As of 6 July 2017, the New Zealand Patent Office (IPONZ) has joined the Global Patent Prosecution Highway (GPPH) pilot programme. The GPPH is an arrangement between intellectual property (IP) offices including the US, Japanese, Australian and Korean Patent Offices that allows patent applicants to request expedited examination.
To request expedited examination, the follow filing requirements must be met:
- The New Zealand application and the application of the Office of Earlier Examination (OEE) must have the same earliest filing or priority date (whichever is relevant).
- At least one claim in the OEE application must have been found to be patentable, i.e. novel, inventive and useful. There must be an express statement of patentability for these claim(s) in a report or action issued by the OEE.
- A request under the GPPH must include the following documents:
A copy of the report or action issued by the OEE which expressly identifies the patentable claims.
A copy of the claim set which includes the patentable claim(s) of the OEE application.
A claims correspondence table which sets out the patentable claim(s) of the OEE application and identifies the corresponding claim(s) to be examined by IPONZ.
There is no official fee to request expedited examination under the GPPH pilot at IPONZ. While GPPH has been available in Australia for a number of years, patent applicants can now also request GPPH in New Zealand.