A niche blog dedicated to the issues that arise when supplementary protection certificates (SPCs) extend patents beyond their normal life -- and to the respective positions of patent owners, investors, competitors and consumers. The blog also addresses wider issues that may be of interest or use to those involved in the extension of patent rights. You can email The SPC Blog here

Thursday 1 April 2010

New Zealand: extensions unlikely?

New Zealand's Patents Bill, to replace that country's current legislation which dates from 1953, was referred last year to the Commerce Select Committee for public submissions. The Select Committee released its report on the Patents Bill this past Tuesday. The Committee recommended the introduction of various amendments before the Bill goes through the normal legislative process. A version of the report, together with a marked-up version of the Bill showing the proposed amendments, can be viewed here.

Among the topics that have been mooted for the reforms is the possible introduction of patent term extensions where the commercial exploitation of a pharmaceutical or agrochemical product is delayed due to the need to obtain regulatory approval. It has been noted that the Select Committee makes no recommendation in this regard. This omission is particularly disappointing for patentees because the Bill contains two 'spring-boarding' provisions. These are clause 136, which will grant an exemption from infringement for an act done for experimental purposes, and clause 138, which will govern the development and submission of information required to obtain regulatory approval.

The Committee's report will be debated in Parliament before a decision is made to amend the Patents Bill.

Source: Adrian Evans (Henry Hughes Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys).

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