Law Council of Australia

Business Law Section

Regulation of agents conducting matters before IP Australia

The Intellectual Property Committee of the Business Law Section of the Law Council of Australia (IPC) provided a submission to IP Australia regarding the regulation of agents conducting matters before IP Australia.

The Institute of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys (IPTA) has been in correspondence with IP Australia for some time over the issue of whether there should be greater regulation of agents conducting matters before IP Australia, specifically in matters relating to trade marks and designs. The understanding is that IPTA’s position on this issue was initially set out in a letter to Michael Schwager, Director-General of IP Australia, dated 21 July 2022, and that IPTA’s refined position is set out in its letter to you dated 31 October 2023.

IPTA’s general position, as outlined in these two letters, is that there are problems with the current state of affairs where parties other than ‘locally-qualified practitioners’ (defined as Trans-Tasman Patent Attorneys, Australian Trade Marks Attorneys and Australian/New Zealand legal practitioners) are able to act as agents in matters before IP Australia. IPTA’s particular concerns relate to parties other than locally-qualified practitioners being able to act for applicants for registration of trade marks or designs, for registered owners of trade marks or designs, and for third parties in relation to proceedings involving applications for registration of or registered trade marks or designs.

Read the full submission below.

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