Profile - Trade mark examiner (Bronwyn)
Name and qualifications
Bronwyn. Bachelor of Laws/Diploma of Legal Practice (graduated in 2009), Bachelor of Design.
Current position at IP Australia & commencement of employment
Trade Mark Examiner APS 5 level, commenced November 2010.
How did you find out about IP Australia?
I discovered IP Australia during my Intellectual Property law studies at Uni when my lecturer discussed the role of IP Australia. This raised my interest and led me to investigate the Agency further.
What made you choose to work at IP Australia? Was there anything specific about the Agency that stood out to you? What interests you most about working in trade marks?
I love intellectual property law and I also wanted to work in a government position. IP Australia was the most logical step. Additionally, the agency stood out to me as employment would allow me to learn both trade mark and designs exam procedures as well as cater to my interest in IP law.
I find trade marks appealing because, of all the registrable intellectual property rights, they are the most attainable. If used effectively a trade mark can be an invaluable marketing and branding tool.
Unlike the prerequisites to examine patents you don't need a scientific or IT background to examine trade marks. A law degree is not a prerequisite for a position as a Trade Mark Examiner either and traditionally the positions have not been filled by law graduates. Having said that, the current trend seems to be more law graduates applying.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
One of the most interesting things about my job is being the first to hear about new technologies, products and companies etc. An examiner is also exposed to emerging marketing and branding practices. Additionally as an examiner you see hundreds of applications, allowing you to develop a thorough knowledge of trade marks. And it's always nice to see the trade marks I examine finding their way to the market place.
IP Australia is dedicated to an excellent work life balance with the flexibility that allows you to manage your own workload. While team work is essential, I also enjoy being able to work autonomously and the responsibility that entails. Apart from examining trade marks I also enjoy looking at evidence and responding to arguments and submissions from trade mark attorneys.
Is there anything else particularly appealing about working at IP Australia?
The broadband pay structure is a pretty appealing factor as it allows an examiner to move through the APS levels without interview or waiting for a position to become available.
I really enjoy working with like minded individuals who share my passion for trade marks and commitment to excellence. There is also a general feeling of support given to me as an examiner.
Has there been a particular trade mark application that stood out to you for some reason?
There has not been one trade mark in particular but I like examining the non-traditional trade marks such as shape and colour marks. At the moment I'm in the process of examining a bottle shape trade mark.
How do you find the training and professional development offered by IP Australia?
Excellent! You are given intensive training upon commencement and due to the nature of the job there is ongoing support as you progress your career. There is also a strong general support network even after the initial training. I am also planning on commencing a Masters in Intellectual Property next year and, thanks to Study Leave, this is possible and is being supported.
How do you find the general culture of the IP Australia workplace?
IP Australia has a culture of support. Working hours are very flexible and the people are friendly and approachable: nothing is ever too much trouble. I have worked for a few different employers and IP Australia is easily my favourite.
What would you highlight to potential applicants considering a career with IP Australia?
If you have an interest in Intellectual Property you should definitely consider IP Australia. It is effectively the only government department specialising in this area of law.
I would also highlight the flexible work hours, the excellent work life balance and the broadband pay scale. I also enjoy the freedom of managing my own workload and making autonomous decisions.
If you moved here for the job, how do you find living in Canberra?
I had to relocate to the ACT from the Hunter Valley in NSW and I've grown to love Canberra. I must admit that I have always loved to visit the ACT so moving here was an easy transition.
Canberra is an active cultural city so I find there is always something to do or somewhere to meet friends for a coffee. It's also nice and close to the snow fields if you're into skiing.
The HR staff at IP Australia were more than helpful with my relocation which also reduced the stress of moving.
Last Updated: 13/12/2012