Position Title: Senior Examiner of Patents
Classification: Executive Level 1
Position Number: 8166
Tenure: Non-Ongoing
Duration: 3 years
Section: Patent Oppositions and Hearings
Group: Patents Mechanical and Oppositions
Division: IP Rights
Location: ACT & VIC
Immediate Supervisor: Executive Level 2
Security Classification: ENTRY ONLY

Group Responsibilities

The Patents Mechanical and Oppositions Group ensures Australians benefit from the effective use of intellectual property by examining and granting robust patent rights, and managing the oppositions process.

Section Responsibilities

The Patent Oppositions & Hearings section is responsible for managing the patent opposition and hearings process.

Job Description / Context of the Role

The Senior Examiner is responsible for case management of opposition matters, including directions, extensions and allocation of hearings. The successful applicant should have a good understanding of Patent Law, well developed written and communication skills, and the ability to analyse complex scenarios.

Job Specific Duties

Under limited direction contribute to the management and outcomes of the Patent Oppositions and Hearings section by:

  • Processing requests for extensions of time, directions, stays and other matters arising under Chapter 5 of the Patents Regulations
  • Allocation of hearings and monitoring timeliness of decisions
  • Maintain and update Volume 3 of the Manual
  • Providing support to the Supervising Examiner in court matters and the development of Hearing Officers
  • Demonstrates attitudes and behaviours responsive to workplace change (including participates in and encourages others to participate in change and contribute to successful outcomes)
  • Improves organisational performance through effective engagement with and management of risk within relevant sphere of influence
  • Establishes clear expectations and creates an environment to achieve stated goals and objectives, takes ownership and honours commitments
  • Maintains an understanding of their/worker responsibilities under the Work Health & Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) and a commitment to promoting a healthy and safe workplace.

Job Specific Capabilities

  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, particularly the ability to provide constructive and objective feedback, listen, understand and adapt to the audience, negotiate persuasively and motivate
  • Good judgement and analytical skills, in particular the ability to quickly identify the important facts relating to an issue and their relationship to other facts or issues
  • Flexibility (i.e. having an open mind to new ideas and/or the opinion of others) and a positive attitude to change
  • Thorough knowledge of patent law and practice, together with demonstrated judgement in its application
  • Ability to exercise the appropriate powers, authority, delegations and discretions under the Patents Act, or capacity to obtain this ability in a timeframe of less than six months

Please note: Applicants are encouraged to refer to the attached Capability Framework documentation which outlines agency wide behavioural descriptiors for the five core capabilities at this classification.

Eligibility Qualifications / Knowledge Required


  • Ability to exercise the appropriate powers, authority, delegations and discretions under the Patents Act, or capacity to obtain this ability in a timeframe of less than six months
  • A degree in a relevant area of technology, or a diploma together with appropriate industry experience
  • The successful applicant would be expected to obtain a security clearance sufficient to deal with prohibitions under section 173
  • The successful applicant must be a Patents Hearing Officer or have the capacity to become a Hearing Officer within a timeframe of no more than 12 months

Application Requirements

To apply for this position, candidates are asked to:

  • Frame their responses around the job specific duties and job specific capabilities of the role (as set out in this job documentation), and provide:
  1. An explanation of how their skills, knowledge and experience will be relevant to this role (limited response between 300 and 500 words)
  2. Details of no more than two (2) professional achievements, within the last 5 years, that demonstrate their suitability for this role (limited response between 300 and 500 words)
  • Provide a current CV detailing recent employment history which is relevant to the advertised position
  • Provide the name and contact details of two referees

Applications must be submitted through the IP Australia Web Recruitment system (ESS)

Please note: you MUST be an Australian Citizen to be engaged in the APS and to meet IP Australia’s security clearance requirements.

Contact Officer

For further information pertaining to this job please contact Steven Barker on (02) 6283 2294


Apply for this role

Working in IP Australia

Australia’s Intellectual property (IP) rights system supports innovation, investment and international competitiveness. IP Australia administers Australia’s IP rights system, specifically patents, trade marks, designs and plant breeder’s rights. IP Australia also undertakes programs to educate and promote an awareness of intellectual property (IP), provides IP policy input to Government, develops legislation to support the IP system and contributes to bilateral and multilateral negotiations to improve IP protection internationally.

IP Australia strives to deliver robust IP rights efficiently, satisfy our customers in terms of timeliness and value for money and be recognised as one of the leading IP offices in the world for the quality (including accuracy and consistency) of the IP rights we grant. IP Australia is committed to external certification of our Quality Management System which involves applying ISO 9001:2008 to key business processes and to environmental management through ISO14001 certification within the agency.

All IP Australia staff contribute to the achievement of organisational outcomes and the overall management of IP Australia by assisting, as appropriate, the Commissioner of Patents and the Registrars of Trade Marks and Designs and Plant Breeder’s Rights, and their deputies (where relevant), to perform statutory functions, and where appropriate, exercise relevant delegations.

IP Australia recognises the importance of employees balancing their work and personal lives by offering staff access to an ongoing series of health and wellbeing programs, flexible work-life policies and a range of professional development programs. IP Australia is a breastfeeding friendly workplace.

The IP Australia office in Canberra provides high quality accommodation and facilities. These include: an on-site café, conference, meeting and training rooms; limited on-site parking for cars and motor cycles available on a rotational basis; the provision of undercover bicycle racks; excellent shower/change facilities for staff choosing to walk or ride to work; and the advantage of all staff being co-located in the one building.

Please note: All IP Australia positions are subject to an ENTRY ONLY pre-employment check unless a higher security clearance has been identified. Other pre-employment checks may also apply.


Job documentation updated and endorsed for use: 
Wednesday, May 20, 2020