In relation to patents for biological inventions, it is possible for an applicant to rely on a deposit of biological material at an authorised institution in order to meet the requirement of providing a full disclosure of an invention.
The New Zealand Patent Regulations 2014 previously required that a patent applicant provide the Commissioner of Patents with a copy of the receipt proving the deposit 3 months after the date that the biological material was deposited with the prescribed depositary institution (see Reg. 59(1)). Ludicrously, this meant that a copy of the deposit receipt was required to be submitted to the New Zealand Patent Office years before actually filing a patent application in New Zealand. This issue has now been rectified.
Specifically, amendments to the New Zealand Patents Regulations 2014 have been notified in the New Zealand Gazette as of today and will come into force on 5 April 2018. Among other things, Reg. 59(1) has been amended to read as follows:
(1) The prescribed period for the purposes of section 43(1)(b) of the Act is 12 months after the date of issue of the first examination report under section 65 of the Act.
The explanatory note attached to the amendments explains that the period for providing a copy of the deposit receipt is the same period for putting an application in order for acceptance. This now aligns with the position under Australian law.