Registration process

To register as a trade marks or patent attorney you are required to file an application, meet certain legislative requirements and pay a fee. You can also register as an incorporated attorney. The following are guidelines to help you prepare your application.

How to register as a patent attorney

To register as a patent attorney, you must have all of the following parts approved (for existing New Zealand patent attorneys see mutual recognition of Australian and New Zealand patent attorneys).

When compiling your application, please set out the information in a clear and logical manner.

This should be done whether applying for each part of the registration separately or in one combined application.

The information provided should be directly relevant to your application and show sufficient depth of study with outcomes the same as, or similar to, those required.

If you need to provide detailed information on your academic qualification, or are seeking an exemption, then please indicate the specific topics in the courses completed which are relevant to your application.

You should also provide detailed course content information for those topics, including information in relation to the content and scope of the topic.

Compiling your application in this way will assist the smooth transition of your application to the PSB, and assist it in considering your application.

Academic qualifications

Application for approval of academic qualifications for patent attorneys PDF in PDF format [617.31 KB]

Apply for approval of academic qualification as a suitable degree in the field of science or technology.

This is the first, most fundamental step for anyone considering becoming a patent attorney.

The PSB considers all qualification applications at PSB meetings. Certified copies of the original need to be emailed through to mail.psb@ipaustralia.gov.au within the allocated timeframe.

PSB meetings usually take place three times a year. Applications need to be submitted four weeks prior to the next PSB meeting.

For more information refer to academic qualification to be a patent attorney.

Exemptions from knowledge requirements

You can apply for an Exemption from the knowledge requirements if you believe you're eligible.

Exemptions can only be applied for on the basis of your courses of study, not experience.

Any granted exemption letter should then be submitted to the PSB with an application for approval of knowledge requirements.

The PSB considers most Exemption applications.

The PSB will grant an exemption for professional conduct on the basis of you being admitted to practice in Australia within the last seven years.

The Secretary has a delegation from the PSB to approve applications for legal process and professional conduct.

The Secretary can approve:

  • Legal process on the basis of an Australian Bachelor of Laws Degree, obtained within the previous seven years. In all other cases, the application will be forwarded to the PSB.
  • Professional conduct on the basis of a current Australian Legal Practicing Certificate. In all other cases, the Application will be forwarded to the PSB.

Applications must be submitted at least six weeks before a PSB meeting.

Approval of knowledge requirements

Apply for approval of your knowledge requirements.

This involves providing proof of completing accredited courses of the nine topic groups and/or evidence of being granted exemptions by the PSB.

The Secretary has been delegated the power to approve knowledge requirement applications.

There is no deadline for knowledge requirement applications if all the required topic groups were PSB-accredited courses.

For more information, refer to our knowledge requirements.

Application for knowledge requirements for patent attorneys PDF in PDF format [617.31 KB]

Statements of skill

Gather statements of skill by a patent attorney who has been registered for at least five years.

The statements should be based on your employment record and duties over the previous two to five years.

Statement of skill applications go to the Designated Manager (the Director General of IP Australia), along with the registration application form and other required material.

The statement of skill for patent attorneys provides some guidance on what is required in a statement of skill.

There is no deadline for applications that go to the Designated Manager.

If an applicant is unable to obtain a statement of skill from a registered patent attorney who has been registered for at least five years, the PSB may, at the request of the applicant, prepare a statement of skill in relation to the applicant.

In this case, the statement will need to be submitted six weeks prior to a PSB Meeting.

Application for registration

Apply to the Designated Manager for registration as a patent attorney.

Send your application to the Designated Manager (Director General of IP Australia). These can be submitted via the Secretary at any time to:

Mail.psb@ipaustralia.gov.au – preferred method. Remembering that academic awards and transcripts need to be certified and then emailed to us.

or

The Secretary
Professional Standards Board for Patent and Trade Marks Attorneys
PO Box 200
Woden ACT 2606

Checklist

When you apply for registration, make sure the information in your application is relevant and clearly set out.

The following should be included:

  • the registration application form, Application for registration as a patent attorney PDF in PDF format [625.81 KB]
  • a letter from the PSB re academic qualification approval
  • a letter from the PSB re knowledge requirements
  • a statement of skill as to pre-registration employment and duties
  • a declaration by yourself regarding offences under the Patents Act 1990
  • a declaration by another party regarding your good fame, integrity and character. (Please note: the person who is giving the Declaration must include how long they have known the applicant and what their relationship is, e.g., colleague, supervisor. You cannot use a family member for this declaration).
  • Proof of Australian residence (provide a copy of driver's licence or rates' notice)
  • The prescribed fee of $300 payable via the eServices portal.

Please ensure you keep a copy of your application and all supporting documents; applicants frequently find that they need these documents later for purposes unrelated to their application, and the PSB Secretariat may not be able to immediately locate them for you.   

Information about documents

  • All documents, certificates, academic transcripts or awards must be certified copies.
  • Please use the Declaration form, Declaration form PDF in PDF format [685.78 KB].
  • Certification of copies of documents should be done by those who are qualified to witness a declaration. See page 2 of the declaration form for a list of those qualified.
  • Certification of copies of documents should be done on the actual copy, not on a separate page.
  • Certification is simply done by writing on the copy that "I have sighted the original document and this is a true and correct copy of the original document". Sign and date the copy, then print or stamp the name and the qualifications of the certifier.

Patent attorney fees

The application fee for a new registration as a patent attorney is $300.

The application fee for a new registration as a patent attorney and trade marks attorney is $500.

An annual renewal fee of $350 is payable on 1 July each year. A renewal notice is sent to all registered attorneys by no later than 1 June each year.

If renewal hasn't been received by 31 July, you may be removed from the register for non-payment.

The restoration fee following a voluntary removal or being removed for non-payment is $250.

The annual fee for dual-registration as a patent attorney and trade marks attorney is $550.

Note: Please make cheques payable to IP Australia.

Sign into eServices

Make a Payment (Paying Attorney fees) PDF in PDF format [186.01 KB]

Guidelines on knowledge requirements for patent attorneys

Purpose of these guidelines

These guidelines have been written by the PSB to provide guidance to an applicant seeking registration as a patent attorney.

An applicant cannot be registered as a patent attorney unless the PSB is satisfied that an applicant has the ‘knowledge of intellectual property (IP) law and practice that is required for a person to practise as a patent attorney’.

These guidelines set out:

  • knowledge requirements: schedule 5 of the Patents Regulations 1991 is the legislative basis for the guidelines
  • areas of study: completion of these provides what the PSB considers an appropriate level of knowledge requirements to practise as a patent attorney
  • satisfying the knowledge requirements by:
    • completing an accredited course for these purposes; or
    • gaining an exemption from having to satisfy the requirements
    • applying for approval of knowledge requirements

Knowledge requirements

The knowledge requirements as set out in schedule 5 are:

Part 1: Overall requirement

A course of study must provide for a student to have an appropriate level of:

  • knowledge and practical application so the student can give advice about applicable categories of protection for particular activities
  • appreciation of the advantages of each form of protection for a client
  • understanding of how to get and maintain appropriate protection for a client
  • understanding of the required standard of professional conduct

Part 2: Legal process and overview of intellectual property

A course of study must provide for a student to have an appropriate level of understanding of the Australian legal system and how intellectual property rights may be protected, including by reference to:

  • the Australian legal system
  • intellectual property rights

Part 3: Professional conduct

A course of study must provide for a student to have an appropriate level of understanding of the rights, privileges and responsibilities of a patent attorney.

Part 4: Intellectual property law

A course of study must provide for a student to have an appropriate level of understanding of the principles of trade marks, patents, designs and copyright.

Part 5: Intellectual property systems

A course of study must provide for a student to have an appropriate level of understanding of the system of protecting and exploiting trade marks, patents and designs, both in Australia and other countries. This includes:

  • the ability to draft patent specifications
  • an understanding of patent specifications
  • the ability to advise on the interpretation, validity and infringement of patent specifications

Areas of study

The regulations allow the PSB to publish guidelines setting out the criteria for deciding whether or not areas of study meet the knowledge requirements.

The PSB has established a curriculum of studies that will satisfy the minimum knowledge requirements of schedule 5.

The curriculum consists of nine topic groups that form the basis for approval of programs of study offered by accredited educational institutions.

The present curriculum will also satisfy the knowledge requirements for registration as a trade marks attorney.

Provided all requirements are satisfied, it is possible to obtain dual registration as a patent attorney and a trade marks attorney.

Each topic group is equivalent in workload to a normal unit of study in a semester at a higher education institution (approximately 25% of a full-time study load).

It is recognised that some courses may have no formal contact hours, such as in distance or on-line education, or may be taught in intensive mode. In those instances, the total time requirement may be a more reliable guide to the workload of the course than the formal contact hours.

The nine topic groups

The PSB curriculum addresses the knowledge requirements in Schedule 5 as follows:

Part 1: Overall requirements

These requirements will be met by satisfying all of the knowledge requirements in Parts 2-5.

Part 2: Legal process and overview of intellectual property

The overall objective is for an applicant to have an appropriate level of:

  • knowledge and practical application so that the applicant can give advice about applicable categories of protection for particular activities
  • appreciation of the advantages of each form of protection for a client
  • understanding of how to get and maintain appropriate protection for a client
  • understanding of the required standard of professional conduct

Satisfying the knowledge requirements

The knowledge requirements may be satisfied by:

  • satisfactorily completing a PSB accredited course of study; or
  • gaining an exemption in relation to one or more courses of study (topic groups).

Further information about each of these ways of satisfying the knowledge requirements is set out below.

Accredited courses of study

A topic group may be passed by successfully completing a course of study offered by a university or any other institution accredited by the PSB in relation to that topic group.

Accredited studies remain valid for 10 years after completion.

Exemptions for non-accredited courses of study

The PSB may exempt an applicant from having to satisfy all or some of the requirements of a topic group as outlined in Annexure A on the basis of previous studies in a non-accredited course (including a course previously or subsequently accredited, but that was not accredited for the particular year in which the applicant completed it).

Before granting an exemption, the PSB must be satisfied that the applicant has passed the course of study at a satisfactory level and that the course has outcomes that are the ’same as, or similar to, those of an accredited course for the knowledge requirement for which the exemption is sought’.

Relevant studies completed within seven years prior to application will normally be eligible for an exemption. Older qualifications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

In considering whether a course completed over seven years ago remains current, the PSB takes care to ensure that the studies are relevant to current practice.

For example, the PSB may decline to grant an exemption where the law has changed significantly, rendering the prior studies inappropriate or obsolete. This situation is less likely to arise in areas dealing with concepts of enduring relevance, such as knowledge of legal processes.

Once an exemption has been given, it remains valid for five years, or such longer period as the PSB may stipulate in writing. After that date, if the applicant has not been registered as a patent attorney, the PSB may decide that the course is outdated and must be repeated.

Information for granting an exemption from a topic group

Exemptions may be sought from any of the nine topic groups approved by the PSB.

In assessing an exemption application, the PSB seeks extensive information about the course. This normally includes:

  • evidence that the applicant has successfully completed the subject. This is normally the academic transcript (the original or a certified copy)
  • a mapping of the topic requirements (see Annex B) against the course undertaken, together with evidence of the inclusion of the particular component
  • the approved forms have been designed to assist applicants in supplying the required details whether the course is based on a law that is the same or similar to the Australian law applying to the topic group
  • duration and workload
  • methods of assessment (in looking at the methods of assessment the PSB needs to be satisfied that the applicant has been assessed on a PSB selection of the course)

Applicants often fail to provide sufficient evidence to satisfy the PSB that a particular course has met the requirements. The inclusion of a relevant item in a course outline will not suffice.

The PSB needs to be assured that the time allocations permit the subject matter to be studied in sufficient depth. For this reason, applicants are urged wherever possible to provide detailed course outlines for the year in which the course was taken by the applicant.

Where such outlines are unavailable, applicants may need to obtain a letter or statement from someone involved in teaching the course that can provide the necessary information.

Minor shortcomings within topic groups

The regulations permit the PSB to declare that an applicant has the required knowledge to practice as a patent attorney even though they have not met all of the knowledge requirements of Schedule 5.7.

This concession will apply to small gaps in the record of study, such as the omission of a minor aspect of a particular topic group. It will not apply where there are significant gaps or where an entire topic group has not been studied formally.

Overseas qualifications

International qualifications may be submitted to gain exemptions.

However, the PSB does not grant exemptions purely on the basis that a qualification from another jurisdiction has satisfied the requirements of that jurisdiction. It generally requires that the law should be similar to that in Australia and/or that the legal institutions and their workings are similar.

Some topic groups, such as patent law or trade marks law, require Australian content.

Other topic groups such as drafting patent specifications are not so jurisdictionally distinct and the PSB may look more favourably on practical subjects for exemption.

Generally speaking, exemptions are granted on a case-by-case basis with the crucial issue being that of content.

Status of exemptions granted by universities

Universities and other accredited providers customarily grant exemptions or waivers of prerequisites for subjects in their academic programs so as to enable students to progress to advanced studies or to satisfy requirements for their degrees or diplomas.

The PSB recognises the right of a university to grant exemptions for its own academic purposes. However, the PSB does not recognise these exemptions.

The PSB has a statutory responsibility to make its own assessment of the relevance and adequacy of the prior studies on which an exemption is sought. As such, an application for exemption will still have to be made to the PSB for assessment.

Thus, for example, an institution may grant an exemption from patent law on the basis that the applicant has previously studied that area overseas, or as part of a general course on intellectual property. However, an application would still have to be made to the PSB for an exemption, and it would be unlikely that the PSB would be satisfied that those prior studies would justify an exemption for Patent Law - Topic Group E as it may not cover Australian patent law or be studied to a sufficient depth.

Knowledge acquired through experience

The regulations stipulate that the requisite knowledge must be gained through formal study at a university or other approved institution.

Knowledge gained by experience may not be taken into account when deciding whether an exemption from a study requirement may be granted.

In relation to knowledge requirements, the regulations envisage a course of study. This is a theme throughout the regulations and knowledge gained through experience is not contemplated.

Summary of satisfying the knowledge requirements

In summary, the knowledge requirements may be satisfied by:

  • Completing an accredited course or courses of study to satisfy some or all the requirements of Schedule 5 (the nine topic groups). Passes in accredited courses remain valid for 10 years.
  • Obtaining an exemption for some or all of the requirements of Schedule 5 on the basis of completion of a course of study within the previous seven year period or longer as allowed by the PSB.
  • Some combination of 1 or 2.
  • Passing the PSB examinations in relation to any of the nine topic groups if available. Whilst the Regulations do provide for PSB examinations, the PSB does not currently provide examinations and it is unlikely to do so.

The following table summarises the period of validity in each case:

Skill

Term

Basis for satisfaction of knowledge requirements

Maximum validity

Accredited courses of study

10 years

Exemptions for non-accredited courses of study

Normally a maximum of seven years before exemption granted, plus five years following exemption. The PSB may extend either period in individual cases.

How to apply for an exemption

The following information is relevant for applicants who choose to seek exemptions by addressing the topic groups in the curriculum approved by the PSB.

Applications for exemption should be made on the approved form. The form comes in two parts.

Part 1 is the cover form. Part 2 relates to the particular topic group in which the exemption is sought.

Examples of the completed forms are here:

Sample application for exemption from a topic group part 1 PDF in PDF format [21.62 KB]

Sample application for exemption from a topic group part 2 PDF in PDF format [13.09 KB]

Applicants making applications are required to complete both parts of the application and also provide:

  • a certified copy of the academic record or similar record indicating successful completion of the course(s) of study on which the application for exemption is based
  • syllabus details showing detailed information of the course(s) from handbook subject descriptions or course outlines
  • information on the assessment regime for each course and evidence that the assessment covered relevant topic areas.

How to apply for approval of knowledge requirements

Before an applicant can be registered as a patent attorney, the PSB must be satisfied that the applicant has the 'knowledge of intellectual property law and practice required to practice as a patent attorney'.

Once an applicant has satisfied the relevant requirements, either through passing an accredited course or gaining an exemption from the PSB for each topic group, the applicant must apply to the PSB for their approval.

As PSB meetings are usually only held three times a year, the PSB has enabled the Board Secretary to approve knowledge requirements in most cases.

Applicants should check with the PSB Secretariat.

An application must be on the application form: Application for knowledge requirements for patent attorneys PDF in PDF format [617.31 KB].

It must be accompanied by:

  • evidence that you have the relevant knowledge
  • a certified copy of any academic record that shows the study that contributes to the knowledge.

The PSB will notify you within 42 days of its decision of whether or not it is satisfied that you have met the requirements.

Make a payment (paying attorney fees) PDF in PDF format [186.01 KB]

Do not certify your own documents or write a statutory declaration certifying your own documents.

How to register as a trade mark attorney

To register as a trade marks attorney, you must have all of the following parts approved.

When compiling your application, please set out the information in a clear and logical manner. This should be done whether applying for each part of the registration separately or in one combined application.

The information provided should be directly relevant to your application and show sufficient depth of study with outcomes the same as, or similar to, those required.

If you need to provide detailed information on your academic qualification or are seeking an exemption, then please indicate the specific topics in the courses completed which are relevant to your application. You should also provide detailed course content information for those topics, including information in relation to the content and scope of the topic.

Compiling your application in this way will assist the smooth transition of your application to the PSB and assist the PSB when considering your application.

Academic qualifications

Application for approval of academic qualifications - trade marks.pdf PDF in PDF format [609.27 KB]

The PSB may approve a qualification from the higher education sector or equivalent as defined by the Australian Qualification Framework.

The Secretary has been delegated power to approve Qualification Applications where the application relates to an Australian qualification from the Higher Education Sector.

There is no deadline for Australian Qualification Applications for Trade Marks.

All overseas qualifications will be considered by the PSB. In this instance, the application will need to be submitted six weeks before the next PSB meeting.

For more information refer to Academic qualifications.

Exemptions from knowledge requirements

Apply for exemptions from the knowledge requirements that you believe you may be eligible for.

Exemptions can only be applied for on the basis of your courses of study, not experience. The granted exemption letter should then be submitted to the PSB with an application for approval of Knowledge Requirements.

The PSB considers most exemption applications. The PSB will grant an exemption for Professional Conduct on the basis of you being admitted to practice in Australia within the last 7 years.

The Secretary has delegation from the PSB to approve applications for Legal Process and Professional Conduct. The Secretary can approve:

  • Legal Process on the basis of an Australian Bachelor of Laws Degree, obtained within the previous 7 years. In all other cases, the application will be forwarded to the PSB.
  • Professional Conduct on the basis of a current Australian Legal Practicing Certificate. In all other cases, the application will be forwarded to the PSB.

Applications must be submitted at least 6 weeks before a PSB meeting.

Approval of knowledge requirements

PDF iconApplication for trade marks knowledge requirements

This involves providing proof of completing accredited courses of the four topic groups and/or evidence of being granted exemptions by the PSB.

The Secretary has been delegated the power to approve Knowledge Requirement applications.

There is no deadline for Knowledge Requirement applications if all the required topic groups were PSB-accredited courses.

For more information, refer to the Knowledge requirements.

Application for registration

Apply to the Designated Manager for Registration as a Trade marks Attorney.

PDF iconApplication for registration as a trade marks attorney

Send your application to the Designated Manager (Director General of IP Australia). These can be submitted via the Secretary at any time:

Mail.psb@ipaustralia.gov.au – preferred method. Remembering that academic awards and transcripts need to be certified and then emailed to us.

or

The Secretary
Professional Standards Board for Patent and Trade Marks Attorneys
PO Box 200
Woden ACT 2606

Checklist

When you apply for registration, make sure the information in your application is relevant and clearly set out.

The following should be included:

  • the Registration Application Form, PDF iconApplication for registration as a trade marks attorney
  • a letter from the PSB re academic qualification approval
  • a letter from the PSB re knowledge requirements
  • a declaration by yourself regarding Offences under the Patents Act 1990
  • a declaration by another party regarding your good fame, integrity and character. Please note that the person who is giving the declaration must include how long they have known the applicant and what their relationship is, e.g., colleague, supervisor. You cannot use a family member for this declaration.
  • The prescribed fee of $200.00, payable via the eServices portal.

Please ensure you keep a copy of your application and all supporting documents; applicants frequently find that they need these documents later for purposes unrelated to their application, and the PSB Secretariat may not be able to immediately locate them for you.   

Information about Documents

  • All documents, certificates, academic transcripts or awards must be certified copies.
  • Please use the Declaration Form, PDF iconDeclaration form.
  • Certification of copies of documents should be done by those who are qualified to witness a declaration. See page 2 of the declaration form for a list of those qualified.
  • Certification of copies of documents should be done on the actual copy, not on a separate page.
  • Certification is simply done by writing on the copy that "I have sighted the original document and this is a true and correct copy of the original document. Sign and date the copy, print or stamp the name and the qualifications of the certifier.
  • Guidelines on knowledge requirements for trade marks attorneys
  • Fees

Trade marks attorney fees

Application fee for new registration as a trade marks attorney - $200.

Annual renewal fee - $350 is payable on 1 July each year. A renewal notice is sent to all registered attorneys no later than 1 June each year. If renewal hasn't been received by 31 July, you may be removed from the register for non-payment.

Restoration fee following Voluntary Removal or removed for non-payment - $250.

Note: Please make cheques payable to IP Australia.

For information on what happens if you don’t pay the renewal fee, refer to the Renewals page.

Sign in to online services (eServices)

https://www.psb.gov.au/modules/file/icons/application-pdf.pngMake a payment (a guide for how to pay attorney fees using online services) PDF in PDF format [186.01 KB]

Guidelines on knowledge requirements for trade marks attorneys

  • These guidelines have been written by the Professional Standards Board for Patent and Trade Marks Attorneys (PSB) to provide guidance to applicants seeking registration as a trade marks attorney.

    An applicant cannot be registered as a trade marks attorney unless the PSB is satisfied that an applicant has the ‘knowledge of intellectual property law and practice that is required for a person to practise as a trade marks attorney’.

    Knowledge requirements

    The knowledge requirements as set out in the Trade Marks Regulations 1995 (the Regulations) are:

    Part 1: Overall requirement

    A course of study must provide for a student to have an appropriate level of:

  • knowledge and practical application so that the student can give advice about applicable categories of protection for particular activities
  • appreciation of the advantages of each form of protection for a client
  • understanding of how to get and maintain appropriate protection for a client
  • understanding of the required standard of professional conduct.
  • Part 2: Legal process and overview of intellectual property

    A course of study must provide for a student to have an appropriate level of understanding of the Australian legal system and how intellectual property rights may be protected, including by reference to:

  • the Australian legal system
  • intellectual property rights.
  • Part 3: Professional conduct

    A course of study must provide for a student to have an appropriate level of understanding of the rights, privileges and responsibilities of a patent attorney or trade marks attorney.

    Part 4: Intellectual property law

    A course of study must provide for a student to have an appropriate level of understanding of the principles of trade marks, patents, designs and copyright.

    Part 5: Intellectual property systems

    A course of study must provide for a student to have an appropriate level of understanding of the system of protecting and exploiting trade marks, both in Australia and other countries.

    Areas of study

    The regulations allow the PSB to publish guidelines setting out the criteria for deciding whether or not areas of study meet the knowledge requirements.

    The PSB has established a curriculum of studies that will satisfy the minimum knowledge requirements of Schedule 5 of the Patents Regulations 1991 (as amended for trade marks attorneys).

    The curriculum consists of four topic groups that form the basis for approval of programs of study offered by accredited educational institutions. It is intended that the curriculum will be dynamic and flexible. However, any changes to this curriculum will be made well in advance of implementation and steps will be taken to ensure that applicants currently enrolled will not be disadvantaged.

    The present curriculum is identical to the first four topic groups that will satisfy the knowledge requirements for registration as a patent attorney (topic groups A - D).

    Each topic group is equivalent in workload to a normal unit of study in a semester at a higher education institution (approximately 25 per cent of a full-time study load).

    It is recognised that some courses may have no formal contact hours, such as in distance or on-line education, or may be taught in intensive mode. In those instances, the total time requirement may be a more reliable guide to the workload of the course rather than the formal contact hours.

    The four topic groups

    The PSB curriculum consists of four topic groups. It addresses the knowledge requirements in Schedule 5, as amended for registration as a trade marks attorney, as follows:

    Part 1: Overall requirements

  • These requirements will be met by satisfying all of the knowledge requirements in Parts 2-5.
  • Part 2: Legal process and overview of intellectual property

  • Group A1 - Legal Process
  • Group A2 - Overview of Intellectual Property
  • Part 3: Professional conduct

  • Group B - Professional Conduct
  • Part 4: Intellectual property law

  • Group A2 - Overview of Intellectual Property
  • Group C - Trade Mark Law
  • Part 5: Intellectual property systems

  • Group D - Trade Mark Practice

The overall objective is for a candidate to have an appropriate level of:

  • knowledge and practical application so the candidate can give advice about applicable categories of protection for particular activities, and an appreciation of the advantages of each form of protection for a client
  • understanding of how to get and maintain appropriate protection for a client
  • understanding of the required standard of professional conduct.

Satisfying the knowledge requirements

The knowledge requirements may be satisfied by:

  • satisfactorily completing a PSB accredited course of study
  • gaining an exemption in relation to one or more courses of study (topic groups)
  • satisfying the PSB that the applicant has the required knowledge by a means other than completing a course of study. The PSB will consider this criterion on a case by case basis following receipt of a request made under regulation 20.8(4) of the Trade Marks Regulations 1995.

Further information about the first two of these ways of satisfying the knowledge requirements is set out below.

Accredited courses of study

A topic group may be passed by successfully completing a course of study offered by a university or any other institution accredited by the PSB in relation to that topic group.

Accredited studies remain valid for 10 years after completion.

Exemptions for on-accredited courses of study

The PSB may exempt an applicant from having to satisfy some or all of the requirements of a topic group on the basis of previous studies in a non-accredited course (including a course previously or subsequently accredited, but that was not accredited for the particular year in which the candidate completed it). Practical experience alone is not sufficient for an exemption to be granted.

Before granting an exemption, the PSB must be satisfied that the candidate has passed the course of study at a satisfactory level and that the course has outcomes that are the ‘same as, or similar to, those of an accredited course for the knowledge requirement for which the exemption is sought’.

Relevant studies completed within seven years prior to application will normally be eligible for an exemption. Older qualifications will be considered on a case by case basis.

In considering whether a course completed over seven years ago remains current, the PSB takes care to ensure that the studies are relevant to current practice. For example, the PSB may decline to grant an exemption where the law has changed significantly, rendering the prior studies inappropriate or obsolete. This situation is less likely to arise in areas dealing with concepts of enduring relevance, such as knowledge of legal processes.

Once an exemption has been given, it remains valid for five years, or such longer period as the PSB may stipulate in writing. After that date, if the candidate has not been registered as a trade marks attorney, the PSB may decide that the course is outdated and must be repeated.

Information required by PSB for the granting of an exemption from a topic group

Exemptions may be sought from any of the four topic groups approved by the PSB.

In assessing an exemption application, the PSB seeks extensive information about the course. This normally includes:

  • evidence that the applicant has successfully completed the subject. This is normally the academic transcript (the original or a certified copy)
  • a mapping of the topic requirements against the course undertaken, together with evidence of the inclusion of the particular component. The approved forms have been designed to assist applicants in supplying required details
  • whether the course is based on law that is the same or similar to the Australian law applying to the topic group
  • duration and workload

Methods of assessment

In looking at the methods of assessment, the PSB needs to be satisfied that the applicant has been assessed on a PSB selection of the course.

Applicants often fail to provide sufficient evidence to satisfy the PSB that a particular course has met the requirements. The inclusion of a relevant item in a course outline will not suffice.

The PSB needs to be assured that the time allocations permit the subject matter to be studied in sufficient depth. For this reason, candidates are urged wherever possible to provide detailed course outlines for the year in which the course was taken by the candidate.

Where such outlines are unavailable, candidates may need to obtain a letter or statement from someone involved in teaching the course that can provide the necessary information.

Overseas qualifications

International qualifications may be submitted to gain exemptions. However, the PSB does not grant exemptions purely on the basis that a qualification from another jurisdiction has satisfied the requirements of that jurisdiction.

It generally requires that the law should be similar to that in Australia and/or that the legal institutions and their workings are similar.

Some topic groups, such as Trade Marks Law, require Australian content. Generally speaking exemptions are granted on a case by case basis with the crucial issue being that of content.

Status of exemptions granted by universities

Universities and other accredited providers customarily grant exemptions or waivers of prerequisites for subjects in their academic programs so as to enable students to progress to advanced studies or to satisfy requirements for their degrees or diplomas.

The PSB recognises the right of a university to grant exemptions for its own academic purposes, however the PSB does not recognise these exemptions.

The PSB has a statutory responsibility to make its own assessment of the relevance and adequacy of the prior studies on which an exemption is sought. As such, an application for exemption will still have to be made to the PSB for assessment.

Thus, for example, an institution may grant an exemption from Trade Mark Law on the basis that the candidate has previously studied that area overseas, or as part of a general course on intellectual property.

However, an application would still have to be made to the PSB for an exemption, and it would be unlikely the PSB would be satisfied that those prior studies would justify an exemption for Trade Mark Law - Topic Group C. - as it may not cover Australian trade mark law or be studied to a sufficient depth.

Knowledge acquired through experience

The Regulations exclude knowledge gained by experience from being taken into account when deciding whether an exemption from a study requirement may be granted.

However, in order to become a registered trade marks attorney, the Regulations specify that the PSB needs to be satisfied that the applicant has the knowledge of intellectual property law and practice that is required for a person to practise as a trade marks attorney. The PSB will determine how it is satisfied for this requirement based on the particular evidence presented to it by the applicant.

Summary of satisfying the knowledge requirements

In summary, the knowledge requirements may be satisfied by:

  • Completing an accredited course or courses of study to satisfy some or all of the four topic groups. Passes in accredited courses remain valid for 10 years.
  • Obtaining an exemption for some or all of the requirements of Schedule 5 on the basis of completion of a course of study within a previous seven year period or such longer period as allowed by PSB.
  • Some combination of 1 or 2.
  • Passing the PSB examinations in relation to any of the four topic groups if available. Whilst the Regulations provide for the PSB to conduct examinations, the PSB has not conducted examinations since 2004 and it is unlikely that the PSB will do so in the future.

Satisfying the PSB by a means other than 1, 2, 3, or 4.

The following table summarises the period of validity in each case:

Skill

Term

Basis for satisfaction of Knowledge Requirements

Maximum validity

Accredited courses of study

10 years

Exemptions for non-accredited courses of study

Normally a maximum of seven years before exemption granted, plus five years following exemption. PSB may extend either period in individual cases.

How to apply for an exemption

The following information is relevant for applicants who choose to seek exemptions by addressing the topic groups in the curriculum approved by the PSB.

Applications for exemption should be made on the approved form. The form comes in two parts.

Part one is the cover form. Part two relates to the particular topic group in which the exemption is sought.

Examples of the completed forms are here:

Sample application for exemption from a topic group part 1 PDF in PDF format [21.62 KB]

Sample application for exemption from a topic group part 2 PDF in PDF format [13.09 KB]

Applicants making applications are required to complete both parts of the application and also provide:

  • a certified copy of the academic record or similar record indicating successful completion of the course(s) of study on which the application for exemption is based
  • syllabus details showing detailed information of the course(s) from handbook subject descriptions or course outlines
  • information on the assessment regime for each course and evidence that the assessment covered relevant topic areas.

How to apply for approval of knowledge requirements

Before an applicant can be registered as a trade marks attorney, the PSB must be satisfied that the applicant has the knowledge of intellectual property law and practice required to practice as a trade marks attorney.

Once an applicant has satisfied the relevant requirements, either through passing an accredited course or gaining an exemption from the PSB for each topic group, the applicant must apply to the PSB for their approval.

As PSB meetings are usually held three times a year, the PSB has enabled the Secretary to approve knowledge requirements in cases where applicants have passed accredited courses or gained PSB exemptions.

An application must be on the application form Reg 20.7 application for trade marks knowledge requirements PDF in PDF format [615.53 KB] 

It must be accompanied by:

  • evidence that you have the relevant knowledge
  • a certified copy of any academic record that shows the study that contributes to the knowledge.
  • The PSB will notify you within 42 days of its decision of whether or not it is satisfied that you have met the requirements.

Do not certify your own documents or write a statutory declaration certifying your own documents.

How to register as an incorporated attorney

Incorporation registration

Companies wishing to register as incorporated patent or trade marks attorneys can apply for registration by submitting the appropriate form and paying an application fee of $300 (payable at the time the registration form is submitted).

An annual fee of $350 is required thereafter to maintain the registration.

To be suitable to register as an incorporated attorney, a company must meet all of the following criteria:

  • be a company registered under the Corporations Act 2001

  • be able to provide evidence of company incorporation

  • have at least one patent or trade marks attorney as a director of the company

  • possess professional indemnity insurance

To register as an incorporated patent or trade marks attorney follow the below steps:

1. Download the appropriate form:
Application for registration as an incorporated patent attorney.pdf PDF in PDF format [612.92 KB]

Application for registration as an incorporated trade marks attorney.pdf PDF in PDF format [616.5 KB]

2. Complete the form and collate the relevant supporting documentation.

  • Provide proof of adequate and appropriate professional indemnity insurance (such as a Certificate of Currency).

  • Provide evidence of prior incorporation of the company (such as an Australian Securities Investments Commission Certificate of Registration).

  • Provide the name(s) of the patent or trade marks attorney who is director of the company.

  • Submit forms to the PSB via:

The Secretary
Professional Standards Board for Patent and Trade Marks Attorneys
PO Box 200
Woden ACT 2606

The PSB secretariat will process the request for registration.

The Designated Manager will then register the incorporated patent and/or trade marks attorney.

A Certificate of Registration will then be issued to the incorporated patent or trade marks attorney if the registration is accepted.

Serious offence notifications

As provided in Regulation 20.28A of the Patents Regulations 1991 a registered patent attorney must notify the Designated Manager regarding serious offences within 14 days of being charged with a serious offence.

Regulation 20.14A of the Trade Marks Regulations 1995 has the same requirements for a registered trade marks attorney.

A serious offence is defined in the regulations as an offence that:

involves obtaining property or a financial advantage by deception or fraudulent conduct; and 

is either:

  • an indictable offence against a law of the Commonwealth, a state or a territory (whether or not the offence may be dealt with summarily) or 

  • an offence against a law of a foreign country that would be an indictable offence against a law of the Commonwealth, a state or a territory if committed in Australia (whether or not the offence could be dealt with summarily if committed in Australia).

If the registered attorney fails to notify the Designated Manager of being charged with a serious offence and does not have a reasonable excuse for failing to comply, the failure to comply constitutes unsatisfactory professional conduct on behalf of the attorney.

To notify the Designated Manager of a serious offence the following procedure will be followed when an attorney is charged with a serious offence:

  • The charged attorney, within 14 days of being charged with a serious offence, writes to the Designated Manager (there is no form to fill in) to report the charge.

The Designated Manager
Professional Standards Board for Patent and Trade Marks Attorneys
PO Box 200
Woden ACT 2606

The Designated Manager will review the case and will either inform of the result:

  • by written notice to the attorney, suspend the attorney's registration from the date of when the notice is given to the attorney, or

  • by written notice to the attorney advise that the registration will not be suspended

If a suspended attorney intends to contest the Designated Manager's ruling then the attorney has 28 days after the date of the notice, to show why the suspension should be lifted.

The Designated Manager can end the suspension in certain circumstances, for example, if the charge relating to the serious offence is not legally pursued in court.

Guidelines for PSB investigations into incorporated attorneys

These guidelines set out the procedures that the Professional Standards Board for Patent and Trade Marks Attorneys (PSB) will follow in relation to investigating an incorporated patent attorney or an incorporated trade marks attorney (incorporated attorney) and deciding whether or not to apply to the Patent and Trade Marks Attorneys Disciplinary Tribunal (the tribunal) for cancellation or suspension of the incorporated attorney's registration.

The PSB has also issued guidelines on the discipline procedures relevant to an individual registered attorney.

Overview

The legislative basis of the PSB's role in disciplinary proceedings against an incorporated patent attorney is regulation 20A.10 of the Patents Regulations 1991 (the Regulations).

The legislative basis of the PSB's role in disciplinary proceedings against an incorporated trade marks attorney is regulation 20A.10 of the Trade Marks Regulations 1995 which are generally similar to the provisions provided by the Patents Regulations.

The focus of the PSB's disciplinary procedures in relation to an incorporated attorney is to decide whether or not to apply to the tribunal for cancellation or suspension of an incorporated attorney's registration.  

The PSB is not empowered to order or provide restitution to clients of incorporated attorneys. Informants seeking restitution for such matters as overcharging or failure to perform services, compensation for damage or for loss of profits, or the return of documents, need to pursue such restitution or compensation in other forums. It should be noted, however, that neither the PSB nor the Secretary to the PSB is able to provide legal advice.

Basis for a cancellation or suspension application

The PSB may apply to the tribunal to cancel or suspend an incorporated attorney's registration if:

  • an attorney who is, or was, an employee or officer of the incorporated attorney is found guilty of professional misconduct; and
  • the professional misconduct occurred when the attorney was an employee or officer of the incorporated attorney; and
  • the Tribunal has cancelled or suspended the attorney's registration

The regulations define professional misconduct as: 

  • unsatisfactory professional conduct that involves a substantial or consistent failure to reach reasonable standards of competence and diligence; or 
  • any other conduct, whether occurring in connection with practice as an attorney or otherwise, that shows that the attorney is not of good fame, integrity and character; or 
  • any contravention of a law that is declared by the regulations to be professional misconduct 

In deciding whether to apply to the  tribunal, the PSB may consider:

  • the professional misconduct engaged in by the attorney
  • the behaviour of the incorporated attorney's officers and employees
  • whether the officers and employees of the incorporated attorney complied with the Code of Conduct; and
  • any other information provided by the incorporated attorney in relation to the professional misconduct of the attorney

Requiring information from the attorney 

The PSB may request an incorporated attorney to provide information to the PSB in relation to the professional misconduct.

Commencing a cancellation or suspension application

Once the PSB determines that it will commence a cancellation or suspension application in relation to an incorporated attorney, the PSB must formulate reasons why it considers the incorporated attorney's registration should be cancelled or suspended. 

An application for cancellation or suspension of an incorporated attorney's registration (application) must be made in writing to the Tribunal and must set out the reasons for the application.

A copy of the application must be given to the incorporated attorney by the PSB as soon as practicable after the application is made to the Tribunal.

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

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

Please note courses in bold are the additional courses required to become a patent attorney.

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 [LAWS70217]

Overview of Intellectual Property

B – Professional Conduct

Advanced Workshop in Professional Conduct for Trade Marks and Patents Attorneys [No longer offered] and Trade Marks Practice  [LAWS70243]This version of the subject is no longer offered but refer to Trade Marks Practice (LAWS90035) [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]  This version of the subject is no longer offered but refer to Trade Marks Practice (LAWS90035)  [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

 

 

Trans-Tasman Patent Attorneys

Victoria University Wellington

PSB Topic Group(s)

Accredited courses

A2 – Overview of IP

LAWS 551 – New Zealand and Australian Intellectual Property Law

C: Trade Marks Law

LAWS 536 Trade Mark Law and Unfair Competition

 

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.

More information