The trans-Tasman patent attorney regulatory regime between Australia and New Zealand came into force on 24 February 2017.
This reform is part of the Single Economic Market agenda, agreed to by the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand in 2009.
The key features of the new regime include:
- The Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board have assumed regulatory control of patent and trade mark attorneys registered in Australia and New Zealand.
- A single register, a single set of requirements for registration, a single code of conduct and a single disciplinary process for Australian and New Zealand attorneys.
- A single address for legal service in either Australia or New Zealand for applications made to IP Australia or IPONZ for all IP rights (patents, trade marks, designs and plant breeder’s rights).
- The knowledge requirements for registration as a patent attorney are amended to require candidates to have sufficient knowledge of both Australian and New Zealand intellectual property law and practice.
Existing patent attorneys in both Australia and New Zealand were automatically registered under the new regime on the commencement date.