Disclosure of Origin requirements in the patents regime

The Government is consulting on possible options to introduce a disclosure of origin requirement in the patents regime.

Patent disclosure of origin requirements require applicants to disclose the origin of genetic resources and/or traditional knowledge used in their inventions. Implementing a disclosure of origin requirement in New Zealand’s patents regime was a recommendation of the Waitangi Tribunal in the Wai 262 report. 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.

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

  • help ensure that 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; and
  • 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.

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

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

 

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 on how you can make a submission.

We will hold a public meeting on patent disclosure of origin (details to be confirmed).

We are consulting on patent disclosure of origin alongside the Plant Variety Rights Act review. Find out more about the Plant Variety Rights Act review. We will be holding regional hui with Māori during the consultation period to discuss both the Plant Variety Rights Act 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 informed about important information relating to the MBIE’s work on patent disclosure of origin and/or the Plant Variety Rights Act review review, please subscribe for updates.

What happens after consultation?

Once the consultation period closes on the discussion document, MBIE 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.

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MBIE is reviewing the Plant Variety Rights Act 1987 and is also consulting on options to introduce Disclosure of Origin requirements in the patents regime.

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These updates will keep you informed of how you can be involved in each process and key dates (such as when and where we are holding hui).

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