A single patent attorney regulatory regime between Australia and New Zealand came into force on 24 February 2017.
Existing registered patent attorneys have automatically become trans-Tasman registered patent attorneys.
New candidates for registration will need to meet the trans-Tasman registration requirements. These requirements include holding approved qualifications, satisfying the knowledge requirements, and completing appropriate work experience.
New Zealand candidates can expect the previous qualifying examinations will be offered until 2020. Candidates who 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.
Australian university courses accredited by the former Professional Standards Board 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.
More information on the trans-Tasman regime is available from IP Australia's website.