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Joint Statement: Streamlined trans-Tasman patent process

Tuesday 5 July 2011

Streamlined process for trans-Tasman patents

Inventors in New Zealand and Australia can look forward to a faster, cheaper and more streamlined trans-Tasman patent process, as announced today by New Zealand Commerce Minister Simon Power, and Australian Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr.

The Ministers have agreed to an implementation plan that will deliver a single application process for both countries by early 2013, and a single patent examination by June 2014.

A single patent application and examination process for both countries will remove duplication, drive efficiencies and reduce costs, making it easier for businesses to protect their intellectual property in both countries.

New Zealand Commerce Minister Simon Power said the single examination process made sense because most of the applications filed in New Zealand are also filed in Australia.

“By removing potential barriers we’re trying to create a seamless trans-Tasman business environment and making it easier to conduct business in both countries,” he said.

“This level of patent cooperation is a world first and will give Australian and New Zealand innovators greater confidence when seeking IP protection overseas.”

Australian Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr agreed.

“To succeed in the tough global marketplace, both Australia and New Zealand will need successful innovators, and lots of them. It is the Government’s role to encourage innovation, not hinder it with unnecessary administration processes,” Senator Carr said.

“By moving to align the application processes we will remove duplication and reduce costs. We believe the single pathway to patent protection across Australia and New Zealand will in turn encourage inventors and businesses.”

The savings in professional costs alone could be as high as $2,000 to $5,000 per invention — money that should and will stay in the pocket of the innovator.

The single patent process is part of a suite of intellectual property initiatives proposed under the trans-Tasman Single Economic Market.

ENDS

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