About Intellectual Property IP Training Respect for IP IP Outreach IP for… IP and... IP in... Patent & Technology Information Trademark Information Industrial Design Information Geographical Indication Information Plant Variety Information (UPOV) IP Laws, Treaties & Judgements IP Resources IP Reports Patent Protection Trademark Protection Industrial Design Protection Geographical Indication Protection Plant Variety Protection (UPOV) IP Dispute Resolution IP Office Business Solutions Paying for IP Services Negotiation & Decision-Making Development Cooperation Innovation Support Public-Private Partnerships AI Tools & Services The Organization Working with WIPO Accountability Patents Trademarks Industrial Designs Geographical Indications Copyright Trade Secrets WIPO Academy Workshops & Seminars IP Enforcement WIPO ALERT Raising Awareness World IP Day WIPO Magazine Case Studies & Success Stories IP News WIPO Awards Business Universities Indigenous Peoples Judiciaries Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions Economics Gender Equality Global Health Climate Change Competition Policy Sustainable Development Goals Frontier Technologies Mobile Applications Sports Tourism PATENTSCOPE Patent Analytics International Patent Classification ARDI – Research for Innovation ASPI – Specialized Patent Information Global Brand Database Madrid Monitor Article 6ter Express Database Nice Classification Vienna Classification Global Design Database International Designs Bulletin Hague Express Database Locarno Classification Lisbon Express Database Global Brand Database for GIs PLUTO Plant Variety Database GENIE Database WIPO-Administered Treaties WIPO Lex - IP Laws, Treaties & Judgments WIPO Standards IP Statistics WIPO Pearl (Terminology) WIPO Publications Country IP Profiles WIPO Knowledge Center WIPO Technology Trends Global Innovation Index World Intellectual Property Report PCT – The International Patent System ePCT Budapest – The International Microorganism Deposit System Madrid – The International Trademark System eMadrid Article 6ter (armorial bearings, flags, state emblems) Hague – The International Design System eHague Lisbon – The International System of Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications eLisbon UPOV PRISMA UPOV e-PVP Administration UPOV e-PVP DUS Exchange Mediation Arbitration Expert Determination Domain Name Disputes Centralized Access to Search and Examination (CASE) Digital Access Service (DAS) WIPO Pay Current Account at WIPO WIPO Assemblies Standing Committees Calendar of Meetings WIPO Webcast WIPO Official Documents Development Agenda Technical Assistance IP Training Institutions COVID-19 Support National IP Strategies Policy & Legislative Advice Cooperation Hub Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISC) Technology Transfer Inventor Assistance Program WIPO GREEN WIPO's Pat-INFORMED Accessible Books Consortium WIPO for Creators WIPO Translate Speech-to-Text Classification Assistant Member States Observers Director General Activities by Unit External Offices Job Vacancies Procurement Results & Budget Financial Reporting Oversight
Arabic English Spanish French Russian Chinese
Laws Treaties Judgments Browse By Jurisdiction

Patents Act 2013, New Zealand


Superseded Text  Go to latest Version in WIPO Lex
Year of Version 2013 Dates Adopted: September 13, 2013 Type of Text Main IP Laws Subject Matter Patents (Inventions), Undisclosed Information (Trade Secrets), Plant Variety Protection, Enforcement of IP and Related Laws, Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge (TK), IP Regulatory Body Notes The notification by New Zealand to the WTO under article 63.2 of TRIPS states:
'The Act replaces the Patents Act 1953, which was modelled on the (now repealed) UK Patents Act 1949.
The standard of patent examination required by the Patents Act 1953 was less strict that that required by most other countries. This leads to patent rights being granted in New Zealand that may be broader in scope than rights granted for the same invention in other countries. This has the potential to disadvantage New Zealand businesses and consumers, as technology which may be freely available elsewhere could be covered by a patent in New Zealand. Since much innovation is incremental, building on what already exists, local innovators may be disadvantageous well.
The 2013 Act strengthens the criteria for granting a patent to ensure that patents are only granted for 'genuine innovations', that is, inventions that are a 'manner of manufacture' and that are novel, non-obvious and useful. Novelty and obviousness will be measured against all matter made available to the public anywhere in the world, by any means – an 'absolute novelty' standard. The standard under the Patents Act 1953 was 'local novelty' – only material published in New Zealand was taken into account when determining novelty or obviousness.
To be granted a patent under the Patents Act 1953 an invention must just be a manner of manufacture, and be novel. There was no examination for obviousness.
The 2013 Act contains explicit provisions setting out subject matter that is not eligible for patent protection:
- Methods of medical treatment, surgery and diagnosis practised on human beings (the New Zealand courts had previously ruled that such methods were not patentable under thePatents Act 1953);
- Human beings and biological processes for their generation;
- Inventions whose commercial exploitation would be contrary to morality or public order;
- Plant varieties;
- Computer programs 'as such'.
The 2013 Act also introduces simplified procedures that will reduce the cost and complexity involved in challenging 'bad' patents – that is patents that should not have been granted.
The 2013 Act also provides for the establishment of a Maori Advisory Committee to advise the Commissioner of Patents in relation to patent applications for inventions involving traditional knowledge or indigenous plants and animals. The Committee's function will be to provide advice that can be used by the Commissioner to assist in determining whether such inventions are novel, or involve an inventive step, or whether the commercial exploitation of such inventions would be offensive to Maori.'

Available Texts Main text(s) Main text(s) English Patents Act 2013 PDF HTML
Legislation Is superseded by (7 text(s)) Is superseded by (7 text(s))
Patents Act 2013 (NZ263)
Patents Act 2013 (reprint as at 7 August 2020)  (NZ245)
Patents Act 2013 (reprint as at 16 September 2017) (NZ225)
Patents Act 2013 (reprint as at 30 December 2018) (NZ241)
Patents Act 2013 (reprint as at 1 March 2017) (NZ181)
Patents Act 2013 (reprint as at 14 September 2017) (NZ204)
Patents Act 2013 (reprint as at 13 May 2016) (NZ172)

WTO Document Reference

WIPO Lex No. NZ137