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Dates and deadlines 2016

Applicants wishing to sit the patent attorney exams are required to notify the Commissioner of Patents in writing and pay the prescribed fee of NZ$25 (GST exclusive) per paper.

Applications are to be submitted no later than Friday 8 April 2016 (Regulation 157 of the Patents Regulations 1954).

New Zealand Patent Attorney Examinations will be held on Tuesday 28 June to Thursday 30 June 2016. Exam venues will be in the main city centres of New Zealand. Specific venue details will be provided closer to the time. 

Qualifications required to sit the examination

The applicant must hold suitable qualifications namely:

  • A pass* in New Zealand School Certificate Examination or,
  • A pass* in New Zealand University Entrance Examination or,
  • A pass in an equivalent or better examination (at the discretion of the Commissioner and Council of the Institute of Patent Attorneys) or,
  • Accreditation for entrance to the University of New Zealand.

*A pass is considered to be a grade of 50% or better in three or more subjects.

Examination papers

The Patent Attorneys Examination consists of the following subjects:

  1. The New Zealand Law and practice relating to patents and designs - two papers A1 and A2 with a fee payable for each paper.
  2. The New Zealand Law and Practice relating to trade marks.
  3. Foreign Patent Law.
  4. The preparation of specifications for NZ patents (also known as “Drafting”).
  5. Patent attorney practice in New Zealand, including the interpretation and criticism of patent specifications (also known as “Criticism”) Regulation 155-160.


  • Candidates cannot sit more than three subjects in any one year.
  • Papers A1 and A2 are co-requisites and must be sat together.
  • A pass in subject A is recorded when the average of the A1 and A2 exam results is not less than 50%.
  • Candidates cannot sit subjects D or E until they have gained a pass in subject A.
  • A candidate who only gains a single credit in any one year must complete all of the subjects of the examination within five years or the credit for that subject will lapse.

There is provision for seeking an extension of time regarding the credit of a single paper (refer Regulation 159 (3).

  • Candidates must sit the examination at one of the specified locations. Candidates cannot sit papers outside of New Zealand.

Refer Patent Regulations 1954 Regulations 155-160 for more information

Checklist for submitting an application

Please submit your application no later than the date noted in the annual syllabus which is advertised in the journal each year:

Please send your application to IPONZ.

Examination Board

Contact details for the Examination Board:

Wendy Welsh