Code of Conduct Review

In March 2013, the governments of Australia and of New Zealand signed the Arrangement between the Government of Australia and the Government of New Zealand Relating to Trans-Tasman Regulation of Patent Attorneys (“Arrangement”).[i] The Arrangement, which took effect on 24 February 2017, stated that the Australian legislation implementing the Arrangement would, among other things, establish the Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board (“Board”), establish a joint disciplinary regime administered by the Board, and allow the Board to establish a trans-Tasman code of conduct for registered patent attorneys.

Clause 9.9 of the Arrangement requires the Board to conclude a review of the Code and make any appropriate amendments within one year of the date of entry into effect of the Arrangement – that is, by 23 February 2018. At its March 2017 meeting, the Board resolved to undertake that mandated review of the Code in parallel with its review of the Code’s conflict of interest provisions.

Phase 1

The Board released a Consultation Paper on proposed changes to the Code in April 2017 and invite all interested parties to provide feedback.

The Consultation Paper is available below.

Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board Review of the Code of Conduct Consultation Paper PDF in PDF format [923.31 KB]

Eighteen submissions were received in response to the Consultation Paper, with one of the submissions being a “Confidential” submission. Copies of the list of submissions and the 17 publicly-available submissions are available below (all in PDF format).

Phase 2

The Board assessed all of the submissions at its July 2017 Board meeting. As a result of this process the Board released a draft Code of Conduct 2018 and draft Guidelines to the Code of Conduct 2018 and invited all interested parties to make written submissions by 28 September 2017.

Written submissions should be sent to MDB-TTIPABCodeofConduct@ipaustralia.gov.au

Sixteen submissions were received in response to the draft Code and Guidelines, with one of the submissions being a “Confidential” submission. Copies of the list of submissions and the 15 publicly-available submissions are available below (all in PDF format).

Phase 3

The Board assessed all of the Phase 2 submissions and has revised the draft Code of Conduct 2018 and draft Guidelines to the Code of Conduct 2018. The Board also held two forums about the revised Code and Guidelines on 2 November 2017 whilst in Melbourne for its meeting. A copy of the presentation for both of these forums is available below, and a video of the forums can be viewed here.

Code Presentation Melbourne 2 November 2017

Before finalising the Code and Guidelines, the Board is particularly keen to hear about any unintended consequences arising from the amended draft Code and Guidelines (copies below).

The Board invites all interested parties to make written submissions on the amended documents by COB 20 November 2017.

Written submissions should be sent to MDB-TTIPABCodeofConduct@ipaustralia.gov.au