Trans-Tasman attorney regime

A single patent attorney regulatory regime between Australia and New Zealand will come into force on 24 February 2017.

Existing registered patent attorneys will automatically become trans-Tasman registered patent attorneys.

New candidates for registration will need to meet the trans-Tasman registration requirements after the commencement date. These requirements include holding approved qualifications, satisfying the knowledge requirements, and completing appropriate work experience.

New Zealand candidates can expect the current qualifying examinations will be offered until 2020. Candidates who have passed at least one of these examinations by the end of 2016, will have four more years to complete them as a transitional qualification for registration as a trans-Tasman patent attorney. They will also need to complete appropriate work experience in Australia or New Zealand.

However, if a candidate does not pass all six exams by the end of 2020, they will not receive the transitional qualification. The candidate will then have to meet the new trans-Tasman qualification and knowledge requirements and this will require further tertiary study.

Victoria University of Wellington has gained accreditation from the Professional Standards Board for Patent and Trade Marks Attorneys (the PSB) for some trans-Tasman patent attorney courses to be offered in 2017.

Australian university courses accredited by the PSB for Patent and Trade Marks Attorneys (the PSB) as meeting some or all of the knowledge requirements for registration as a patent attorney before the commencement date will remain accredited after commencement.

The PSB has drafted new guidelines for the knowledge requirements for trans-Tasman registered patent attorneys.

More information on the commencement of the trans-Tasman regime is available from IP Australia’s website.

As a limited transitional measure, New Zealand patent attorneys with sufficient practical experience in trade marks matters will be eligible to register as Australian trade marks attorneys without undertaking further study. An application form to facilitate these registrations will be available from the commencement date (24 February 2017).

These documents also provide further information:

Knowledge Requirement Guidelines for Trans-Tasman Patent Attorneys.pdf PDF in PDF format [118.49 KB]

Knowledge Requirement Guidelines for Trade Marks Attorneys.pdf PDF in PDF format [34.37 KB]