26.8. Production of documents under s 61(1): Right of lien

Date Published

A right of lien is the right to hold another person’s property as security for the performance of an obligation or the payment of a debt.

A registered patent attorney (but not a registered trade marks attorney or an agent) has the same right of lien that a solicitor has over the documents and property of a client (s 142 and reg 11.16).

The right of lien only exists for documents actually in the possession of the attorney. An attorney has no right of lien over documents in the possession of the Registrar.

Where an owner changes attorneys, the former attorney may exercise the right of lien by refusing to pass documentation about a design to the new attorney (typically demanding payment of unpaid bills). However, the former attorney cannot prevent the owner or their new attorney from obtaining copies of documents that the Designs Office has on file (s 61(3)).

Amended Reasons

Amended Reason Date Amended