For registered attorneys

There are a number of issues that registered attorneys must attend to in order to remain on the Professional Standards Board for Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys (PSB) registers including, but are not restricted to, attending to paying renewal fees, seeking removal or addition to the register as necessary, and completing minimum continuing professional education requirements.


Managing your registration

Renewals

It is up to the individual attorney to make sure their registration is current and up to date.


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Restoring registration

If an attorney is removed from either register for non-payment on 1 August, they can apply to the Designated Manager for restoration by 1 September.


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Voluntary removal from the registers

Attorneys may apply to have their name removed from the register for up to three years.


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Restoration to the registers

Attorneys who have had their name removed from the register can apply for the restoration of their name.


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Continuing Professional Education (CPE)

Manadatory CPE Requirements

Attorneys complete five hours of training relevant to their practice area and at least one hour of ethics training.


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Timeframe for completing CPE

CPE activities must be completed each year (the actual period is 12 months immediately before the date on which the attorney applies for registration renewal).


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CPE Providers

The PSB no longer accredits events, seminars or conferences with a specific number of CPE hours.The PSB has published Continuing Professional Education Guidelines to help attorneys understand all requirements.


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Dealing with complaints

Grounds for complaint

A complaint may be provided to the PSB from any member of the public, on the grounds that an attorney:

  • has breached the Code of Conduct
  • has engaged in professional misconduct or unsatisfactory professional conduct
  • was unqualified at the time of registration
  • has obtained registration by fraud

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Complaints and discipline

The PSB's role in the commencing of disciplinary proceedings includes investigating either as a result of information received or of its own motion whether an attorney has engaged in professional misconduct or unsatisfactory professional conduct.


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Hearings and decisions

Complaints about patent and trade marks attorneys are heard by the tribunal. The tribunal is also established under the regulations.


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What you should know about the regulations

It is important that attorneys understand that the regulations do not give complainants a forum to obtain damages for losses resulting from an attorney's behaviour where:

  • claims seek restitution for overcharging or failure to perform services
  • compensation is for claims for damage or for loss of profits
  • actions seek the return of documents

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Tribunal findings

The tribunal may, depending on the charge brought against the attorney, find that a registered patent attorney is:

  • not guilty of any wrongdoing
  • guilty of professional misconduct
  • guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct

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Appointing a registered patent attorney to carry on a practice

The tribunal may appoint a registered patent attorney to carry on the practice of a former patent attorney whose registration has been cancelled or suspended.


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Appealing a decision

Appeals against decisions made by the tribunal can be lodged through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT):

  • against a decision of the tribunal to find the attorney ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’
  • about the level of penalty imposed by the tribunal

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Appearing before the tribunal

Parties before the tribunal may appear in person, or be represented by legal practitioners. The tribunal also has the power to allow a person other than a legal practitioner to represent a person.


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