Patent protection

Manufacturers spend many millions of dollars researching, developing, testing and marketing new products.

Companies are entitled to protect their new products from those who may replicate their inventions.

Agcarm asks for a fair go through patent protection.

Protecting inventions

New Zealand’s patent law needs two major improvements.

The first focuses on allowing the term of a New Zealand patent to be extended.

In 1994, the term of a patent was extended from 16 years to 20 years, but at the same time a provision was repealed that would have allowed for a maximum term of up to 26 years in cases where regulatory delay had occurred.

Agcarm would like to see the law changed to allow for extensions to the current maximum term.

This would make sense, particularly in our industry where regulatory conditions and product registration processes are not always straight forward, but investment in research and development is significant and needs to be fully recouped.

Opposing ‘springboarding’

Springboarding was introduced in 2002 without public consultation to allow Pharmac to facilitate more easily the introduction of cheaper, generic pharmaceuticals on to the New Zealand market.

However, springboarding has serious intellectual property implications for our industry and does pose significant commercial risks.