The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) announced that on 11 July 2016, it released a consultation document seeking feedback on proposed regulations to implement the patent term extension provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Amendment Bill. The Bill will, when it enters into force, amend the Patents Act 2013 to provide for patent term extensions for:

  • Unreasonable delays in patent grant; and
  • Unreasonable curtailment of the effective patent term as a result of the Medsafe approval process.

The proposed regulations mainly relate to procedural matters, including:

  • The manner in which requests for extension of term must be made;
  • The information that must be provided (in addition to that required by the TPPA Bill) with requests for extension;
  • Time limits for requesting an extension of term;
  • Procedures by which third parties can oppose the grant of extensions of term for unreasonable curtailment, including the time limits by which oppositions must be made.

In addition, the Bill provides for regulations to be made setting out time periods to be disregarded when determining whether there have been unreasonable delays in grant. These “disregarded periods” will be ignored when deciding whether there has been unreasonable delay in grant.

Submissions are due by 5 pm on 8 August 2016. Submissions may respond to any or all of these issues. MBIE also encourage your input on any other relevant issues. Where possible, please include evidence to support your views, for example references to independent research, facts and figures, or relevant examples. Submissions made be made via e-mail or regular mail to the address in the announcement.