New Zealand Law Society - Proposals for patent regulations considered

Proposals for patent regulations considered

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While the Law Society welcomes many of the proposals for inclusion in the new regulations required under the Patents Act 2013 (particularly those relating to patent proceedings), a number of the matters to be prescribed in regulations are not covered in the discussion document Proposals for Regulations to be made under the Patents Act 2013, the Law Society said in a submission to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

“Our analysis suggests that a number of areas remain to be addressed and there needs to be ongoing consultation in the time that is left before the key provisions of the 2013 Act come into force,” the submission says.

“The 1954 Regulations relating to patent proceedings have remained substantially unchanged for decades. They are in need of a significant overhaul. Oppositions, amendment and revocation proceedings are very often of considerable commercial and financial importance to the business community in New Zealand. Therefore the speedy and efficient resolution of patent proceedings is of key importance to the economy.

“The Law Society welcomes the provisions foreshadowed in part 7 of the discussion document and the proposals to introduce modern case management techniques to the hearing of proceedings before the Commissioner. There are, however, a number of areas where the proposals do not go far enough or require further change.”

The Law Society also commented on the proposal to introduce a single trans-Tasman patent application and examination process.

“Neither the explanation given in the discussion document nor in the Cabinet paper released in November 2013 indicate that the policy behind the schemes is more than seeking a particular outcome that might benefit IPONZ and/or IP Australia, but which provides little net benefit to the general public of either country.”

The submission, available at, details and provides analysis on the matters to be prescribed in regulations.

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