In recent weeks, we’ve been following progress on New Zealand’s proposed second-tier “Advancement” patent with interest. As we moved from first, to second and then third updates, optimism that New Zealand’s patent system would be tweaked in favour of “the little guy” quickly waned; it became apparent that support for the Bill (Patents (Advancement Patents) Amendment Bill 2018) was divided along party lines – and that the majority were quite strongly opposed to it.

First reading concludes and the news is all bad

On 8 August 2018, the Bill’s first reading was concluded – and it was voted upon. As predicted, there were 57 “Ayes” and 63 “Noes”. The notion of a second-tier New Zealand patent system – at least in the form proposed by the draft legislation, is now dead in the water.

Could this influence what happens with Australia’s “Innovation” patent?

We are disappointed by this outcome and feel as though it’s a case of “opportunity missed” for the New Zealand patent system. Whether the failure of the Bill at all influences the future of the counterpart “Innovation” patent system in Australia remains to be seen. As readers will know from our previous update, this has now returned to death row where its fate will doubtless be revealed over the next few months.

As always, we’ll keep readers updated.