Incorporation FAQ

Why become incorporated?

Attorneys who become incorporated will have a wider choice of business models open to them. This brings them into line with options available to other professions such as the legal profession.

Where is the form to register as an incorporated patent or trade marks attorney?

You can download the respective form from our forms page.

Why do I need to have insurance?

The public will be protected by knowing that incorporated patent and/or trade marks attorneys will have appropriate professional indemnity insurance.

How much professional indemnity insurance do we need to incorporate?

The regulations state that the professional indemnity insurance has to be 'adequate and appropriate'.

In general, the amount will be assessed by the insurer based on gross fees, type of work and other circumstances.

There is no formula or no set amount that the Designated Manager requires.

A Certificate of Currency supplied to the company by the insurer is adequate proof to IP Australia that the requirement is met.

Should a sole practitioner apply for incorporation as an attorney?

The decision to become an incorporated attorney is entirely up to you, as the legislative changes do not require attorneys to incorporate.

The change to allow incorporation is to provide greater flexibility and further options in business models.

IP Australia and the PSB recommend that appropriate legal and business advice should be sought prior to making a decision to incorporate.

How much does the process of becoming incorporated cost?

The fee for a company to apply to become an incorporated patent and/or trade marks attorney is $300 and is payable to IP Australia.

A yearly renewal of fee of $350 (or $550 if registered for both patents and trade marks) is then required to be paid to IP Australia to maintain the registration.

These fees are separate to the cost for registering a company with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Do incorporated patent or trade marks attorneys have other requirements, such as special continuing professional education (CPE)?

Requirements (such as CPE) do not apply to incorporated patent and/or trade marks attorneys.

The existing requirements for individual attorneys to maintain their attorney registration will still apply, regardless of whether they are employed as part of an incorporated patent and/or trade marks attorney practice.

Where can I read the regulations related to this subject?

The regulations relating to Incorporated Patent Attorneys are set out in Chapter 20A of the Patents Regulations 1991, and those relating to Incorporated Trade Marks Attorneys are set out in Part 20A of the Trade Marks Regulations 1995.