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New Zealand Patents Act 2013

The long awaited update to the New Zealand Patents Act 2013 was signed off by the Governor-General Jerry Mateparae last year and will take effect from 13 September 2014. The new Act was drafted in 2004 and first introduced to the House in 2008 – and will replace the original Act which dates back to 1953.

Media attention has focused largely on the controversy surrounding the patentability of software, but the new law has implications far beyond the tech industry, and anyone filing a patent application should be aware of these.

It may benefit some patent filers to complete their applications early […]

September 29th, 2014|

Inventorship ≠ Ownership

The importance of accurately recording inventorship on patent applications is illustrated in a recent judgement by the Federal Court of Australia. Inventor Max Scott developed a new production process for “Clean Wine Spirits” used by Bacchus Distillery (makers of cream liqueurs and other beverage products), and Bacchus asked for their representative to be named on the patent application as a co-inventor in order to qualify for government funding. The patent was granted in June 2011.

When Bacchus later fell into financial trouble, administrators looked to sell the business and the associated intellectual property, and the entitlements suddenly came into dispute (Neobev […]

September 29th, 2014|

A Brief History Of Patents

The earliest origins of patents are ancient and obscure, but some countries have a long history of patenting in which we see the development of modern principles. Patents were common in Italian states by the 1420s, and in 1474 the Republic of Venice decreed that new inventions ‘had to be communicated to the Republic to obtain the right to prevent others from using them’ (Wikipedia).

Britain has a continuous tradition of patenting going back to the 15th century. In 1449 King Henry VI granted Flemish-born John of Utynam a 20-year monopoly for a method of making stained glass (for the windows of Eton College) previously […]

September 29th, 2014|

Knock Out Knock Offs!

As Noddy Holder of Slade once screeched, “It’s CHRISTMAAAAAAAAS!!!”.

For many of us that means ham, potato salad, hotly contested beach cricket matches, pavlova and “Snoopy’s Christmas” assaulting our ears one too many times.

They are all integral parts of traditional Kiwi Christmases. Increasingly, sadly, so are the shrieks and shouts of excitement, which swiftly turn to cries of disappointment.

No. Not that Santa didn’t bring the much desired gift but rather, after mere nano-seconds, it has broken. Doesn’t work properly. Doesn’t quite match the description on the box.

Counterfeit goods are becoming more readily available in New Zealand and, to most consumers, hard […]

September 29th, 2014|

Considering A Merger, JV Or Acquisition? Do Your Due Diligence On The Company’s IP Early

Very often Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) are fraught with difficulty. Though estimates vary widely, most analysts agree that the failure rates for M&A activity are as much as 50-90%.

The reason why the odds are so poor is because a lot can go wrong during the process of integrating two companies. From evaluating the strategic fit and valuing the deal, to culture and human resources, financing and maintaining sales momentum through the transition. M&A is complex.

When assessing an opportunity, companies go through a phase of due diligence in which important aspects of the operation are scrutinised – generally with the help of accountants […]

September 29th, 2014|

NZ Edges Closer To A World-Class Patent System

On 28 August 2013 New Zealand inched a little closer to replacing the 60-year-old Patents Act 1953, when thePatents Bill 2008 passed its third reading in Parliament. The Bill has made slow progress, having been drafted in late 2004 and first introduced to the House in July 2008. News of its success is being welcomed within the IP field because patenting law in NZ was urgently in need of changes to align it with developments abroad, particularly in our major trading partners. The updated law will make it easier in future for NZ patent holders to successfully apply for patents overseas.

Once […]

September 29th, 2014|

Avoiding The Pitfalls: India

Traditionally famous for curries, Ghandi, and the Taj Mahal, India’s new image is about call-centre outsourcing, low cost pharmaceuticals, and Bollywood. India is enjoying a period of rapid and sustained growth, with recent GDP increases among the highest in the world, ranging from 7.4 to 8.9%. Experts suggest consumer spending could treble in the next 15 years. A recent study forecasts that the proportion of middle-class people in India will grow from 28% to 45% in a single decade.

A 2011 India-New Zealand Joint Business Council meeting in Auckland attracted over 200 people, including India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Ananda Sharma. According to Export NZ, […]

September 29th, 2014|