IP Australia is the Australian Government agency that administers intellectual property (IP) rights and legislation relating to patents, trade marks, designs and plant breeder's rights.
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Join IP Australia and you’ll experience new technologies, creative ideas and the birth of new products and companies every day.
At IP Australia we have a passion for bright ideas and the protection of them. We also have a passion for smart, talented people and giving them opportunities to go further.
We are responsible for administering intellectual property (IP) rights in Australia, which includes the protection of inventions through patents. Become a patent examiner with us and you’ll be among the first to see new developments in technology and innovation within Australia.
What you can expect
Our examination roles are really important and we’ll provide the tools and knowledge you need to succeed and lead a rewarding IP career. As one of our examiners, you’ll receive comprehensive training that develops specific examination skills, including workplace, decision-making and communication components. As you successfully progress through the program, your salary progresses too.
Is this you?
If this sounds like you, then we want you as part of our team:
- excellent research, analytical and conceptual thinking skills
- sound technical knowledge and the ability to adapt your knowledge base
- ability to understand and articulate complex ideas verbally and in writing
- ability to learn and apply legal concepts
- sound decision-making skills
- demonstrated desire for continued learning and ability to learn through feedback
- ability to work independently and in a team.
The Trade Mark area of IP Australia is looking for people who enjoy working with businesses, lawyers and the general public and get satisfaction out of resolving issues with clients and protecting their intellectual property rights.
As a Trade Mark Examiner, early in your career you will be given a delegation to make decisions in relation to Trade Marks. This means that you will require a high degree of responsibility and decision-making.
We are looking for people who can take on that responsibility and make decisions regarding trade mark applications that are thoroughly researched and consistent with the intent of the legislation and guidelines.
Trade Mark Examiner Career pathway
On joining IP Australia Trade Mark Examiners commence the IP Rights Examiner Program (IPREP) a comprehensive competency based training program. The program culminates in the successful attainment of Acceptance Delegation (AD) within two years of the day on which employment commenced with IP Australia.
The Trade Mark Examiner position commences at the APS4 level, and progression through APS5 to APS6 is possible with the successful progression through, and completion of, IPREP.
Trade Mark Examiners are eligible for salary progression upon successful completion of training milestones and commence on a starting salary of $62,653 + 15.4% superannuation.
A Trade Mark Examiner commences at the Australian Public Service (APS) Level 4 classification with progression available to the APS5 and APS6 classifications.
The role of a Trade Marks Examiner
A Trade Mark Examiner reviews trade mark applications to make sure they meet the requirements for registration. Trade marks can include a letter, word, phrase, sound, smell, shape, logo, picture, aspect of packaging or any combination of these. The Holden car, Redhead matches, the Mambo clothing label, the popular children's characters Bananas in Pyjamas, and Rosella soup images are some high-profile trade marks.
Examiners review the written claims in each class applied for protection, conduct searches to see if there are any conflicting trade marks and determine whether the mark meets other requirements under the Trade Marks Act 1995.
Tools of the trade
Trade mark examiners search for trade marks that have been applied for previously, using online resources, to ensure there are no earlier, conflicting trade marks.
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 examiner's own intellectual capabilities and technical knowledge.
There is no preferred background. Trade mark examiners come from varied backgrounds and work experiences, are of different ages and have different interests. Trade mark examiners enter a training program when they start work with us. We train new examiners when they arrive until they are qualified. More information about the role is available on the IP Australia website.
Location of Trade Mark Examiner roles
IP Australia is located in Canberra ACT and successful applicants would need to base themselves in the ACT to undertake the role. Relocation assistance may be provided to successful applicants needing to relocate to the ACT.
IP Australia is an Australian Government agency with a passion for bright ideas, offering a flexible workplace and rewarding career paths in the fast-growing Intellectual Property (IP) industry.
Our strategic statement
The IP Australia Strategic Plan 2015-2018 guides the organisation's future direction so it can continue to fulfill its goal to deliver a world leading IP System.
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:
- A good salary structure: Entrants to the Trade Mark roles are appointed to the APS 4 level and have the opportunity to be promoted to APS levels 5 and 6 quite quickly based on how well you develop your skills and knowledge in examining trade marks. You usually do not have to wait for a vacancy to arise to be promoted in this way. Currently, the base salary on appointment is $62,653.
- Flexible working arrangements that in the long term may even involve working from a location away from our Canberra office.
- A safe and professional office environment with appropriate tools and systems to help you do your job.
- Extensive training and career development in both formal and on-the-job programs, with supervised development and mentoring over the first two years.
- 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.
We offer competitive employment conditions
Our employment conditions are very competitive and include:
- ongoing professional development
- flexible working hours (available after the successful completion of training)
- four weeks' recreation leave
- up to four weeks' personal leave
- a range of family friendly policies
- cost-effective on-site parking, allocated on a ballot basis
- salary packaging options
- office shut down between Christmas and New Year's Day.
Our enterprise agreement
Our Enterprise Agreement is struck between our management bargaining representatives and employee bargaining representatives, and follows a consultation and negotiation process.
- IP Australia Enterprise Agreement 2011-2014 PDF version
- IP Australia Enterprise Agreement 2011-2014 RTF version
Canberra - a great place to live and work
Most of our positions are in Woden, Canberra, ACT. Many people consider relocating, from all over Australia, to live and work in the nation's capital and to experience the unique lifestyle it has to offer.
We promote a work environment that is satisfying and assists our employees to balance their work and personal lives.
With a population of more than 350,000, Canberra has excellent facilities and services. It offers the lifestyle of a world-class capital city and all without the stress of city traffic.
The stylish cafe and restaurant culture affords a variety of dining experiences, there are wide ranging sporting events and competitions, plenty of open spaces and there is a year-round program of special events - from Summernats, Floriade and the Multicultural Festival to the Canberra Balloon Fiesta.
Canberra boasts major cultural attractions including the National Gallery, the Australian War Memorial and the National Museum of Australia.
When you feel like getting out of town, Canberra's central location means it's only a three-hour drive to Sydney and approximately 150 kilometres from the NSW South Coast. A flight to Melbourne takes just 50 minutes, and the Snowy Mountains ski fields are a near neighbour, within easy reach by car or bus.
Euan – Trade Mark Training Supervisor
Qualifications - Bachelor of Professional Writing; Maters in Communications in Creative Writing
Euan started work at IP Australia as a trade mark examiner, has been a training supervisor, and is currently working as a Project Officer. He enjoys the challenge that training entails, striving to tailor courses to meet the needs and skills of his colleagues.
"Training new examiners is always interesting and fun. Different people bring different experiences and backgrounds to the organisation, and it's important to deliver training in a way that is accessible to everyone."
Euan has also had the opportunity to extend his own learning while at IP Australia. He has attended various conferences, and completed a Certificate IV in workplace assessment and coaching. A particular highlight was a two week placement with an attorney firm. During this time he worked with professionals in the IP industry and became familiar with their project requirements.
Euan took advantage of this opportunity to help break down some of the perceived barriers between IP Australia and other IP professionals.
Tracy – Trade Marks Head Examiner
Prior to joining IP Australia, Tracy had spent her days working in childcare and her evenings working in a pub. She sat the very last public service exam and was offered a position with IP Australia in 1997 as a Trainee Administration Service Officer.
After her traineeship, Tracy gained experience working in an administrative capacity in a variety of areas within the organisation that included Human Resources, the 'file room', as an Executive Assistant and in Patent Opposition. She also worked the Call Centre before joining the Trade Marks examination group in 2006.
"I really enjoy trade marks because there is so much variety. You can be examining something for a non-profit one day and a big pharmaceutical company the next. Trade marks are an important way for Australian business and entrepreneurs to realise economic and social benefits for our economy, and there is a sense of achievement in knowing that I have had a role in that process."
Tracy has completed many of IP Australia's internal training courses, including all of the leadership training programs. In her current role as Trade Marks Head Examiner, Tracy says that her role mostly involves 'looking at all the ad hoc correspondence and anything out of the ordinary that needs sorting out'.
Since working at IP Australia, Tracy has been married and had time off to have two children. She says it is a great place to work.
Visit the IP Australia website and complete an online application. Please refer to the job documentation for additional information about the job and the selection process.
When to apply
We are currently recruiting Trade Mark Examiners with applications closing midnight 29 March 2016.
We look forward to receiving your application!