Australia and New Zealand – soon one patent system

The Australian Parliament passed the Intellectual Property Laws amendment bill on 9 February 2015. Its major feature of interest to German exporters will be the establishment of a joint Trans-Tasman regime with New Zealand to have a single application and examination process for both countries. The Governor General still has to sign the bill and, as New Zealand have already amended their laws examination should begin soon.

Local Australian pharmaceutical companies may also be able to benefit from a new provision allowing the grant of a compulsory license to a patent to supply countries suffering a health crisis. This implements an obligation that Australia has under the World Trade Organisation rules.