

Jacinta was a course coordinator at Macquarie University (INOV802 – Intellectual Property Creation, Strategy and Management) and has lectured at UNSW on the strategic management of IP in undergraduate and post-graduate courses for 19 years.

Jacinta Flattery–O’Brien Awards

World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR)

WIPR Leader (2023)
WIPR Leader (2022)
Patent Leader (2022)
Patent Leader (2021)

Managing IP Stars

IP Star (2024)
Rising Star (2023)
Patent Star (2023, 2022, 2021, 2020)

IAM Patent 1000

Silver ranking - Prosecution (2024, 2023)

IAM Global Leaders:

Global Leaders (2023)

Pearce IP Awards

Chambers and Partners 

Intellectual Property – Tier 5 (2024, 2023) 

Legal 500 Asia Pacific 

Ranked as a Market Leading Intellectual Property Firm (2024
Ranked as a Market Leading Intellectual Property Firm (2023

IAM Patent 1000 

Pearce IP ranked bronze for litigation and prosecution (2024, 2023, 2022, 2021

Australian Law Awards (Lawyers Weekly) 

Finalist - Boutique Diversity Firm of the Year (2022
Finalist – Intellectual Property Team of the Year (2022
Winner – Intellectual Property Team of the Year (2021

Managing IP Stars 

Pearce IP ranked Tier 3 – prosecution (2022
Pearce IP ranked firm (2021) 

Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards 

Boutique Diversity Firm of the Year – Finalist (2022

Women in Business Law Awards - APAC 

Shortlisted - Australian Firm of the Year (2022

Lexology Legal Influencer 

Healthcare and Life Sciences (Australasia) (Q4 2023, Q3 2023, Q2 2023,Q3 2022,  Q2 2022, Q1 2021, Q4 2020
Healthcare and Life Sciences (Cross-border) (Q4 2023, Q3 2023, Q2 2023, Q1 2023

Australasian Lawyer 5-Star Awards 

5-Star Intellectual Property Law Firm (2021

Doyles Intellectual Property 

Doyles Leading Intellectual Property (2021, 2020) 

Doyles Recommended Intellectual Property (2021)

Prosecution (Silver) - IAM Patent 1000, 2024

“draws judiciously upon her doctoral pedigree to provide commercially minded counsel to big names in the biopharmaceutical sector”

"Winner - Intellectual Property Team of the Year 2021"

Australian Law Awards (Lawyers Weekly)

"Finalist - Intellectual Property Team of the Year 2022"

Australian Law Awards (Lawyers Weekly)

"Patent Star 2022, 2021"

MIP IP Stars

"WIPR Leader"

Jacinta Flattery-O’Brien for Patents and Technology (2022, 2021)

"5-Star Intellectual Property Law Firm"

Australasian Lawyer 5-Star Awards 2021

"Pearce IP Ranked Tier 3 - Prosecution"

MIP IP Stars 2022

"Pearce IP bronze ranking for litigation and recommended for prosecution"

IAM Patent 1000 2021

"Pearce IP - Lexology Legal Influencer"

Healthcare and Life Sciences (Australasia):
Pearce IP (Q2 2022, Q1 2021, Q4 2020)

Healthcare and Life Sciences (Cross-border): Pearce IP (2021)

"Pearce IP ranked bronze for litigation and prosecution"

IAM Patent 1000 2022

"Highly recommended for prosecution - Jacinta Flattery-O'Brien"

IAM Patent 1000 2022

"Women in Business Law Awards - APAC"

Shortlisted: Australian Firm of the Year (2022)

Australasian Lawyer 5-Star Awards

5-Star Intellectual Property Law Firm: Pearce IP (2021)

The Legal 500, 2023, Intellectual Property, Australia

The Pearce IP team has an in depth understanding of the science and the pharmaceutical regulatory industry driving many of their client’s businesses.  They are passionate about achieving their client’s commercial objectives – and they are extremely hard-working and dedicated lawyers.


By 2027, be the premier life sciences IP practice in
Australia and New Zealand.