How to apply

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A step-by-step process to apply to the Designated Manager for patent attorney registration.

Step 1: Check the eligibility requirements

To be eligible to register as a patent attorney, you must:

  • Hold an appropriate science or technology qualification
  • Be able to demonstrate knowledge of IP law and practice
  • Have approved exemptions for non-accredited courses (if applicable)
  • Have at least two years of practical work experience with patents in Australia and/or New Zealand

Eligibility requirements

Step 2:   
a) Gain Board approval of tertiary qualifications; and

  b) Gain Board approval of knowledge in IP law and practice

Before you can apply to the Designated Manager for registration as a trade marks attorney, you'll need to apply to the Board to request approval of your academic qualifications and IP knowledge requirements.

You'll need to download, complete and submit to the Board an application for:

  • Approval of your academic qualifications (Diploma or higher in a field that contains patentable subject matter)
  • Approval of your knowledge requirements (study the required topic groups)

When should I submit my documents?

Applications for Qualifications - We recommend submitting your application as soon as you start to consider registration. The Secretary has delegation to approve trade marks qualifications on behalf of the Board.

Applications for Exemptions - Only required if you have completed non-accredited courses of study. We recommend submitting your application to the Board as soon as possible. You only have 10 years from the date of your first subject to seek Registration with the Designated Manager.

  • If you're planning to apply for any exemptions for non-accredited courses of study, they must be approved by the Board before you submit your application for approval of your knowledge requirements.
  • Some exemption applications require Board approval. These applications will be discussed during a Board meeting, which are held three times a year. You'll need to submit your evidence by a specified cut-off date ahead of the next meeting.
  • For some exemption applications (A1 and B), the Secretary has delegation to approve on behalf of the Board. These applications will be processed and a result given within 15 working days.

Applications for Knowledge Requirements - We recommend submitting your application only after any exemptions have been approved by the Board and/or accredited courses of study have been completed. 

  • Applications can be submitted at any time, as the Secretary has delegation to approve knowledge requirements on behalf of the Board.

Cut-off dates for Board meetings

How do I submit my applications for approval?

All applications, for either the Board or the Designated Manager, can be submitted via email. They can be sent separately or together.

Submit documents via email

When will I receive the outcome?


In most cases you'll be notified of the outcome within three weeks of your submission date, or if applicable, 10 business days after the board meeting. You'll receive an email advising you of the outcome.

If your qualifications or exemptions aren't approved, you won't be able to continue on the path to registration at this time. The Board will provide feedback on your application and advise you of your next steps to help gain registration.

Step 3: Submit your application for registration

Your application for registration will be considered by the Designated Manager. Submission of your application is a two step process.

  1. Pay the registration fee
    First, you'll need to pay the registration fee via IP Australia's online services. Payment through IP Australia’s online services is quick and easy. It should only take 10-15 minutes.
    You'll need to attach your receipt to your application.
  2. Submit your application

You'll need to submit the following information for the Designated Manager's consideration:

  • Registration application form
  • Statement of skill(s) outlining your practical experience of patents work
  • The Board's approval letter that your academic qualifications are compliant
  • The Board's approval letter that you meet the knowledge requirements
  • A signed declaration regarding offences
  • A signed declaration by another party regarding your good fame, integrity and character
  • Receipt of fee payment.

You'll be notified of the outcome within 15 business days.

Common issues to avoid

  • All of your documentation must be under the same name with the same format. Any discrepancies will need to be addressed by a declaration.
  • You'll need to provide additional documents if you've undergone significant name changes due to marriage, gender transition or personal preference.
  • The person giving the character declaration must state how they know you (e.g. colleague, supervisor) and for how long. You can’t use a family member for this declaration.