Parliament has today released a timeframe for the introduction of the new Patents Act, which will see the updated patent laws come into force no later than 14 September 2014.

The Patents Act, passed in August, received royal assent on 13 September 2013. The new laws must be in force within 12 months of that date.

The new Patents Act will replace the existing 1953 Patents Act; a change that will re-shape the current patent1 system here in New Zealand.

The changes will encourage innovation in New Zealand with a balanced patent system geared towards giving greater certainty in the validity2 of granted patents. The changes will also align the New Zealand system with other countries.

To read more about the details of the Act, click here.

We will provide further updates on when the changes will come into force, as well as detail on the implications of the new Patents Act, in subsequent posts.


1A proprietary right in an invention which provides the owner with an exclusive right for up to 20 years to make, sell, use or import the invention. In exchange for this monopoly the patent is published so that others can see how the invention works and build on that knowledge. The patented invention may also be used by the public once the patent lapses.

2A patent is valid if it is legally enforceable. This means that it must fulfil the criteria of patentability and not be able to be invalidated by a patent revocation proceeding. It is possible that a granted patent may not be valid, or at least its validity could be questionable. Ultimately, only the Courts can judge the validity of a granted patent.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

James & Wells Intellectual Property, three time winner of the New Zealand Intellectual Property Laws Award and first IP firm in the world to achieve CEMARS® certification.