Uncertainty about whether Advancement Patents Bill will Survive First Reading
On 16th May 2018 the first reading of the Patents (Advancement Patents) Amendment Bill was initiated, but only 2 of the scheduled 11 speeches were made before progress of the Bill was interrupted. The Members Bill, which is sponsored by an opposition party member, has subsequently slipped down the Order Paper...
The sponsoring member made the first speech in which she argued that while New Zealand is currently a net importer of technology allowing a second tier patent system will increase innovation by New Zealand based businesses. In particular, New Zealand based small to medium sized businesses are considered to need the protection offered by a second tier patent system for their innovations. It was argued that the encouragement to innovate would grow the presence of New Zealand businesses not just locally but also internationally and that this would have positive flow on effects for New Zealand’s economy. The sponsoring Member specifically stated that the Bill was drafted based on learnings from the pros and cons of second tier systems worldwide and not just from Australia’s contentious innovation patent system.
The reply speech by a Government member pointed out that various countries that had or have second tier patent systems repealed or are considering repealing them on account of the legal uncertainty they create for third parties. It was further stated that there is no evidence of New Zealand’s small and medium sized businesses asking for a second tier patent system. The Labour member indicated that they would not be supporting the call for the Bill to pass the first reading and sent to select committee. However, the Bill could still pass the first reading if the New Zealand First party support it.