Latest News & Articles

  • 6 July 2017

    New Zealand has joined the Global Patent Prosecution Highway (GPPH) pilot program. As a result it is now possible to request accelerated examination of a New Zealand patent application based on the allowance of at least one claim of a corresponding application in another GPPH office.


  • 4 July 2017

    A review of the Copyright Act has been commenced by the New Zealand Government. The review has been long-signalled by the Government, and long-awaited in some quarters. It is the first major review of substantive provisions of the Act since the Copyright (New Technologies) Amendment Act 2008.



  • 7 April 2017

     

    Intellectual property in New Zealand is often low on the legislative priority. However, 2016 and the beginning of 2017 has seen an extraordinarily large number of intellectual property bills and orders passed.



  • 27 February 2017

    2016 was a year of change in the patent attorney profession in Australia and New Zealand. In this article we examine two significant changes - the establishment of a single Trans-Tasman Patent Register and the public listing of patent attorney firms on the Australian Stock Exchange.





  • 21 October 2016

    It is now over five years from the publication of the Waitangi Tribunal report on WAI 262 (commonly known as the Flora and Fauna claim) in July 2011. Since that time the Patents Act 2013 has been enacted. We are also experiencing a renewed interest in bioactives research and commercialisation. There has been no formal response from the Government to the WAI 262 claim. However, it is perhaps a salient time to consider to what extent, if any, the recommendations of the Tribunal in relation to patents have been incorporated into New Zealand law.







  • 8 July 2016

    From 1 July 2016, new Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) laws apply to food sold in retail stores in Australia. However, businesses will have time to adjust over a two-year transition period, meaning that food products packaged up until 1 July 2018 can be sold without the new labels.


  • 8 July 2016

    These words can be an important marketing tool and can carry significant weight in New Zealand and beyond, particularly for some food products where a consumer may have concerns about the safety and quality of such products from a specific country of origin.






  • 9 November 2015

    Congratulations to the winners of the Henry Hughes IP awards at the Victoria University of Wellington School of Design’s 2015 end of year exhibition.

    We are proud to again be supporting the awards. As a firm which specialises in the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights, we know how important it is that up-and-coming designers are celebrated and encouraged to create.





  • 6 November 2015

    The line between a successful parody and a fraudulent imitation may be a fine one. If attempting to poke fun at another trader’s trade mark or name, be careful that you do not fall on the wrong side of that line.


  • 6 November 2015

    A number of trade mark issues have arisen during negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). In this article we pick up on three of these issues, and explain what protections are available in New Zealand for non-traditional trade marks (such as trade marks for shapes, sounds and smells), well known marks and geographical indications.


  • 7 October 2015

    In a landmark decision handed down 7 October 2015, the High Court of Australia has reversed the decisions of the lower courts and found that isolated genetic material is not patentable subject matter.

    In D'Arcy v Myriad Genetics Inc [2015] HCA 35 the High Court of Australia unanimously held that claims 1 to 3 of Australian Patent No. 686004 did not relate to patentable subject matter and so were invalid


  • 6 October 2015

    The trade ministers of the 12 countries who are party to the negotiations have announced that the terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have been agreed.

    The TPP is a multi-national free trade agreement, between Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam, which together represent approximately 40% of the world’s GDP. It is the most significant multi-lateral free trade agreement since the Uruguay round of the WTO.


  • 19 August 2015

    Our recent articles have summarised the issues surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations relating to pharmaceuticals and patent protection, and trade marks and geographical indications. Another issue which has received attention is the potential impact of any TPP agreement on the patentability of computer software.


  • 12 August 2015

    Following the latest round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations in Hawaii, there has been a significant public interest in pharmaceutical patents. In this article we attempt to clarify and/or correct some of the information that is available in the draft Intellectual Property (IP) Chapter of the TPP agreement as it applies to pharmaceuticals[1]. In particular we discuss the distinction between patent protection (and patent term extension) for pharmaceuticals, data protection and patent linkage, the proposals for each, and where the current law in New Zealand stands in relation to these proposals.




  • 6 January 2015

    Two recent Australian trade mark decisions have considered how well Australian consumers would understand the meaning or pronunciation of foreign language words.




  • 7 August 2014

    The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilisation, a supplementary agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity has now been ratified by 50 states entered into force on 12 October 2014.


  • 1 August 2014

    The Patents Act 2013, in addition to other substantive changes, introduces annual maintenance fees (for patent applications) and renewal fees (for granted patents) from the fourth anniversary of the filing date. These fees will only be able to be paid up to three months in advance of the due date.



  • 15 May 2014

    On 17 April 2014, the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) issued a document regarding the transitional provisions from the Patents Act 1953 to the Patents Act 2013. We have noted most of the transitional provisions as they apply to patent applications in previous articles. However, certain provisions of the Patents Act 2013 will apply to patents granted under the Patents Act 2013.


  • 17 April 2014

    In combination therapy patents, the invention lies in the discovery of a particular therapeutic benefit to taking two (or more) different pharmaceutical actives together. To provide patent subject matter, the therapeutic benefit must be based on a synergistic or inter-working relationship between the actives in the body; for example, in enhanced activity or in the amelioration of side effects



  • 9 January 2014

    If your trade mark comprises foreign language words, do not assume that it is registrable as a trade mark in Australia. Under the Trade Marks Act 1995 (“the Act”) a trade mark must be capable of distinguishing he applicant’s goods or services in respect of which the trade mark is sought to be registered from the goods or services of other persons. In other words, the trade mark must be distinctive. Depending on the nature of the goods or services of the application, the foreign language words may not be distinctive.


  • 27 November 2012

    From 10 December 2012, New Zealand businesses will be able to take advantage of New Zealand’s accession to the Madrid Protocol. The Madrid Protocol allows New Zealand and foreign businesses to protect their trade marks in countries that are parties to the Protocol (“Contracting Parties”).




  • 27 September 2011

    The Patents Act 2013 came into force on 13 September 2014 and is a replacement for the Patents Act 1953. This Act will make it more difficult and more expensive to obtain a valid patent in New Zealand, thus “raises the bar” for patentability in New Zealand. We recommend considering filing or entering national phase in New Zealand prior to 13 September 2014 in order to avoid the more onerous conditions of the Patents Act 2013.


  • 27 September 2011

    The Waitangi Tribunal's report on the WAI 262 claim was released on 3 July 2011.

    Commonly known as the “flora and fauna” claim, the WAI 262 claim addressed the ownership and use of Maori knowledge, cultural expressions, indigenous species of flora and fauna, all known as taonga (treasures), and inventions and products derived from indigenous flora and fauna and/or utilising Maori knowledge. Here we look at a number of key facts as they are relevant to Intellectual Property rights.

  • 13 November 2009

    Your trade mark is your brand. It’s the way people remember you and your product – think Whittaker’s, 42 Below, Swanndri. Recognition of a brand allows customers to make repeat purchasers from you and it is an important business asset.



  • 7 August 2006

    Domain names within the .nz space are registered on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, when the name is registered, there is no enquiry into whether the registrant is entitled to use and register the domain name.



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