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Looking at innovation from a real world perspective

Intellectual property (IP) protection allows people to control and be rewarded for their innovations and creative efforts. IP assets like patents for new inventions, trade marks for branding goods and services and registered designs for eye-appealing product designs can be bought, sold and licensed.

Innovation and creativity are important elements in gaining a competitive edge in the marketplace and for many business ventures intellectual property is one of their most important assets. Through the provision of our services, we aim to ensure people realise the full economic potential of their intellectual property.

The workplace

  • Based in the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) building, 15 Stout Street, in Wellington’s CBD
  • In-house comprehensive examiner training
  • State of the art examination and searching tools
  • Ministry-wide personal development programme
  • Flexible work hours
  • Modern, collaborative, office environment.

Patent - Science and technology career opportunities

A patent examiner gets to consider cutting edge technologies and keep up with the state of the art. You’ll use your analytical skills, technical expertise and in-house acquired knowledge to examine inventions.

A design examiner looks at the latest product design features in terms of shape, pattern and ornamentation. You’ll use your spatial reasoning and product design know-how when examining design applications for everything from hub caps to wallpaper.

Learning and development for patent examiners

In-house training covers everything you will need to be a patent examiner. You'll be trained in New Zealand and international patent law, patent examination practice and procedures, how to use specialised patent searching tools and databases, and all with ongoing coaching and mentoring.

Examiners are encouraged to sit the New Zealand patent attorney exams. Access is also provided to World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) IP courses in addition to a range of other training programmes that will support your professional learning and development.

We're looking for

Someone who:

  • enjoys being part of a professional team,
  • actively keeps up-to-date with the latest technologies,
  • wants to learn new skills and
  • can handle routine work whilst in a technically and legally challenging role.

You will have academic qualifications in:

  • biotechnology (biochemistry, microbiology, genetics, molecular biology),
  • chemistry (organic and inorganic),
  • engineering (mechanical, electrical, chemical, computer and product design) or
  • telecommunications.

You will need:

  • strong communication skills,
  • a critical thinking approach,
  • an eye for detail and
  • enthusiasm for your technology area.

The ideal candidate will:

  • have biotechnology, chemistry, ICT, mechanical or electrical engineering technology based expertise,
  • possess strong verbal and written communication skills,
  • be disciplined, with an eye for detail,
  • have a genuine interest in technology,
  • be focused, conscientious, adaptable and practical.

Trade mark – business and brand career opportunities

You're surely familiar with some famous trade marks. For example Magnum ice creams, Dove beauty bar and of course Buzzy Bee.

A letter, word, phrase, sound, smell, shape, logo, picture, aspect of packaging or any combination of these can be included as a trade mark. A business who owns a trade mark relies heavily on it to position itself in the market. Recognised trade marks help to communicate a desired image and level of quality.

As a trade mark examiner you'll review trade mark applications in order to make sure they meet the requirements for registration. You'll be amongst the first to see new and exciting ideas. Your job is to 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 current legislation.

We're looking for

People who have skills in researching, interpreting, analysing and evaluating information. Demonstrated verbal and written communication skills are important. The ability to work with a diverse range of people, identify work group priorities and the desire to work towards team goals are also important to perform well in the role.

Experience in a role applying legislation or applying your understanding of intellectual property law and its impact on a country’s’ economy would be an advantage but is not essential.

Next steps

If you're interested in a career with us, please visit the Careers at MBIE website for a list of current vacancies.