Review of the Trans-Tasman patent attorney registration regime

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Submissions due: 02 February 2022, 11:59pm

IP Australia and MBIE are seeking feedback on the performance of the Trans-Tasman patent attorney registration regime. IP Australia is also seeking feedback on the Australian trade marks attorney registration regime.

About the consultation

The Arrangement between the Government of Australia and the Government of New Zealand relating to the Trans-Tasman Regulation of Patent Attorneys requires that a review of the effectiveness of the registration regime be undertaken within five years of implementation of the regime (by February 2022).  These consultations will help to determine whether any changes or improvements should be made to the registration regime.

IP Australia is also using this consultation to help determine whether any changes or improvements should be made to the Australian trade marks attorney registration regime.

What we are seeking feedback on

We want to hear from patent attorneys and individuals and businesses who use the services of patent attorneys, and interested parties on how the Trans-Tasman patent attorney registration regime is performing in relation to the objectives of the arrangement, which include:

  • allowing for economies of scale in institutional arrangements;
  • minimising regulatory and business compliance costs;
  • increasing business confidence in the quality and standard of service provided by patent attorneys; and
  • facilitating competition in the market for patent attorney services.

The consultation paper also includes a section reviewing the Australian trade marks attorney registration regime.

About the Trans-Tasman patent attorney registration regime

The Trans-Tasman patent attorney register records the names of all registered patent attorneys licensed to provide patents-related advice in Australia and New Zealand. Only a registered patent attorney may provide you with professional assistance to:

  • Apply for and obtain a patent; or
  • Prepare and amend patent specifications; or
  • Get advice on the validity of patents and their infringement.

It is an offence for anyone else to either provide such assistance or hold themselves out as a patent attorney or patent agent.

If you would like more information about the Trans-Tasman registration regime, including who is registered as a patent attorney, you should visit the Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board website.

Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board website(external link)

Who do we want to hear from?

  • Registered patent attorneys
  • Candidates who are seeking to register as patent attorneys
  • Individuals and business who have used the services of patent attorneys
  • Educational institutions offering accredited courses of study for candidates to qualify for registration
  • Australian registered trade marks attorneys
  • Lawyers providing advice on intellectual property matters, particularly in relation to patents and trade marks
  • Any other interested parties.

How to make a submission

Send your submission:

Please direct any questions that you have in relation to the submissions process to ip.policy@mbie.govt.nz.

Use of information

The information provided in submissions will be used to inform IP Australia and MBIE’s policy development process, and will inform advice to Ministers on improvements or enhancements to the joint Trans-Tasman registration regime for patent attorneys and the Australian trade mark attorney registration regime. We may contact submitters directly if we require clarification of any matters in submissions.

Release of information

IP Australia and MBIE intend to upload PDF copies of submissions received to their websites. IP Australia and MBIE will consider you to have consented to uploading by making a submission, unless you clearly specify otherwise in your submission.

If your submission contains any information that is confidential or you otherwise wish us not to publish, please:

  • indicate this on the front of the submission, with any confidential information clearly marked within the text
  • provide a separate version excluding the relevant information for publication on our websites.

Submissions remain subject to requests under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) and Official Information Act 1982 (NZ). Please set out clearly in the cover letter or e-mail accompanying your submission if you have any objection to the release of any information in the submission, and in particular, which parts you consider should be withheld, together with the reasons for withholding the information. IP Australia and MBIE will take such objections into account and will consult with submitters when responding to requests under either the Freedom of Information Act or the Official Information Act.

Personal information

The Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and Privacy Act 1993 (NZ) establish certain principles with respect to the collection, use and disclosure of information about individuals by various agencies, including IP Australia and MBIE. Any personal information you supply to either IP Australia or MBIE in the course of making a submission will only be used for the purpose of assisting in the development of policy advice in relation to this review. Please clearly indicate in the cover letter or e-mail accompanying your submission if you do not wish your name, or any other personal information, to be included in any summary of submissions that IP Australia and MBIE may publish. IP Australia and MBIE will not otherwise use or disclose your personal information without your consent, unless authorised or required by or under law.

For further information on how your personal information is managed in Australia visit IP Australia's Consultation Hub.

Privacy policy — IP Australia Consultation Hub