Pharmaceutical patent extensions in New Zealand 1953 - 1995
In 1994 to comply with the World Trade Organisation’s intellectual property harmonisation requirements, the New Zealand parliament introduced the Patents Amendment Act. Amongst a wide range of adjustments this legislation replaced the standard 16 year patent, which was extendable for up to 10 years, with a uniform non extendable 20 year equivalent. Patents that were unexpired on the 1st of January 1995 qualified for the new 20 year term, and as a transitional arrangement, owners with an extension pending had the option to withdraw and accept the additional 4 years, or await the outcome of their extension cases. It has taken 5 years to clear these pending applications with the final not opposed announcement coming from the Commissioner of Patents on the 27th March 2000. With this last decision, court based extension procedures have come to an end. Inadequate remuneration and war loss are no longer valid grounds to lengthen the life of a patent. Now that prolongation is a thing of the past, it is appropriate to review the effectiveness of the old regime.
Publisher: University of Otago
Series number: 111
Research Type: Discussion Paper