On 13 July, the New Zealand Parliament’s Commerce Select Committee recommended to the New Zealand Parliament that it should not continue with the Single Application and Examination Processes for patents (SAP and SEP). IP Australia is now awaiting a decision on the recommendation from the New Zealand Government.
SAP and SEP would allow applicants to make a single application for a patent in either Australia or New Zealand, and have the pair of applications examined by a single examiner in either Australia or New Zealand.
Implementation of these processes requires enabling legislation in both countries. The Australian Parliament passed legislation last year (the IP Laws Amendment Act 2015) to allow for SAP and SEP, and the Patents (Trans-Tasman Patent Attorneys and Other Matters) Bill was introduced into the New Zealand Parliament in 2015.
The other aspect of the SEM initiatives also covered by the New Zealand Bill and Australian legislation, creating a single trans-Tasman patent attorney regime, was supported by the New Zealand Commerce Select Committee.