Trans-Tasman patent attorneys regime commences

by Sol Dolor01 Mar 2017
New patent attorneys in New Zealand and Australia are now subject to a single set of requirements and will be listed in a joint register as legislation implementing the new trans-Tasman patent attorneys regime has taken effect.

The Patents (Trans-Tasman Patent Attorneys and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2016 Commencement Order 2017 took effect last Friday, bringing into force the Patents (Trans-Tasman Patent Attorneys and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2016.

The creation of the regime is part of the Single Economic Market agenda agreed to by the prime ministers of New Zealand and Australia in 2009. The agenda aims to create a seamless trans-Tasman business environment.

All patent attorneys in New Zealand and Australia who are on separate registers have been transferred to the joint register, while new attorneys in both countries will now only be added to the same single register. Renewals will be every year hereafter.

Registered patent lawyers in New Zealand and Australasia will now also be subject to a single code of conduct and disciplinary process. The Professional Standards Board for patent lawyers has been renamed the Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board.

“The majority of Australian and New Zealand patent attorneys are already registered in both countries,” said Senator Arthur Sinodinos, the Australian Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science. “Removing barriers for patent attorneys and encouraging competition are key elements that will help drive productivity, innovation and industry growth for both countries.”

Jacqui Dean, the New Zealand Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, said while “New Zealand and Australia have a longstanding and close relationship,” this is the first time a profession is truly mutually regulated across the Tasman.

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