Submissions on Proposed Legislation in New Zealand

We have assisted in the preparation of submissions to Parliament in relation to proposed legislation. We appeared before the Commerce Select Committee on behalf of INTA (International Trade Marks Association) to present submissions on the Trade Marks Bill 2001 (which was enacted as the Trade Marks Act 2002). Since the enactment of the Trade Marks Act 2002, we have continued to make submissions to the Ministry of Economic Development regarding suggested amendments to the new Act and accompanying Regulations.

We also prepared submissions and appeared before the Commerce Select Committee in relation to the GATT (Uruguay Round) Bill, in 1994. This legislation implemented the Border Protection requirements set out in Articles 51-60 of the TRIPS Agreement. As a result of our submissions, the legislation includes a provision enabling the would-be importer to voluntarily surrender infringing goods to Customs at the port of entry.

In 2009, we made submissions on the Patents Bill 2008, and appeared before the Commerce Select Committee, on behalf of both the New Zealand Institute of Patent Attorneys and in our own right. In 2011, we made submissions on draft examination guidelines on the patentability of inventions involving computer programs. The draft guidelines were issued by the Ministry of Economic Development in anticipation of clause 15(3A) of the Bill, now clause 11 of the Patents Act 2013, which states "a computer program is not an invention and not a manner of manufacture for the purposes of this Act".

Following on from this, we filed submissions on the Patents Regulations Bill 2013, and we again appeared before the Commerce Select Committee the Patents (Trans-Tasman Patent Attorneys and Other Matters) Amendment Bill 2016. Our submissions challenging the alleged benefits of the proposed single patent application and examination processes contributed to the Committee’s recommendation to abandon these clauses of the Bill.

If you have any concerns or queries about proposed or existing intellectual property legislation in New Zealand, please contact us for advice or assistance in preparing and/or presenting submissions on such legislation.

Updated December 2017

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