Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board Regulation Reform Public Consultation

Closed 2 Feb 2022

Opened 17 Nov 2021


In March 2013, the Governments of Australia and New Zealand entered into an Arrangement for Trans-Tasman Regulation of Patent Attorneys. The Arrangement aimed to provide a joint registration regime for patent attorneys to practise in Australia and New Zealand. The Arrangement included commitments by both Governments to implement the regime.

Consistent with the Arrangement, legislation was passed by the Australian Government creating a joint patent attorney profession, as well as establishing the Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board (Board) and Disciplinary Tribunal (Tribunal). The New Zealand Government similarly passed legislation supporting the joint regulation of the profession as set out in the Arrangement, including recognising the Board and the Tribunal. The regime commenced on 24 February 2017.

The Arrangement requires that a review of its effectiveness, with a view to deciding on and implementing any necessary improvements, is carried out no later than 5 years after it has taken effect.  This consultation is an important element of the review process.

The Arrangement’s objectives are to:

  1. strengthen the relationship between Australia and New Zealand;
  2. provide a joint regulatory regime for patent attorneys in Australia and New Zealand;
  3. allow economies of scale in institutional arrangements;
  4. minimise regulatory and business compliance costs;
  5. increase business confidence in the quality and standard of service provided by patent attorneys; and
  6. facilitate competition in the market for patent attorney services.

This public consultation paper explores each of these objectives with the view to identifying potential issues that might be preventing those objectives from being fully realised and considering possible solutions to ensure efficacy into the future. The paper also considers potential issues and improvements relating to the regulation of trade marks attorneys in Australia, however the application of a trade marks attorney regime in New Zealand is out of scope of this review.

Final Review Report 

The joint report from IP Australia and New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is available here

The review concluded that the regime is working well and there are no substantive issues with its performance. Some minor issues were identified around the administration of the regime. The report makes twelve recommendations for improvements and potential reforms to the regime.  

Published Submissions 

View submitted responses attached below where consent has been given to be published.


  • Anyone from any background


  • Patents
  • Trade marks