Progress towards modernising patent law

  • Craig Foss

Commerce Minister Craig Foss has welcomed progress towards updating patent law following the release of a supplementary order paper (SOP).

The Government’s SOP introduces a minor amendment to the Patents Bill to clarify whether computer programs are patentable.

Under the amendment, computer programs as such would not be eligible for patent protection.

However, inventions that make use of embedded computer programs will be patentable.

“The Bill will continue to protect genuine innovations and encourage Kiwi businesses to export and grow,” says Mr Foss.

“The minor amendment will enhance our patent legislation and bring it into line with overseas jurisdictions.

“These changes will overhaul sixty-year old legislation and create a balanced patent system that will protect inventions and encourage innovation,” says Mr Foss.

The government is also progressing work towards a single trans-Tasman patents examination regime with Australia to simplify the application process.

“The Bill will align our patent laws more closely with international best practice,” says Mr Foss.

Progressing the Patents Bill is part of the government’s Business Growth Agenda. It builds on initiatives that will help create a more productive and competitive economy.

The supplementary order paper is available at