Update − Australia and New Zealand move even closer to a single patent examination system

In February this year we blogged about the integration of patent application and examination procedures in Australia and New Zealand. Further details regarding the implementation of this scheme have now emerged with Australia’s Innovation Minister, Senator Kim Carr, and New Zealand’s Commerce Minister, Simon Power, announcing this week that IP Australia and IPONZ have agreed on a three year implementation plan.

With the goal of eliminating duplication and increasing efficiency, while at the same time, decreasing cost and delays, the scheme will be implemented in three stages:

  • beginning shortly, a work sharing phase will allow both IP Australia and IPONZ to share work practices and exchange information in relation to examination procedures;
  • from early 2013, a single application process will be launched, allowing applicants to file a single application and obtain a common filing date; and
  • from July 2014, a single patent examination procedure will be in place, allowing applications to be examined only once, but with two separate decisions under Australian and NZ law.

Announcing the plan, Senator Carr stated:

“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. 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.”

Click here for more information from IP Australia.

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