Disclosure of origin requirements in the patents regime

We are consulting on possible options to introduce a disclosure of origin requirement in the patents regime.

Patent disclosure of origin requirements

Patent disclosure of origin requirements require applicants to disclose the origin of genetic resources and/or traditional knowledge used in their inventions.

The Waitangi Tribunal recommended in the Wai 262 report(external link) to implement a disclosure of origin requirement in New Zealand’s patents regime.

Disclosure of origin requirements are also discussed in international forums, like the World Intellectual Property Organization Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore.

Benefits of disclosing

Requiring patent applicants to disclose the origin of genetic resources and/or traditional knowledge may:

  • help ensure relevant applications are referred to the Patents Māori Advisory Committee, which assesses whether the commercial exploitation of an invention may be contrary to Māori values
  • improve transparency in the patents regime so that interested groups, including Māori, the public and government can find out information about the use of genetic resources and/or traditional knowledge in inventions.

About this consultation

We seek your views on whether we should implement a disclosure of origin requirement in the patents regime and if so, how.

We commissioned Castalia to produce an economic evaluation of three potential options for a patent disclosure of origin requirement.

Castalia report: Economic Evaluation of Disclosure of Origin Requirements [PDF, 683 KB] 

How to have your say

The deadline for written submissions on the discussion document is 5pm Friday 21 December.

See ‘Have Your Say’ for more information.

Plant Variety Rights Act 1987 review

We are consulting on patent disclosure of origin alongside the Plant Variety Rights Act 1987 review.

Find out more about the Plant Variety Rights Act 1987 review.

Regional hui

We will be holding regional hui with Māori during the consultation period to discuss both the Plant Variety Rights Act 1987 review issues paper and the patent disclosure of origin discussion document.

See the 'Have your say' page for more information on the regional hui and to register your interest to attend.

If you would like to be kept informed about our work on patent disclosure of origin and/or the Plant Variety Rights Act 1987 review subscribe for updates(external link).

Next steps

Once the consultation period closes on the discussion document, we will review the submissions received and provide advice to ministers. The Government is expected to make a decision on how to proceed in the first half of 2019.