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NZICT applauds the Patents Bill amendments


Changes to sixty-year old legislation will protect inventions and encourage technical innovation

Last week, the Government released a progress report on Building Innovation. One of the objectives mentioned in the report is to improve intellectual property settings for the country. As part of this, the Government announced that one of its core policies was to align New Zealand’s patent settings with its trading partners.

NZICT, the national industry body representing the technology sector is in agreement with the changes and believes the Bill will encourage new technology developments.

Candace Kinser, CEO of NZICT commented, The amended law is in line with the position advocated by NZICT, and will provide greater certainty and an easier path to export markets for innovators with more consistent rules and expectations around intellectual property settings.

This Bill will aim to align New Zealand with Australian laws for processing patents to create a single trans-Tasman patents examination regime, and bring our process into international best practice standards.

Importantly, Clause 15(3A) would have excluded computer programs from patentability, stating that a computer program is not a patentable invention. If passed into law, the clause would have been unique in the world, adding to filing costs for multi-country patent applications and discriminatory for New Zealand. Clearly that would have been inconsistent with the objective of enhancing exports and cross-border trade.

Kinser says, We would like to congratulate Honorable Craig Foss on the Government’s announcement, and agree that this move will encourage Kiwi business exports and make trading with our key partners easier through alignment with world-wide best practices.

The supplementary order paper is available at

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