Surveyors successfully challenge trademark application

January 23, 2018

Australia's licensed and registered surveyors have scored an important win that will help protect the integrity of the profession. 

IP Australia has rejected an application to register the term 'chartered surveyor', thus removing the risk of introducing a new and confusing term into the industry.

The Council of Reciprocating Surveyors Boards of Australia and New Zealand (CRSBANZ ) successfully argued that such a trademark may have been in conflict with Australian surveying legislation.

The application was made by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), which has a membership category for chartered surveyors.

However, CRSBANZ argued successfully that the term had no value or relevance in Australia. 

"In this country, a surveyor must be registered with a state board as a registered or licensed cadastral surveyor to perform boundary surveys and to retain that registration must maintain a competency and knowledge of cadastral law and its application," said CRSBANZ Secretary, Murray Fox.

"Membership of RICS does not infer or represent meeting the standards for registration in Australia as a cadastral surveyor and it was important for us to challenge the application and protect the public in compliance with Australian legislation."

CRSBANZ was supported in its action by the Surveyors' Boards of Australia and New Zealand, the Spatial Industry Business Association (SIBA), and the Australian Institute of Mining Surveyors (AIMS). 

Mr Fox said it was significant that the hearing officer, in his finding, had noted that the term chartered surveyor "contains little or no inherent adaptation to distinguish the designated services".

The resulting decision should give Australians a sense of certainty when engaging licensed or registered surveyors, because they will know that registration ensures a professional surveyor who has suitably demonstrated his or her competency. 

CRSBANZ brings together the licensing boards in all eight Australian state and territories plus New Zealand. It encourages and supports all jurisdictions to adopt standards for best practice in surveying and provide mutual recognition of qualifications. 

For further information: Murray Fox or 07 3839 7744


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