In view of the measures taken by the Commonwealth, States and Territories to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trade Marks and Designs Group has been offering hearings exclusively by way of written submissions, telephone or videoconference. We prefer these formats for the convenience and low cost they offer to all involved. However, we understand that some circumstances can lend themselves to a hearing in person. Since the various public health measures taken to manage the pandemic have been wound back significantly across Australia, we are now open to requests for hearings in person.
Hearings in person will be by exception, and all parties attending the hearing should agree to the format.
Any party asking to be heard in person should include with their written request:
- The agreement of any other parties (if applicable); and
- A brief explanation of why the hearing should be held in that format.
Some examples of exceptional reasons may be:
- A person wanting to attend is unable to use the internet or telephone (for example due to disability and/or lack of available infrastructure).
- The evidence includes physical specimens that cannot be adequately shown or seen over a video connection.
In any case, we'll retain the sole discretion as to whether to hold any hearing in person.
Please note it's not necessary that all parties attend in person. Parties not attending in person can still elect to attend by written submissions, telephone or video.