New Innovations & Patents
Patents – Protecting New Innovations and Inventions
A Patent is a right granted to the owner of the patent to stop others from making, using or selling the invention that is the subject of the patent. The right is granted by the New Zealand Government by way of The Patents Act 1953.
The monopoly granted to the patent owner can last for up to 20 years enabling the patent owner to recover costs associated with development and be rewarded financially for their efforts. However, once the patent has lapsed, the public may use the invention described in the patent.
To obtain a patent, certain conditions must be met. The proposed invention must be the right type of subject matter, be new, inventive, useful and the owner of the invention must have clear title to ownership of the invention.
Patent registration is generally done on a country-by-country basis but there are some treaties and agreements in place that facilitate registration in more than one country at a time. The rules around patent registration differ from one country to another so it is important that you seek the advice of a professional.
It is important that you keep your invention secret until you have a patent application in place or you will not be able to obtain a valid patent. By using a confidentiality agreement, you may reveal the invention to others to assess the merits of the invention only, or to receive input in respect of the development or manufacturing process. In New Zealand, you may not offer you invention for sale until you have filed a patent application.
How Pipers can help you
We can assess your idea and let you know if it is the right subject matter for patent registration. We also offer our clients a wide range of search services. A patent novelty search helps you to determine whether your invention is novel and whether it is worth pursuing patent protection. We can also perform a patent infringement search to determine whether you are going to infringe someone else’s patent. We can also provide a patent watching service where our clients can monitor when applications made by their competitors have been accepted for grant. This means that our clients can choose to oppose the application if it is in their interest to do so.
We can file your patent application on your behalf which involves drafting a detailed description of your invention. When examination occurs by the Patent Office, we will respond to objections raised by the patent examiner and attend to acceptance and registration formalities on your behalf.
If your application or registration is challenged we can help you defend it. Similarly, if you become aware of a competitor having an application or registration in place that you believe they should not be entitled to, we can help you challenge it. We also assist our clients in respect of patent infringement matters where a patent owner alleges a third party has infringed a registered patent.
For more on patents please see our FAQ’s section on the right.