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Kiwi innovation set to benefit from revamped trans-Tasman patent regime

16 Nov 2016

New Zealand and Australian businesses will be able to take advantage of improved and high-quality advice when it comes to patenting and intellectual property, as the new Patents Amendment Bill has passed through Parliament.

The Patents Amendment Bill, otherwise known as the Trans-Tasman Patent Attorneys and Other Matters Bill, will bring a joint licensing regime for Australian and New Zealand patent attorneys.

Those attorneys provide advice to businesses on intellectual property matters, including protection and exploitation.

Paul Goldsmith, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister, has praised the Bill, saying that it will save attorneys and businesses a lot of expense.

“The two countries share over 500 trans-Tasman patent attorneys. With many of them already registered in both jurisdictions it makes sense to take advantage of economies of scale and save the profession time, money and effort," Goldsmith says.

The legislation has been amended to include a single trans-Tasman register; a trans-Tasman code of conduct; the creation of a patent attorneys disciplinary tribunal; and consistent qualifications for registration.

“A modern regime for regulating patent attorneys ensures New Zealand businesses have optimal access to high quality, reliable advice,” Goldsmith continues.

The new trans-Tasman regime has been on the cards since November 2011, and in March 2013 the Australian and New Zealand Governments signed a bi-lateral agreement outlining each country's law requirements.

The trans-Tasman regime will come into effect on February 24, 2017.

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