The standards of practice and professional conduct applying to all Australian and New Zealand registered patent and trade mark attorneys are set out in the Code of Conduct for Trans-Tasman Patent and Trade Marks Attorneys (2018) (the Code of Conduct).
The Code of Conduct recognises corporate ownership structures, and makes specific provision for ownership groups comprised of two or more incorporated patent and/or trade mark attorneys and incorporated ancillary businesses under common ownership.
Within the QANTM Group of companies, the following businesses are members of an ownership group (the QANTM Ownership Group) for the purposes of the Code of Conduct:
- Davies Collison Cave Pty Ltd, an incorporated patent and trade mark attorney business operating in Australia and New Zealand (DCC);
- Davies Collison Cave Law Pty Ltd, an incorporated legal practice operating in Australia (DCC Law);
- FPA Patent Attorneys Pty Ltd, an incorporated patent attorney business operating in Australia and New Zealand (FPA);
- Cotters Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys, a patent and trade mark attorney business operating in Australia and New Zealand; and
- Sortify.tm Limited, a New Zealand-headquartered trade mark legal technology company that operates automated trade mark filing platforms in Australia (under the brand Trademarks Online), New Zealand (DIY Trademarks) and, through its subsidiary, Trademark Planet Ltd, the United Kingdom.
The registered attorney firms within the QANTM Ownership Group – DCC, FPA and Cotters – operate independently in the provision of attorney professional services.
Consistent with the requirements of the Code of Conduct, where a registered attorney within the QANTM Ownership Group is aware that a client of another registered attorney within the QANTM Ownership Group is involved in a matter before a court, tribunal, IP office or similar adjudicative body, and the clients’ interests are adverse, the registered attorney will only act where its client has given, in writing, its informed consent to the registered attorney so acting.