We are pleased to note that the New Zealand government has amended the law to correct an issue we were faced with in handling patent applications claiming microorganism inventions.

Under the current New Zealand law (in force from 13 September 2014), applicants were required to provide a deposit receipt for the microorganism within three months of making the deposit.  However, this requirement was unworkable in almost all instances as microorganism deposits are typically made in advance of filing any patent application, including in New Zealand.

The law has now been amended to provide that the deadline for the deposit is the same as the initial deadline set by the first examination report, namely 12 months from the date of that report.

This amendment to the law will take effect on 5 April 2018, by way of Patents Amendment Regulations 2018, regulation 7.  Although a work-around had been put in place earlier by the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand to informally address this issue, we are pleased this amendment to the law gives applicants assurance that their New Zealand patent applications are validly granted.