Who we are

Who we are

The role of the Professional Standards Board for Patent and Trade Marks Attorney’s (PSB) is to determine:

  • the academic qualifications required to become patent and trade marks attorneys
  • the knowledge requirements for patent and trade marks attorneys
  • the accreditation of courses for attorneys that satisfy subject requirements under the regulations
  • the exemptions from requirements of a topic group or groups based on prior study for attorneys
  • the professional conduct of patent and trade marks attorneys
  • the disciplinary matters including complaints procedure and the role of the PSB in complaints’ proceedings

Strictly speaking, the PSB does not actually register patent and trade marks attorneys. That function is the responsibility of the position known as the Designated Manager.

Currently, the position of Designated Manager is held by IP Australia’s Director General Patricia Kelly.

The Director General of IP Australia (or their nominee) is an ex-officio member of the PSB for as long as they hold this position.

The position of Designated Manager is appointed by the Secretary of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

The board’s structure

PSB members are appointed on three-year terms by the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science. They are chosen for their relevant expertise.

PSB members are:

Ms Mary Padbury (Chair), Trade Marks Attorney, VIC

Dr Vivienne Thom, Independent Consultant, ACT

Dr Tania Obranovich, Patent and Trade Marks Attorney, VIC

Mr Greg West-Walker, Patent Attorney, AU and NZ

Mr Brendan Nugent, Patent and Trade Marks Attorney, QLD

Mr Carl Harrap, Patent Attorney NSW

Mr Anthony Alder, Patent and Trade Marks Attorney, NSW

Ms Patricia Kelly, (ex-officio) Director General, IP Australia

PSB sub-committees

The PSB administers four sub-committees. They are:

  • Qualifications 
  • Exemptions 
  • Discipline
  • Accreditation

The PSB Secretariat

The PSB Secretariat consists of the Secretary and one administrative assistant.

They are employees of IP Australia and manage attorney registration matters on behalf of the Designated Manager.

Please contact the Secretariat for all PSB related queries.

PSB meetings 2017

The next PSB meeting to consider applications for PSB approval will be held on

9-10 March 2017

The following closing dates apply:

Applications for exemptions from a requirement in Schedule 5 can be received at latest by 27 January 2017, providing that they are fully complete and correct.

Applications for accreditation of a course of study can be received at latest by 27 January 2017, providing that they are fully complete and correct.

Applications for approval of academic qualifications can be received at latest by 9 February 2017, providing they are fully complete and correct.

Completing the required formalities for attorney registration can be complex and time consuming; applicants are encouraged to commence work on their applications early and submit them well before the final due date.

This will allow time for the Secretariat to identify any administrative deficiencies and assist you to correct them before the deadline. Applications that are not fully in order by 27 January 2017 or 9 February 2017 respectively cannot be submitted to the PSB until the following meeting.

The PSB Secretariat endeavours to advise candidates of the outcome of all PSB decisions within 10 working days of the PSB meeting. All correspondence will be sent out electronically to the email address provided on the application form.

Future PSB meeting dates:

  • 9-10 March 2017

  • 6-7 July 2017

  • 2-3 November 2017

Closing dates for exemptions and accreditation are six weeks prior and qualifications are four weeks prior to the above future PSB meeting dates.