How to become a Patent Examiner

Patent examiners investigate patent applications and report on whether they comply with the requirements of Australian patent legislation before granting patent rights for new inventions. The work of patent examiners is technically complex. It involves knowledge of technical processes used in industry and advances in scientific research. It also involves making legalistic decisions based on their knowledge of patent law.

Personal requirements for a Patent Examiner

  • Decision-making and research skills
  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Able to work as part of a team
  • Australian citizenship or eligibility to apply for citizenship.

Duties & Tasks of a Patent Examiner

Patent examiners may perform the following tasks:

  • Analyse application documents to determine whether legislative requirements are met
  • Assess whether the patent rights sought are justified and match the invention's technical description
  • Search online databases to discover similar patents held in Australia and overseas
  • Assess whether the advances claimed for the originality of the invention's features are new
  • Communicate with the patent applicant or their legal representative
  • Depending on experience, either recommend or approve the acceptance of a patent application.

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