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Patents Act 2013

September 2014 saw the commencement of the Patents Act 2013, the biggest change in New Zealand’s patent laws in 60 years. The Act harmonises NZ’s patent laws with those of its major trading partners.

James & Wells can advise how best to protect and commercialise technical innovations under the new laws. Contact one of our team today to find out more.

Things you need to know about the new laws

Any new patent application filed in NZ will be subject to the new laws. All applications filed before 13 September 2014 will continue to be subject to the old laws.

Patent applications are subject to tougher criteria when being examined. This makes the process of obtaining a NZ patent slightly more arduous, but ensures any patent that is obtained is more likely to be robust.

More mechanisms are available for challenging NZ patents applications and granted patents. Again, this ensures that NZ patent rights are robust and the scope of protection is clear to patent holders and their competitors alike.

Patents cannot be gained for some inventions in the field of human genetics and computer programming. However, exactly what can and cannot be protected is complex and innovators are encouraged to seek advice before assuming an invention cannot be patented.

Further information:

For more detailed information or for specific advice on New Zealand’s new patent laws, please contact our patents team.