The draft Patents Bill was released for consultation on 20 December 2004.
The draft Bill is intended to replace the Patents Act 1953, and it is intended that the Bill will tighten the criteria for granting patents to ensure that patents are only granted for genuine innovations.
To be patentable, an invention will need to be a manner of manufacture that is new, non-obvious and useful.
The Bill, if enacted in its current form, will change the tests to be applied to determine novelty and obviousness. Whether something is novel or obvious will be determined by reference to all matter made available to the public anywhere in the world.
Following the consultation process, it is planned to introduce the Bill by mid-2005.
Copies of the draft Bill can be obtained from the Ministry of Economic Development's website at www.med.govt.nz/buslt/int_prop.htm.
For more information on Patents Bill, please email or call Garry Williams on 64 9 916 8661.
This publication is necessarily brief and general in nature. You should seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters dealt with in this publication.