Registration process

To register as a trade marks or patent attorney you are required to file at least 3 applications (Approval of Qualifications, Approval of Knowledge and Application for Registration). These need to meet certain legislative requirements. The following guidelines guidelines are 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.

Please note, all documentation must be in the same name with the same format. Any discrepancy eg nicknames, middle names included or excluded or surnames different, you will need to state on the application for that you are know by any another name. Documentation will be required for significant name changes due to marriage, gender transition or personal preference.

Academic qualifications

Application for approval of qualifications - patents

To apply for approval of your academic qualification, you first need to have a suitable qualification in a field of science or technology that includes patentable subject matter. Under regulation 20.6 of the Patents Regulations 1991 (Cth), this qualification must be a Level 5 or higher qualification awarded under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) or the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).

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

The Board considers all applications for patent attorney qualification. Certified copies of the original need to be emailed through to mail.ttipab@ipaustralia.gov.au.

Board meetings usually take place three times a year. Applications need to be submitted six weeks prior.

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

Approval of knowledge requirements

Apply for approval of your knowledge requirements.

This involves providing proof of completing an accredited course of study of the nine topic groups and/or evidence of being granted exemptions by the Board.

The Secretary has delegation from the Board to approve applications if all of the required topic groups are covered by accredited courses, or exemptions that have been approved by the Board. Certified copies of the original need to be emailed through to mail.ttipab@ipaustralia.gov.au.

For more information, refer to our knowledge requirements.

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.

The Secretary has delegation to approve, outside of a Board meeting:

  • Legal process based on an Australian or New Zealand Law Degree, obtained within 7 years of the date of application.
  • Professional conduct based on:
    • a practising certificate issued by the designated regulatory authority of New Zealand or an Australian jurisdiction within 5 years of the date of application; or
    • an admission certificate issued by a court of law in Australia or New Zealand within 5 years of the date of application.

      In all other cases, the Application will be forwarded to the Board.

Any granted exemption letter should accompany the application for approval of knowledge requirements.

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

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 Board.

Applications for exemption should be made on the approved forms below. The form comes in three parts:

Part 1 is the Privacy Notice. Part 2 is the cover form. Part 3 relates to the particular topic group in which the exemption is sought.

Topic Group A1 - Legal Process (for patent attorney applications)

Topic Group A2 - Overview of IP (for patent attorney applications)

Topic Group B - Professional Conduct (for patent attorney applications)

Topic Group C - Trade Marks Law (for patent attorney applications)

Topic Group D - Trade Marks Practice (for patent attorney applications)

Topic Group E - Patent Law (for patent attorney applications)

Topic Group F - Patent Systems (for patent attorney applications)

Topic Group G - Drafting Patent Specifications (for patent attorney applications)

Topic Group H - Interpretation and Validity of Patent Specifications  (for patent attorney applications)

Topic Group I - Designs (for patent attorney applications)

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

  • a certified copy of the academic record or similar official 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.

Statements of skill

Obtain statements of skill by a patent attorney who has been registered in Australia and/or New Zealand for at least five years prior to the start of your period of assessment.

The statements should be based on your employment record and duties over the previous two to five years. Your Statement must include experience in preparing, filing and prosecuting patent applications in Australia and New Zealand, and other countries or jurisdictions specified in subregulation 20.10(1) of the Patents Regulations 1991 (Cth).

If an applicant is unable to obtain a statement of skill from a patent attorney who has been registered for at least five years, the Board 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 Board Meeting.

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

Application for registration

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

The preferred method for filing applications for registration is to combine all of the application documentation into a single PDF document and upload it through the IP Australia Payment Portal at the time of paying the prescribed fee of $350.

Applications for registration, once finalised by the Secretary, are submitted to the Designated Manager. It will take around 15 working days to be approved. Once approved, the Secretary will be in contact to advise the outcome.

Checklist

When applying 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]
  • the approval letter from the Board re academic qualification
  • the approval letter from the Board re knowledge requirements
  • a statement of skill
  • a declaration by yourself regarding offences under subregulation 20.12(1) of the Patents Regulations 1991 (Cth)
  • 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).
  • The prescribed fee of AU$350 payable via the IP Australia Payment Portal.

Information about documents

  • All documents, certificates, academic transcripts or awards must be certified copies and have the exact same name and format.
  • Certification of copies of documents should be done by those who are qualified to witness a declaration, and on the actual copy, not a separate page. A listing of authorised witnesses can be found here.
  • 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.
  • Multi-page documents should be certified on each page. Alternatively, multi-page documents can be certified on the first page and initialled by the certifier on each subsequent page. In this latter case, the certifier should also indicate on the first page the total number of pages they have certified.

Patent attorney fees

The application fee for a new registration as a patent attorney is AU$350.

The application fee for a new registration when registering as a patent attorney and trade marks attorney at the same time is AU$600.

An annual renewal fee of AU$400 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 will be removed from the register for non-payment.

The restoration fee following a voluntary removal or being removed for non-payment is AU$700.

The annual fee for dual-registration as a patent attorney and trade marks attorney is AU$600.

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How to register as a trade marks attorney

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

Please note, all documentation must be in the same name with the same format. Any discrepancy eg nicknames, middle names included or excluded or surnames different, you will need to state on the application for that you are know by any another name. Documentation will be required for significant name changes due to marriage, gender transition or personal preference.

Academic qualifications

Application for approval of Academic qualifications

The Secretary has delegation to approve applications containing Australian qualifications where the application relates to a qualification provided by regulation 20.6(a) of the Trade Marks Regulations 1995 (Cth), or where the Board has already approved the qualification under regulation 20.6(1)(b) of the Patents Regulations 1991 (Cth).  This qualification must be a Level 5 or higher qualification awarded under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) or the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF)

All overseas qualifications will be considered at a Board meeting. In this instance, the application will need to be submitted six weeks before.

Certified copies of the original need to be emailed through to mail.ttipab@ipaustralia.gov.au.

For more information refer to Academic qualifications.

Approval of knowledge requirements

Application for trade marks knowledge requirements

This involves providing proof of completing an accredited course of study of the 4 topic groups and/or evidence of being granted exemptions by the Board or the former Professional Standards Board for Patent and Trade Marks Attorneys (the PSB).

The Secretary has delegation from the Board to approve applications if all of the required topic groups are covered by accredited courses, or exemptions that have been approved by the Board. Certified copies of the original need to be emailed through to mail.ttipab@ipaustralia.gov.au.

For more information, refer to the Knowledge requirements.

Exemptions from Knowledge  requirements

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 Board with an application for approval of Knowledge Requirements.

The Secretary has delegation to approve, outside of a Board meeting:

  • Legal Process based on an Australian or New Zealand Laws Degree, obtained within 7 years of the date of the application. In all other cases, the application will be forwarded to the Board.
  • Professional Conduct based on:
    • a practicing Certificate issued by the designated regulatory authority of New Zealand or an Australian jurisdiction within 5 years of the date of application; or
    • an admission certificate issued by a court of law in Australia or New Zealand within 5 years of the date of application.

       In all other cases, the application will be forwarded to the Board.

  •  Legal Process, Overview of IP, Professional Conduct, Trade Marks Law and Trade Marks Practice for trade marks attorney applicants who have passed Board-accredited courses for trans-Tasman patent attorney registration, or who have exemptions granted by the Board  for trans-Tasman patent attorney registration, within the time limits provided in the relevant regulations. 

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

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 Board.

Applications for exemption should be made on the approved forms below. The form comes in three parts:

Part 1 is the Privacy Notice. Part 2 is the cover form. Part 3 relates to the particular topic group in which the exemption is sought.

Topic Group A1 - Legal Process (for trade marks attorney applications)

Topic Group A2 - Overview of IP (for trade marks attorney applications)

Topic Group B - Professional Conduct (for trade marks attorney applications)

Topic Group C - Trade Marks Law (for trade marks attorney applications)

Topic Group D - Trade Marks Practice (for trade marks attorney applications)

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.

Application for registration

Apply to the Designated Manager for Registration as a trade marks attorney.

The preferred method for filing applications for registration is to combine all of the application documentation into a single PDF document and upload it through the IP Australia Payment Portal at the time of paying the prescribed fee of $250.

Applications for registration, once finalised by the Secretary, are submitted to the Designated Manager. It will take around 15 working days to be approved. Once approved, the Secretary will be in contact to advise the outcome.

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 trade marks attorney
  • the approval letter from the Board re academic qualification
  • the approval letter from the Board re knowledge requirements
  • a declaration by yourself regarding offences under subregulation 20.10(1) of the Trade Marks Regulations 1995 (Cth)
  • 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).
  • The prescribed fee of AU$250, payable via the IP Australia Payment Portal.

Information about Documents

  • All documents, certificates, academic transcripts or awards must be certified copies and have the exact same name and format.
  • Certification of copies of documents should be done by those who are qualified to witness a declaration, and on the actual copy, not a separate page. A listing of authorised witnesses can be found here.
  • 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.
  • Multi-page documents should be certified on each page. Alternatively, multi-page documents can be certified on the first page and initialled by the certifier on each subsequent page. In this latter case, the certifier should also indicate on the first page the total number of pages they have certified.

Trade marks attorney fees

Application fee for new registration as a trade marks attorney - AU$250.

Annual renewal fee - AU$400 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 will be removed from the register for non-payment.

Restoration fee following Voluntary Removal or removed for non-payment - AU$700.

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

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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 AU$350 (payable at the time the registration form is submitted).

  • 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 (Cth), or the Companies ACT 1993 of New Zealand (for incorporated patent attorneys only)

  • be able to provide evidence of company incorporation

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

  • possess adequate and appropriate 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 in PDF format [877.35 KB]

Application for registration as an incorporated trade marks attorney.pdf PDF in PDF format [877.29 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.

  • Combine all of the application documentation into a single PDF document and upload it through the IP Australia Payment Portal at the time of paying the prescribed fee.

  • Alternatively, you can email completed forms and evidence to the Designated Manager via: mail.ttipab@ipaustralia.gov.au and pay the prescribed fee separately.

The Board secretariat will process the request for registration.

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

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

An annual fee of AU$400 for a single registered incorporated attorney, or AU$600 is payable for those companies that have a combined registration as an incorporated patent and trade marks attorney, is required on 1 July of every year to maintain registration.

Accredited courses

The following universities  currently deliver courses that are accredited by the Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board (the Board). Courses marked with * include both Australian and New Zealand content. 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.

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 Board will continue to recognise previously accredited courses for applicants wishing to apply for knowledge requirements as a patent attorney or trade marks attorney, as long as the study was undertaken during the period in which the University held accreditation, and was completed within the 10 year time limit provided by Patent Regulation 20.8(5).

New South Wales

University of Technology, Sydney

Topic group(s)

Current accredited courses

Previous accredited courses

A1: Legal Process and
A2: Overview of IP


B: Professional Conduct

Preparing for Intellectual Property Practice [77905]*
(Accredited until 23 March 2023)

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

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

C : Trade Marks Law

Trade Marks Law [77889]*
(Accredited until 23 March 2023)

Trade Marks Law [77889]
(Accredited until 17 June 2021)

D: Trade Marks Practice

Trade Marks Practice [77890]*
(Accredited until 23 March 2023)

Trade Marks Practice [77890]
(Accredited until 17 June 2021)

E: Patent Law

Patent Law [77898]*
(Accredited until 23 March 2023)

Patent Law [77898]
(Accredited until 17 June 2021)

F: Patent System

Patent Systems [77891]*
(Accredited until 23 March 2023)

Patent Systems [77891]
(Accredited until 17 June 2021)

G: Drafting of Patent Specifications

Drafting of Patent Specifications [77894]*
(Accredited until 23 March 2023)

Drafting of Patent Specifications [77894]
(Accredited until 17 June 2021)

H: Interpretation and Validity of Patent Specifications

Interpretation and Validity of Patent Specifications [77895]*
(Accredited until 23 March 2023)*

Interpretation and Validity of Patent Specifications [77895]
(Accredited until 17 June 2021)

I: Designs Law

Designs Law and Practice [77893]*
(Accredited until 23 March 2023)

Designs Law and Practice [77893]
(Accredited until 17 June 2021)

*NZ content included

 

New Zealand

Victoria University of Wellington

TTIPAB Topic Group(s) Current accredited courses
A2: Overview of IP New Zealand and Australian Intellectual Property Law [LAWS 551] *
(Accredited until 5 January 2022)
C: Trade Marks Law Trade Mark Law and Unfair Competition [LAWS 536]*
(Accredited until 5 January 2022)
E: Patent Law Patent Law [LAWS 537]*
(Accredited until 7 July 2022)
I:  Designs Law New Zealand and Australian Copyright & Designs Law [LAWS 530]*
(Accredited until 23 March 2023)

*NZ content included

 

Victoria

University of Melbourne

Topic group(s)

Current accredited courses

Previous accredited courses

A1: Legal Process and A2: Overview of IP

Australian Legal Process and Legal Institutions [ALPLI] *or

Fundamental of Common Law [LAWS70217]* (Accredited until 7 April 2025)

AND

Overview of Intellectual Property (OIP) or Fundamentals of Intellectual Property [LAWS90125]*

(Accredited until 7 April 2025)
 

 

Australian Legal Process and Legal Institutions [LAW7212] or Fundamenals of Common Law [LAWS70217] or Fundamentals of the Common Law – Int [LAWS70256] (Accredited until 1 December 2019

 

Overview of Intellectual Property (Accredited until 1 December 2019)

B: Professional Conduct and
D: Trade Marks Practice

Trade Marks Practice [LAWS90035]*
(Accredited until 7 April 2025)

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]*
(Accredited until 7 April 2025)

Trade Marks and Unfair Competition [LAWS70046] (Accredited until 1 December 2019)

E: Patent Law

Patent Law [LAWS70021]*
(Accredited 7 April 2025 )

Patent Law [LAWS70021] (Accredited until 1 December 2019)

F: Patent System

Patent Practice [LAWS70060]*
(Accredited until 7 April 2025)

Patent Practice [LAWS70060] (Accredited until 1 December 2019)

G: Drafting of Patent Specifications

Fundamentals of Patent Drafting  [LAWS70387]*
(Accredited until 16 November 2023 )

Fundamentals of Patent Drafting [LAWS70387] (Accredited until 1 July 2016)

H: Interpretation and Validity of Patent Specifications

Interpretation and Validity of Patent Specifications [LAWS70061]*
(Accredited until 7 April 2025)

Interpretation and Validity of Patent Specifications [LAWS70061] (Accredited until 1 December 2019)

I: Designs Law

Designs Law and Practice [LAWS70261]*
(Accredited until 7 April 2025)

Designs Law and Practice [LAWS70261] (Accredited until 1 December 2019)

*NZ content included

 

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