I often get asked about the difference in Australia between a trade mark attorney and a trade mark lawyer. In Australia, a trade mark attorney is a separate profession to that of a lawyer or a ‘trade mark lawyer’.
While both professions are legal entitled to work in the field of trade marks for their clients, a trade mark attorney is a specialist profession who are specially qualified to work in the field and hold themselves out as being trade mark attorneys. They can assist you in all trade mark matters. A lawyer can also assist you in your trade mark matters and is entitled to hold themselves out as being a lawyer.
In practice, most lawyers do not have a particularly in-depth knowledge of trade marks law and procedures.
A lawyer must hold a law degree and a trade mark attorney must hold a university degree (not necessarily law) together with government approved postgraduate subjects of study.
As with lawyers, communications between a registered trade mark attorney and their clients are privileged.
Daniel McIntosh, principal of Trademarkings, is a trade mark attorney who also holds a law degree and has worked as a lawyer for leading Melbourne law firms.