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.