Organic chemistry is an often misunderstood discipline – in assuming it to be the study of clean and green chemistry, people are prone to place emphasis on the “organic” rather than the “chemistry”. In fact, rather simply and often misleadingly, organic chemistry is the study of compounds, molecules and materials that contain carbon atoms. It is a rather broad subdiscipline that certainly encompasses clean/green chemistry, but it not defined by it.
The range of chemical compounds that contain carbon is appreciably broad. Often, the simplest distinction is between natural compounds such as sugars and other carbohydrates, vitamins, antigens, enzymes, hormones, lipids, fatty acids, proteins, lectins, peptides and the like; and synthetic compounds that are produced in a laboratory – examples being polymeric compounds such as plastics, rubbers. As such, it can be readily appreciated that organic chemistry can be found in all walks of life – from pharmaceuticals and drugs to automobile tyres; from the magic ingredient in ones morning coffee to that of their dinner-time glass of Pinot; from the turpentine in which one cleans their paint brushes to the detergent with which the household laundry is done – organic chemistry is indeed “everywhere”. From an IP-perspective, the patenting of organic molecules (and uses/syntheses thereof) is a staple of the industry. Pharmaceutical companies, environmental companies, food companies, commodities companies – the broad spectrum of organic chemistry houses them all. Operating throughout Australia and New Zealand, Shelston IP attorneys are well-versed in the liberal, yet somewhat idiosyncratic patent laws governing the patenting of organic compounds in our corner of the world. Indeed, the skills and experiences of our organic chemistry specialists, listed below, are as broad as the subject itself.