Regulatory and advisory bodies
The five main IP regulatory and advisory bodies are:
- World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
- Advisory Council on Intellectual Property (ACIP)
- Professional Standards Board for Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys
- Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys Disciplinary Tribunal
- Plant Breeder's Rights Advisory Committee (PBRAC).
World Intellectual Property Organization
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the United Nations agency responsible for intellectual property. It's mission is to promote innovation and creativity for the economic, social and cultural development of all countries, through a balanced and effective international intellectual property system.
WIPO delivers global IP protection services based on international agreements, through a fee-based system. It currently administers 24 international treaties. Some of these treaties assist users of the IP system in member countries to file international applications for patents, trade marks and designs.
It serves as a neutral and independent forum for stakeholders from governments, non-government organisations and society to discuss matters of IP law.
WIPO supports all nations in using the IP system to promote innovation and creativity. The current Director General of WIPO is an Australian, Dr Francis Gurry.
Advisory Council on Intellectual Property
The Advisory Council on Intellectual Property (ACIP) is an independent body appointed by the government, and advises the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research on intellectual property matters and the strategic administration of IP Australia. The council was established in 1994.
The council's membership reflects a cross-section of stakeholders of the intellectual property system, and includes individuals from both large and small businesses, the legal and attorney professions and academia.
Professional Standards Board for Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys
The Professional Standards Board for Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys is a statutory body established under the Patents Act 1990. Under the Patents Regulations it is responsible for:
- setting the academic qualifications required to become a patent and trade mark attorney
- assessing the qualifications of people seeking registration as patent and trade mark attorneys
- ensuring patent and trade mark courses satisfy subject requirements under the regulations, accrediting those courses and checking subjects for compliance with regulations, from time to time
- agreeing on subject exemptions for applicants who have undertaken prior study
- overseeing the professional conduct of patent and trade mark attorneys
- managing disciplinary matters, which includes:
- receiving complaints about unprofessional or unsatisfactory conduct made by clients of patent and trade mark attorneys
- referring complaints to the Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys Disciplinary Tribunal where appropriate
- prosecuting complaints before the disciplinary tribunal when requested by the client
- determining the role of the board in proceedings.
A complete listing of registered Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys is available from the Professional Standards Board.
Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys Disciplinary Tribunal
The disciplinary tribunal is a statutory body established under the Patents Regulations 1991. Its function is to deal with complaints against patent and trade mark attorneys for unsatisfactory and unprofessional conduct.
Disputes with agents or legal representatives
If you have evidence of unsatisfactory or unprofessional conduct by a patent attorney, and if the patent attorney is a member of the Institute of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys of Australia (IPTA), you can write directly to IPTA.
Alternatively, you may make a formal complaint by writing to the Professional Standards Board for Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys, who will consider whether the complaint should go before the Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys Disciplinary Tribunal.
If your dispute is with a legal representative, you can contact the law society in your region. You can also ask the Commonwealth Ombudsman to enquire on your behalf.
Plant Breeder's Rights Advisory Committee
The Plant Breeder's Rights Advisory Committee (PBRAC) is an independent statutory committee established under Part 7 of the Plant Breeder's Rights Act 1994.
PBRAC advises the Minister and PBR registrar on technical and administrative matters relating to PBR and acts as an industry advisory forum.
As part of our advisory framework, PBRAC consults with and refers significant policy issues and ministerial advice to ACIP for consideration.
The committee's membership includes members representing the interests of users, breeders, consumers, indigenous and conservation interests.
Last Updated: 09/10/2013