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Better service for Australian innovators.

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Innovation, Industry, Science and Research: Ministers and Parliamentary Secretary


Senator Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, today announced significant changes to the way patent and trade mark attorneys operate when advising Australian innovators.

Patent and trade mark attorneys play an important role in Australia’s intellectual property (IP) system. They advise on a range of IP such as patents and trade marks and help IP owners register and maintain their property, in Australia and overseas.

The new regulations change the pre-registration requirements for patent attorneys with a focus on a more skills-based approach. This will result in attorneys being better placed to provide high-quality assistance.

Registered patent and trade marks attorneys will need to undertake compulsory continuing professional development activities each year to ensure they remain skilled to provide the best IP advice to Australian innovators.

“The intellectual property environment is always changing. It is important that innovators have access to professional services which keep pace with these changes. Continuing professional development is essential." Senator Carr said.

“Whilst many Australians seek to obtain IP protection without assistance from an attorney, the value of an attorney should not be underestimated. In the area of patenting, there is a real skill in ensuring the patent application is drafted in a way that offers the best protection for the inventor.

“Robust IP protection is a critical foundation for business - if the foundations are weak, there may be difficulties in the future. Major problems can result if you fail to get IP issues right from the start," Senator Carr said.

More details: Professional Standards Board website, and IP and business, IP Australia’s Smart Start website

Media contact: Catriona Jackson, Minister's Office, 0417 142 238 Dana Busic, IP Australia, 02 6283 3140

Innovation Minister > Senator the Hon Kim Carr

Media Release

Senator the Hon Kim Carr

01 Jul 2008

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