24 July 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

New Zealand joins GPPH

New Zealand is the latest member of the Global Patent Prosecution Highway (GPPH), joining 17 other countries participating in the agreement.

The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) joins IP Australia, the US Patent and Trademark Office, the UK Intellectual Property Office and more in the GPPH.

The GPPH allows applicants to accelerate the progress of their applications in participating jurisdictions around the globe. They can request participating patent offices to fast track the examination of their applications.

Two schemes that were previously heralded as the first step toward unifying patent examination across New Zealand and Australia were shelved after politicians saw GPPH as a cost-effective alternative.

The proposed Single Application Process (SAP) and Single Examination Process schemes would have unified patent examination processes in New Zealand and Australia, creating a Europe-like system and leading to a single trans-Tasman patent application process.

But the GPPH was described by New Zealand’s parliamentary commerce select committee as achieving both the benefits of the SAP and SEP while precluding the significant cost to IPONZ.

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