Trans-Tasman Patent Attorney Bill Introduced
Joint registration regime and single patent application and examination process closer...
In November 2015 the Patents (Trans-Tasman Patent Attorneys and Other Matters) Amendment Bill 2015 was introduced to the New Zealand Parliament. The Bill’s primary purposes are to:
- allow for a single patent application and examination process for Australian and New Zealand patent applications – such applications being examined according to the law in each country;
- establish a joint registration regime with Australia for patent attorneys, along with a Trans-Tasman Disciplinary Board.
People who are registered patent attorneys immediately prior to the joint registration regime coming into effect will become patent attorneys under the joint registration regime. Once the joint registration regime comes into effect people who are partially qualified to act as a patent attorney in New Zealand will have 4-years to complete the qualification under the pre-existing criteria, after which they will become subject to the new criteria.
Patent attorneys registered in New Zealand and/or Australia will be subject to the Trans-Tasman Disciplinary Board if they are ordinarily resident within or have a principle place of business within one of those jurisdictions and provide patent attorney services in respect of New Zealand and/or Australian patent law.
The Bill also seeks to remedy a drafting error in the Patents Act 2013, which currently allows applications to be opposed with a unity of invention objection despite such a ground being ruled out as a ground of revocation. The Bill does not specify that this correcting amendment is to have retrospective effect.