Reflecting the close economic ties between Australia and New Zealand, the patent attorney profession is the first regulated in a unified way across the trans-Tasman.
In the making since 2009, when the Australian and New Zealand Governments agreed to a Single Economic Market agenda, the now implemented reforms create a single body regulating patent attorneys in both countries.
The new regime aims to streamline processes and minimise costs, and to facilitate competition in the market for patent attorney services.
Patent attorneys in Australia and New Zealand will be on a single register. New attorneys will be registered under a single set of requirements, and will be subject to a single code of conduct and single disciplinary process.
Existing Australian and New Zealand attorneys will be automatically transferred to the new joint register.
The Professional Standards Board will continue, but will be renamed the trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board, with an expanded membership.