On 6 July 2017, the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) became a participating patent office in the Global Patent Prosecution Highway (GPPH). The GPPH is a pilot program for providing accelerated patent prosecution by sharing information between participating patent offices. More than 20 patent offices worldwide are now participating in the program.
Applicants are now able to expedite prosecution of their pending patent applications in New Zealand if one or more claims in a counterpart patent application have been examined and found to be allowable by another participating patent office.
To make a request under the GPPH program, a number of requirements must be met. Full details of these requirements can be found here.