Accredited courses

The University of Melbourne; Monash University; the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS); and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) deliver courses that are accredited by the Professional Standards Board for Patent and Trade Marks Attorneys (PSB). However, not all of these tertiary institutions offer courses for every topic group required for registration as a patent attorney or a trade marks attorney. Accredited courses at UTS are now conducted online. Some tertiary institutions provide distance delivery of courses as intensive learning or by the more traditional distance learning in some subjects. You will need to talk to the tertiary institutions about their individual courses and requirements. You should contact your chosen accredited institution early to enrol in appropriate courses through the institution's normal enrolment process. The PSB stopped conducting its own examinations in 2004.

Accredited courses for patent attorneys

The Professional Standards Board for Patent and Trade Marks Attorneys (PSB) has accredited the following courses:

University of Melbourne

PSB topic group(s)

Accredited courses

A1: Legal Process

and

A2: Overview of IP

Australian Legal Process and Legal Institutions or Fundamentals of the Common Law [LAWS70217] or Fundamentals of the Common Law - Int [LAWS70256]

Overview of Intellectual Property

B – Professional Conduct

Advanced Workshop in Professional Conduct for Trade Marks and Patents Attorneys and Trade Marks Practice [LAWS70243] [Accredited until 1 July 2016]

C – Trade Marks Law

Trade Marks and Unfair Competition [LAWS70046]

D – Trade Marks Practice

B- Professional Conduct & D-Trade Marks Practice

Trade Marks Practice [LAWS70243]  [Accredited until 1 December 2014]

Trade Marks Practice [LAWS90035] [Accredited until 26 February 2020]

E – Patent Law

Patent Law [LAWS70021]

F – Patent Practice

Patent Practice [LAWS70060]

G – Drafting of Patent Specifications

Fundamentals of Patent Drafting  [LAWS70387]

H – Interpretation and Validity of Patent Specifications

Interpretation and Validity of Patent Specifications [LAWS70061]

I : Designs Law

Designs Law and Practice [LAWS70261]

Monash University

PSB topic groups

Accredited courses

A1: Legal Process and
B: Professional Conduct

Legal process and professional conduct [LAW7477] [new code LAW5080]

A1: Legal Process

Australian Legal System [LAW7212]

A2: Overview of IP

Intellectual Property [LAW7223] [new code LAW5340]

C : Trade Marks Law

Trade Marks and Commercial Designations [LAW7075] [new code LAW5316]

D: Trade Marks Practice

B Professional Conduct and D – Trade Marks Practice

Trade Marks Practice [LAW7224]

Trade mark Practice [LAW5341]

E: Patent Law

Protecting commercial innovation: Patents and trade Secrets [LAW7119] [new code LAW5321]

F: Patent System

Patent Practice [LAW7452]

G: Drafting of Patent Specifications

Drafting Patent Specifications [LAW7465]

H: Interpretation and Validity of Patent Specifications

Interpretation and Validity of Patent Specifications [LAW7466]

I: Designs Law

Designs Law and Practice [LAW7254] [new code LAW5346]

University of Technology, Sydney

PSB topic groups

Accredited courses

A1: Legal Process and
A2: Overview of IP

Legal Process and Intellectual Property [77896] (accredited until 1 December 2015)

B: Professional Conduct

Professional Conduct (IP) [77892]  (accredited until
1 December 2015)

A1: Legal Process and
A2: Overview of IP
B: Professional Conduct

Preparing for Intellectual Property Practice [77905]

C : Trade Marks Law

Trade Marks Law [77889]

D: Trade Marks Practice

Trade Marks Practice [77890]

E: Patent Law

Patent Law [77898]

F: Patent System

Patent Systems [77891]

G: Drafting of Patent Specifications

Drafting of Patent Specifications [77894]

H: Interpretation and Validity of Patent Specifications

Interpretation and Validity of Patent Specifications [77895]

I: Designs Law

Designs Law and Practice [77893]

Queensland University of Technology

PSB Topic Group(s)

Accredited courses

A1: Legal Process and Overview of IP

Legal Process and LWN401 General Introduction to Intellectual Property Law

C: Trade Marks Law

LWN404 Trade Marks, Domain Names and Geographical Indications

E: Patent Law

LWN402 Patents and Biotechnological Inventions

I: Designs Law

LWN405 Industrial Designs and Plant Variety Protection

 

Accredited courses for trade marks attorneys

The  Professional Standards Board for Patent and Trade Marks Attorneys (PSB) has accredited the following courses:

University of Melbourne

PSB topic group(s)

Accredited courses

A1: Legal Process

and

A2: Overview of IP

Australian Legal Process and Legal Institutions or Fundamentals of the Common Law [LAWS70217] or Fundamentals of the Common Law - Int [LAWS70256]

Overview of Intellectual Property

B – Professional Conduct

Advanced Workshop in Professional Conduct for Trade Marks and Patents Attorneys and Trade Marks Practice [LAWS70243] [Accredited until 1 July 2016]

C – Trade Marks Law

Trade Marks and Unfair Competition [LAWS70046]

D – Trade Marks Practice

B- Professional Conduct & D-Trade marks Practice

Trade Marks Practice [LAWS70243]

[Accredited until 1 December 2014] Trade Marks Practice [LAWS90035] [Accredited until 26 February 2020]

Monash University

PSB topic groups

Accredited courses

A1: Legal Process and
B: Professional Conduct

Legal process and professional conduct [LAW7477]

A1: Legal Process

Australian Legal System [LAW7212] [ new code LAW5080]

A2: Overview of IP

 Intellectual Property [LAW7223]

[new code LAW5340]

C : Trade Marks Law

Trade Marks and Commercial Designations [LAW7075] [new code LAW5316]

D: Trade Marks Practice

B-Professional Conduct and D – Trade Marks Practice

Trade Marks Practice [LAW7224] Trade mark Practice [LAW5341]

University of Technology Sydney

PSB topic groups

Accredited courses

A1: Legal Process and
A2: Overview of IP

Legal Process and Intellectual Property [77896]

B: Professional Conduct

Professional Conduct (IP) [77892]

A1: Legal Process and
A2: Overview of IP
B: Professional Conduct

Preparing for Intellectual Property Practice [77905]

C: Trade Marks Law

Trade Marks Law [77889]

D: Trade Marks Practice

Trade Marks Practice [77890]

Queensland University of Technology

PSB Topic Group(s)

Accredited courses

A1: Legal Process and A2: Overview of IP

Legal Process and LWN401 General Introduction to Intellectual Property Law

C: Trade Marks Law

LWN404 Trade Marks, Domain Names and Geographical Indications

Topic groups

Topic Group A: A1: Legal process and A2: overview of intellectual property

Outcome

An understanding of the Australian legal system and how intellectual property rights may be protected.

Topics

A1. The Australian legal system, including:

  • appeal or review procedure;
  • Parliament;
  • the courts;
  • precedent;
  • statutory interpretation.

A2. Overview of intellectual property rights:

  • patents;
  • trade marks;
  • designs;
  • copyright;
  • circuit layouts;
  • plant breeders' rights;
  • confidential information and trade secrets;
  • trade practices and anti-competitive practices;
  • international intellectual property treaties.

Advice on PSB practice

Legal process

Applicants possessing Australian law degrees completed in the last 7 years are routinely exempted from this requirement and need only cite the degree in this part of the application (that is, there is no need to detail coverage of the areas set out in 1(a)-(e) above). PSB may also grant an exemption in relation to overseas studies, provided the legal system in question is a common law system. Older qualifications are reviewed on acase by case basis. (PSB may extend 7 year period in writing).

Overview of intellectual property

Applicants need to have completed either a general or "survey" subject on intellectual property, or a combination of subjects that cover the required areas. The absence of coverage of one of the "core" areas of patents, trade marks, designs or copyright will usually result in an exemption not being granted, but PSB will often accept studies even if they do not cover more minor areas such as circuit layouts.

PSB will also generally accept studies completed overseas, provided the laws studied are broadly similar in concept to their Australian equivalents, especially in the core areas listed above.

Topic Group B: Professional conduct

Outcome

An understanding of the rights, privileges and responsibilities of a patent or trade marks attorney.

Topics

  • conflict of interest;
  • privilege;
  • confidentiality;
  • professional liability and negligence;
  • code of conduct;
  • maintenance of rights and monitoring systems;
  • fiduciary obligations to clients.

Advice on PSB practice

PSB will usually grant exemption to those who have studied professional conduct within the past 7 years, as part of a law degree and/or practical legal training undertaken for the purpose of admission as a legal practitioner. Applicants who furnish evidence that they have been admitted as a legal practitioner in Australia within the past 7 years will not be required in their application to detail coverage of the areas set out in the above bullets. Older qualifications will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

Topic Group C: Trade mark law

Outcome

An understanding of the principles of trade marks and the trade mark system in Australia.

Topics

  • passing off and unfair competition;
  • advice on registrability;
  • comparison of business names and trade marks;
  • marks excluded from registration;
  • other provisions for trade indicia protection:
    • Olympic insignia legislation;
    • domain names;
    • geographical indications;
  • criteria that affect registrability:
  • distinctiveness;
  • deception and confusion;
  • ownership - authorship of trade marks;
  • use:
    • intention to use;
    • honest concurrent use;
    • prior continuous use;
  • protection
  • infringement;
  • well known marks.

Advice on PSB practice

Study of trade mark law in another country, or as part of a general or "survey" course in intellectual property, will not usually be sufficient to gain exemption.

Topic Group D: Trade mark practice

Outcome

Ability to advise and to handle the interests of a client in prosecution and maintenance of trade mark applications, including advice on the desirability of seeking trade mark protection and provision of alternative protection in Australia and other countries.

Topics

  • classification systems;
  • searching;
  • types of application and registration;
  • trade marks office practice and procedure:
    • filing;
    • examination;
    • hearings;
    • opposition;
    • evidence;
    • extension of time;
  • removal for non-use;
  • rectification;
  • registration of security interests;
  • border controls;
    • exploitation:
    • assignment;
    • licensing;
    • parallel imports;
    • managing a trade marks portfolio;
  • misuse and criminal sanctions;
  • international:
    • treaties and conventions;
    • regional systems (eg CTM);
    • differences between systems (including requirements to use, first to file, first to use, post-acceptance, pre-acceptance, registration opposition and renewal requirements);
    • other classification systems;
    • unacceptable trade marks - restrictions on registrability;
    • practical differences (eg legalised and notarised documents, powers of attorneys).

Advice on PSB practice

Study of trade mark practice in another country will not usually be sufficient to gain exemption.

Topic Group E: Patent law

Outcome

An understanding of the principles of patents and the patent system in Australia.

Topics

  • subject matter:
    • manner of manufacture
    • newness
    • novelty
    • inventive step
    • secret use
    • exclusions from patentability
    • utility
  • section 40 (specifications):
    • description
    • claims
    • fair basis
  • infringement
  • inventorship
  • ownership
  • breach of confidence.

Advice on PSB practice

Study of patent law in another country, or as part of a general or "survey" course in intellectual property, will not usually be sufficient to gain exemption.

Topic Group F: Patent system

Outcome

Ability to advise and to handle the interests of a client in prosecution and maintenance of a patent application, including advice on the desirability of seeking patent protection and provision of alternative protection in Australia and other countries.

Topics

  • types of application:
    • provisional
    • complete
    • divisional
    • patent of addition
    • Convention
    • priority dates
  • Patent Office practice
  • amendment
  • opposition
  • re-examination
  • maintenance
  • extension of term
  • extension of time
    • revocation
  • treaties and conventions, including:
    • Patent Cooperation Treaty
    • Budapest Treaty
    • Paris Convention
  • searching
  • assignment
  • licensing
  • compulsory licences
  • Crown use
  • restrictions on exploitation:
    • Patents Act 1990
    • Trade Practices Act 1974
  • circuit layout legislation and practice
  • plant protection legislation and practice
  • patentability in other countries
  • patent procedure in other countries, particularly major trading parties (eg New Zealand, United States of America, European Community, People's Republic of China, Japan)
  • innovation patents.

Advice on PSB practice

Study of patent practice in another country will not usually be sufficient to gain exemption.

Topic Group G: Drafting patent specifications

Outcome

Ability to obtain relevant information about an invention and from that, given the prior art, draft a specification to accompany a provisional application, a standard complete application, an international application and a petty patent application.

Advice on PSB practice

Where a applicant has studied the principles of drafting patent specifications in another country that has a broadly similar patent system, the PSB's usual practice is to grant an exemption, but to make that conditional on the applicant successfully completing a course of study that satisfies the requirements (either by accreditation or exemption) for Topic Group E - Patent Law.

Topic Group H: Interpretation and validity of patent specifications

Outcome

Ability to express an understanding of a patent specification and what it covers for the purpose of advising on infringement, validity over given prior art, section 40 of the Act and other grounds of revocation and amendment.

Advice on PSB practice

Where an applicant has studied this area in another country that has a broadly similar patent system, the PSB's usual practice is to grant an exemption, but to make that conditional on the applicant successfully completing a course of study that satisfies the requirements (either byaccreditation or exemption) for Topic Group E - Patent Law.

Topic Group I: Designs law

Outcome

Ability to advise and to handle the interests of a client in prosecution and maintenance of a design application, including advice on the desirability of seeking design protection and provision of alternative protection in Australia and other countries.

Topics

  • registrability
  • newness
  • registration procedure
  • maintenance
  • office practice
  • third party objection
  • infringement
  • expunction
  • copyright
  • international aspects of design practice.

Advice on PSB practice

Study of designs law in another country, or as part of a general or "survey" course in intellectual property, will not usually be sufficient to gain exemption.