Position Title: Trade Mark Examiner - Affirmative Measure Disability Employment
Classification: Commencement at APS Level 4 with salary of $66,483 per annum (advancement to APS Level 5 upon successful completion of training, with opportunity to advance to APS Level 6 upon completion of further training)
Position Number: Several
Tenure: Ongoing
Duration: Permanent
Group: Trade Marks and Designs
Division: IP Rights
Location: ACT (reasonable relocation support provided)
Immediate Supervisor: APS6

      ** Please note that this opportunity is only open to persons with a disability

Group Responsibilities

IP Australia is an Australian Government agency with a passion for bright ideas, offering a great work-life balance, flexible working arrangements and rewarding career paths in the intellectual property (IP) industry.

IP Australia administers Australia’s intellectual property (IP) rights system, specifically trade marks, patents, designs and plant breeder’s rights.

Our vision is to have a world leading IP system that builds prosperity for Australia.

IP Australia has a very strong international reputation among intellectual property agencies and is a member of the Madrid system which facilitates the registration of trademarks in multiple foreign jurisdictions.

IP Australia’s goal is to attract and retain the right people for the right jobs, no matter what their gender, ethnicity, age, religious beliefs, or personal commitments. This means that we embed diversity and inclusion in everything we do. This is reflected in our recruitment processes, workplace culture, customer service, policies and procedures. These are all underpinned by the APS Code of Conduct and our workplace diversity program.

Section Responsibilities

Trade mark examiners review trade mark applications to make sure they meet the requirements for registration under the Trade Marks Act 1995 and the Designs Act 2003. 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 as well as applying other legislative tests to ensure the trade mark is registrable. 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. As an Examiner, you will liaise closely with businesses, IP professionals and the general public, working to resolve issues with clients and helping them to protect their intellectual property rights. You will have exceptional time management skills, as well as clear, concise and logical written and oral communication skills.

For more information on Trade mark Examination please see the IP Australia website and the IP Australia YouTube channel.

Job Description / Context of the Role

Starting as a trainee Examiner, you will be supported by a workplace coach through a competency based training program to build your expertise.

Examination work is performed independently and as part of a small team. Trade Mark Examiners must take responsibility for and manage their own work, and perform other search, examination and administrative tasks to achieve team and organisational goals.

Typical Trade Mark Scenario: 

comparison of two trade marks

This is the type of comparison a trade mark examiner will routinely have to make. Consider the two marks, the mark on the left is on snack bars and the mark on the right is applied to snacks made from nuts. Do you think it is likely a consumer would assume that the products sold under these trade marks are made by the same producer? 

Trade Mark Examiner Career Pathway (APS4-6)

Upon commencement you will be enrolled in the Trade Mark Examination Competency Based Training program. This is an intensive program based on the technical skills required to successfully apply the legislative tests of the Trade Marks Act. The training consists of group sessions and individualised 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. 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.

Trainees will commence in the Training Academy, where they will progress through Stage 1 and Stage 2 as a group. Stage 3 can be self-paced progression under one-on-one supervision.

It is a condition of employment that Trade Mark Examiners successfully attain Acceptance Delegation within two years of the day on which employment commenced with IP Australia.

A Trade Mark Examiner commences equivalent to an Australian Public Service (APS) Level 4 classification. Starting salary is $66,483 per annum plus generous superannuation.

Trade Mark Examiners are eligible for salary progression upon successful completion of training milestones. Please note, candidates who meet training program outcomes will emerge at the APS Level 5 classification. There is opportunity for further advancement to APS 6 Level as you develop in the role and meet additional criteria.

The Trade Mark Examiner role is an APS 4-6 broadband. Broadbanding is an arrangement where two or more APS classifications are combined into a single broader group of duties (a band) to meet the needs of the agency. For more information on broadbanding please see the APSC website.


Benefits of Working in IP Australia

At IP Australia, we recognise the need to provide rewards, benefits and a good quality of life for our staff. Major benefits of joining IP Australia include:

  • IP Australia is a self funded agency and can offer competitive remuneration packages. Entry to the Trade Mark Examination broadband commences at APS 4. Further progression in the broadband is dependent on attainment of relevant skills.
  • IP Australia has a strategic priority of delivering a highly flexible working environment. This priority aims to effectively use technology to facilitate a flexible and mobile workforce. This will support employees working in a number of ways, including from home or remotely and with varied work patterns. The initial training program of up to two years must be completed at the Canberra office.
  • Extensive training and career development in both formal and on-the-job programs, with ongoing development and mentoring throughout your career.
  • A full range of employment conditions and benefits including recreation and additional leave
  • provisions, generous superannuation and staff amenities.
  • A sense of satisfaction in enabling Australian businesses and individuals protect their creative efforts and intellectual property.

Job Specific Duties

Trade Mark Examiners review trade mark applications in order to grant trade mark rights. This is a specialised position and the total number of Trade Mark Examiners in Australia is approximately 120. In this role, specific duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Research trade marks using online resources
  • Search the online Australian Trade Marks register
  • Use information gathered to determine the registrability of applications considering the legislative requirements
  • Communicate with applicants or their representatives on the outcome of your examination and consider their responses
  • Either recommend for acceptance or accept applications for the registration of trade marks
  • Perform other research, examination or administrative tasks to meet team and organisational goals
  • Work towards achieving stated goals and objectives, take ownership and accept accountability for your own work.
  • Demonstrate attitudes and behaviours responsive to workplace change (including participating iand encouraging others to participate in change and contribute to successful outcomes)
  • Improve organisational performance through effective engagement with and management of risk within relevant sphere of influence
  • Maintain 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.

The examination process is conducted using numerous electronic research tools. Trade mark examiners will spend a significant portion of work time using these systems and must demonstrate self-management practices to reduce risks of injury or ill health in line with the work health and safety requirements.

Job Specific Capabilities

The successful candidate will possess the following capabilities:

Organising Work and Displaying a Focus on the Details

  • Able to maintain a focus on tasks to be completed and not be easily distracted
  • Self-reliant and outcome focussed
  • Has developed the skills of consistent work habits and checking output for errors

Communicating and Working Effectively with Others

  • Concise, clear written expression skills to communicate with clients and record decisions for review
  • Demonstrated oral communication skills, listening skills, warmth towards others and ability to mentor and coach others
  • Able to engage with changes in the workplace and in work practices

Sound Judgement and Intellectual Capacity to Make Decisions

  • Capable of quickly analysing new information, integrating it to the overall scheme of things, and applying it to solve work-related problems
  • Can deal with uncertainty and still make efficient decisions, displaying a level of self- assurance and confidence in managing risks in the decision-making process

Balanced Approach to Work and Progression

  • Has realistic and informed expectations for career and progression, and can articulate a career plan that is consistent with the work of IP Australia

A high level of personal resilience and a proactive approach to learning

  • Able to accept feedback and criticism and then demonstrate changes to work practices as a result of feedback

Ability to build and maintain positive working relationships and work effectively in a collaborative environment.

  • Values diversity in the workplace and well developed interpersonal and collaboration skills

Qualifications / Knowledge Required

A degree (in any discipline) will be considered desirable but is not essential.


  1. You must be an Australian Citizen to be engaged in the APS and to meet IP Australia’s security clearance requirements.
  2. You must be able to demonstrate a medical fitness to successfully complete the duties of a Trade Mark Examiner. This will be assessed through the pre-employment health clearance process.
  3. This vacancy is open only to people with a disability.

The filling of this vacancy is intended to constitute an affirmative measure under Section 27 of the Australian Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 2016. This vacancy is open only to people with disability.

Therefore, you will be required to submit evidence of your of Disability if you are selected as a shortlisted applicant.

Suitable evidence may include:

• Letter from a Disability Employment Service or jobactive provider; and

• Letter from a secondary or tertiary institution disability services unit in relation to a recent student.

If you do not have the required evidence prior to interview, you will need to provide a letter or email which outlines the steps you are taking to source your documentation.

**  Note: that you will have to provide documented evidence prior to being offered a position

Application Requirements

To apply for this position, candidates are asked to:

  • Using the job specific duties and job specific capabilities of the role as a guide (as set out in the job advertisement), provide:
  1. An explanation of how their skills, knowledge and experience will be relevant to this role (limited response between 300 and 500 words), AND
  2. Details of no more than three (3) professional or personal achievements, within the last 5 years, that demonstrate your 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)

What does the Selection Process Involve

There are a number of steps in the selection process to make sure we have a good match between your needs and skills and those of a successful Trade Mark Examiner.

Step 1 – Application
In addressing the selection criteria you provide us with information about yourself, your work history, your qualifications and answer a small number of specific questions to demonstrate your capabilities.

Step 2 – Online Testing
Shortlisting will occur based on your application and CV. If shortlisted, you will be contacted by email and asked to complete online testing, which includes an aptitude test, and a brief written assessment to demonstrate your writing and computer skills. 

Step 3 – Interview
After further shortlisting, if successful you will be invited to attend an interview with IP Australia.

Step 4 – Reference Checks
We may then contact your nominated referees with some brief questions and/or to discuss your work history.

Step 5 – Clearances

If you are offered the role, you will be asked to undertake pre-employment checks relating to things such as health or security clearances. A Baseline Security Clearance is required for employment at IP Australia – more information can be found here: http://www.defence.gov.au/AGSVA/resources/fact-sheet-baseline-clearance-.... Once security clearance is granted, you can start with IP Australia and begin training with other new recruits to be a Trade Mark Examiner.

Contact Officer

For further information pertaining to this job please contact:

Craig Finlayson on (02) 6222 3607 or craig.finlayson@ipaustralia.gov.au

Shellie May on (02) 6283 2872 or shellie.may@ipaustralia.gov.au

Anupa Balan on (02) 6283 2217 or anupa.balan@ipaustralia.gov.au

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: 
Monday, May 13, 2019