The New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) published a discussion paper in May 2019 seeking comments in relation to a number of law reform proposals relating to the Patents Act 2013, Trade Marks Act 2002 and Designs Act 1953. A proposal for amending the Patents Act 2013 seeks to remedy problems caused by the failure of this Act to recognise multiple or partial priorities in a single claim. Michael Caine, a Principal of Davies Collison Cave Pty Ltd, previously wrote a detailed article entitled "Poisonous Priority Arrives in Australia and New Zealand" (which can be found at here) explaining these problems and their cause. Unfortunately the "remedy" proposed by the MBIE in this discussion paper only deals with one of the symptoms of poisonous priority and does not address its underlying cause. In view of this Michael has made a submission to the MBEI urging them to introduce a provision that will allow full recognition of multiple and partial priorities within a single claim. Michael's submission can be found here. If anyone is interested in reviewing the discussion paper or making a submission it can be found at here.
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