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Brisbane lawyer to head Attorney Standards Board

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Media Release

18 Oct 2010


Leading Brisbane lawyer Ms Lisa O’Neill has been appointed as the new chairperson of the Professional Standards Board for Patent and Trade Marks Attorneys (the Board).

The board administers regulatory and disciplinary regimes for patent and trade marks attorneys in Australia and plays a critical role in ensuring that new patent attorneys are suitably qualified to provide valuable advice to

Australia’s innovators.

Announcing Ms O’Neill’s appointment, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr, said Australian innovators needed strong and robust intellectual property protection in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.

“A patent attorney can play a significant role in securing this protection,” Senator Carr said.

Senator Carr also appointed Adelaide based patent attorney Ms Karen Spark as a new board member and reappointed Dr Mark Horsburgh, Professor Jill McKeough and Ms Karen Sinclair.

"The appointees have the right blend of IP expertise and industry experience," Senator Carr said.

“The board is integral to Australia’s innovation system because it administers the qualification and discipline regimes for patent and trade marks attorneys.

“It also provides the appropriate checks and balances in relation to the conduct and discipline of intellectual property professionals.”

Patent attorneys wishing to practise as attorneys in Australia must be registered and trade marks attorneys must register to be able to describe themselves as trade marks attorneys.

Australia has more than 1,000 registered patent and trade marks attorneys.

More information is available at

Media contacts: Aban Contractor, Minister's Office, 0457 989 842 Peter Willimott, IP Australia, 0410 698 391