One of the most valuable marketing tools a business can own is its trade mark - think of the Olympic rings or Qantas's flying kangaroo. People immediately identify a certain quality and image with goods or services that carry recognised trade marks.

The workplace

A trade mark examiner reviews trade mark applications to make sure they meet the requirements for registration under the Trade Marks Act 1995. In doing so, trade mark examiners are among the first people to see new developments in technology and marketing.

Trade mark examiners search for trade marks that have been applied for previously, using online resources. Examination research tools are primarily electronic and include in-house and external databases, procedural manuals, legislation, court decisions and other legal resources, as well as the examiner's own intellectual capabilities and technical knowledge.

Examination work is performed independently and as part of a small team; however, examiners must take responsibility for and management of their own work, meet set targets, and perform other search, examination and administrative tasks to achieve other team or organisational goals.

Examination work is office-based, and intensively keyboard and screen-based. Examiners spend most of their time sitting or standing at an adjustable workstation, working at a computer. Most of the work involves repetitive hand/arm actions, and fine hand coordination. The work involves fine visual attention to detail and concentration. Applicants with musculo-skeletal or visual vulnerabilities are requested to contact the contact officer to receive more detail about the inherent requirements of the work, including the availability of reasonable adjustments.

As your career as a trade mark examiner progresses, your teamwork will expand to include supervision, mentoring and coaching responsibilities.

Qualities and skills

Trade mark examiners come from varied backgrounds and work experiences, are of different ages and have different interests. We provide training for new examiners from when they start until they are qualified.

Successful applicants demonstrate the following qualities and skills:


  • openness to learning in a group setting
  • receptive to constructive feedback and able to apply this in the performance of duties, both in training and on the job
  • ability to work collaboratively and cooperatively, and thrive in a diverse work group
  • ability to work independently
  • ability to recognise and respect the work preferences and different views of others.


  • meet deadlines and adapt to a changing environment
  • well-developed written and verbal communication skills
  • well-developed interpersonal skills
  • sound research, analytical, comprehension and decision-making skills
  • self-motivated


You must complete all stages of the program successfully within the specified timeframes to meet the conditions of engagement.  Training initially focuses on specific technical skills, and includes group sessions and individual on-the-job training, as well as:

  • basic procedures in IP Australia, and trade mark legislation and examination practices
  • how to make use of appropriate references and resources as tools that help you to decide whether a trade mark meets the requirements for registration. This includes teaching you how to use the tools to apply the tests set out in case law, and to apply precedent appropriately.
  • teamwork and time management training, which are fundamental to making an effective contribution to your examination team.

More information