NZ IP Legislative Landslide
New Zealand's IP landscape is in the process of a seismic shift...
The Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines Amendment Act 2016 commenced on the 8th November 2016. It appears that no further changes were made in addition to the earlier noted amendments proposed by the select committee.
On the 15th November 2016 the Patents (Trans-Tasman Patent Attorneys and Other Matters) Amendment Bill passed its third reading in the New Zealand Parliament, and received Royal Assent on 21st November 2016. As previously reported, the provision relating to correcting the grounds of opposition is being made retrospective to the commencement of the Patents Act 2013, while the provisions relating to Patent Attorneys will commence by way of Order in Council by the Governor General. The Order in Council needs to issue before 24th February 2017, but should issue promptly, since the relevant amendments to the Australian legislation commenced on the 15th November 2016.
Also on the 15th November 2016 the third reading of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Amendment Bill was completed, and this also received Royal Assent on 21st November 2016. Amongst other legislation, this will amend the Copyright Act 1994, Patents Act 2013 and the Trade Marks Act 2002. It will no longer amend the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines Act 1997 on account of the amendments made in the above noted Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines Amendment Act 2016. As earlier noted, the Plant Varieties Act 1987 does not need to be amended just yet as New Zealand will have three-years from the date of entry into force of the TPPA in New Zealand to join UPOV 1991.
Given that it is unlikely that the USA will enact the TPPA and that without the USA any such trade agreement would likely be amended, it is unclear whether the provisions of the Act will commence in the near term, or whether they will be further amended before commencing.
Also on the 15th November 2016 the Committee of the Whole House stage of the Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Amendment Bill was completed. In addition to the recently notified changes recommended by the select committee, the Bill was further amended at this stage to allow an interested person to oppose the proposed removal or the proposed alteration of a registered geographical indication. The Bill was then given its third reading the next day and is currently awaiting Royal Assent.