The High Court of New Zealand in Energy Beverages LLC v Frucor Suntory NZ Limited  NZHC 3296 ruled that energy drink company Frucor Suntory NZ Ltd’s (Frucor) non-traditional green colour trade mark was valid. This decision is a rare example of a New Zealand based Court analysing non-traditional marks and highlighting the difference to Australia’s position. A full copy of the decision can be found here.Read More
The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted all businesses in one way or another and IP Australia understands that dealing with IP matters is not necessarily the highest priority for some businesses.
As a result, from 22 April 2020 IP Australia is providing free three month extensions of time for most deadlines but not renewal and continuation fees deadlines. Additionally, the six month grace period is still available and ordinary extensions of time will remain available for periods of longer than three months.Read More
“People will stare. Make it worth their while.” – Harry Winston
Welcome to the latest edition of Fashion Law. In this edition we review the Australian Government’s measures to tackle modern slavery, a New Zealand trade mark opposition highlighting the importance of trade mark watching services, superannuation payments for full time, part time or casual workers, protecting brands in international markets, and the changes to parallel importation laws.
The development of new plant varieties can be a costly and time-consuming process. To incentivise breeding endeavours, governments around the world have developed legal mechanisms which effectively provide breeders with a period of market exclusivity in which to commercialise their new variety. The mechanisms vary from country to country, and this article briefly reviews those available in the United States, Australia and New Zealand.
To read the full alert, click here.
On 6 July 2017, New Zealand joined the Global Patent Prosecution Highway (GPPH) pilot program, providing applicants for New Zealand patents with a means of expediting prosecution of their application.
The GPPH is an arrangement between the intellectual property offices of several jurisdictions including Australia, the United States, Japan, Canada and Korea. Under the GPPH, an applicant who receives a ruling that at least one claim has been allowed by a participating patent office may request that another participating patent office expedite examination of their application.
To be eligible for examination under the GPPH, the following requirements must be met:
- the patent application to be examined under the GPPH must have the same earliest priority or filing date as the associated application which has already been examined by the participating patent office
- the associated application must include one claim which has been deemed allowable by the participating patent office, and
- the claims to be examined under the GPPH must sufficiently correspond with the allowed claims.
With regard to the third requirement above, applicants have the option of amending their claims so that they sufficiently correspond with those that have been allowed by another participating patent office. However, before making such amendments, applicants should consider the possibility of obtaining broader claims in certain jurisdictions. Patent laws vary between jurisdictions and a claim that was allowed in, say, the U.S., might be narrower that what could be obtained in New Zealand.
Prior to New Zealand’s entry into the GPPH, the options available to applicants seeking expedited examination were limited and burdensome. The GPPH now provides patent applicants with a simple way of accelerating prosecution of their patent application in several jurisdictions, potentially reducing the costs and time required to obtain a granted patent. However, allowance of a claim in one jurisdiction does not necessarily mean that a corresponding claim will be allowed in another jurisdiction.
By: Michael Christie
The proposed single application (SAP) and examination (SEP) processes for Australia and New Zealand have recently been abandoned, more than five years after they were first introduced. The SAP and SEP would have allowed applicants wishing to obtain patents in both countries to file a common application that would be examined by a single examiner at either IP Australia or IPONZ. Once accepted under each country’s law, two separate patents would be granted. Patent examiners would have had to learn to apply the laws of the other country.