The New Zealand Government has released a discussion document on proposed changes to its Patents Regulations which provide for the implementation of single application and examination process for New Zealand and Australian patent applications.

Under the proposed scheme where a patent application for the same invention has been filed in New Zealand and Australia, both applications may be examined by a single patent examiner. The process will take account of the separate national laws and will give rise to a separate patent for each jurisdiction. Should this scheme come into effect it will reduce duplication of work by the respective intellectual property offices and it will represent a significant cost saving to applicants seeking patent protection in both countries.