A new trans-Tasman licensing regime for New Zealand and Australian patent attorneys will come into force next year following the passage of the Patents (Trans-Tasman Patent Attorneys and Other Matters) Amendment Bill.
Key changes in the legislation include the creation of a trans-Tasman register, a trans-Tasman code of conduct, the creation of a patent attorneys’ disciplinary tribunal and consistent qualifications for registration. It also includes annual continuing professional education requirements.
The new legislation amends the Patents Act 2013, with Part 1 (amending section 92 of the principal Act) deemed to have come into force on 13 September 2014, and the remainder to come into force by Order in Council not later than 24 February 2017 (after which any remaining provisions not in force will be automatically repealed).
In background information on the new legislation, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) says the initiative is part of the Single Economic Market outcomes framework, which aims to create a "seamless trans-Tasman business environment".
Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith says New Zealand and Australia have more than 500 trans-Tasman patent attorneys.
“With many of them registered in both jurisdictions it makes sense to take advantage of economies of scale and save the profession time, money and effort,” he says.
The new trans-Tasman regime will start on 24 February 2017. MBIE says everyone who is on the register of patent attorneys as of that date will automatically be entered onto the trans-Tasman register. Registration will need to be renewed annually.