How To File Patent To Protect Invention New Zealand

How to File for a Patent to Protect an Invention in NZ

Filing for a patent in New Zealand is a wise move to ensure your invention remains exclusively yours. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of securing a patent for your invention with the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ). 

How to file for a patent to protect an invention in New Zealand

How to file for a patent to protect an invention in New Zealand

You can apply for a patent to protect your invention by completing an online application form that can be found on the IPONZ website and paying the prescribed fee.

That might sound deceptively simple, but actually, it’s a bit more involved than that. 

DifficultyModerate to High ●●●●○
Number of steps3
Time to perform stepsFew weeks to several month (including response time)
Things you need• Detailed description of your invention
• Applicant’s and inventor’s details
• Completed patent application form.
• Payment of required fees to the patent office

STEP 1: Register on the IPONZ website.

Before you can dive into the exciting world of patenting your brilliant invention, you need to get yourself registered on the IPONZ website to log into their case management facility. No worries, it’s a simple process, and we’ll guide you through it step by step!

  1. Create a RealMe® login (if you don’t have one yet):
  • To create a RealMe® account, head to the IPONZ website and find the Login button near the top right corner.
  • Click on “Create your RealMe login” to set up your account.
  • This will take you to the RealMe® login page. From there, click the “Create your RealMe login” button to proceed.
  • Complete and submit the “Set up your account” form.
  1. Use your RealMe® login to set up an IPONZ account and link it to a legal entity.
  1. Choose a default client for your account:
  • Set up a legal entity as the default client for your IPONZ account.

Once you’ve successfully completed these steps and registered, you’ll gain access to their case management facility, enabling you to efficiently manage your intellectual property right from their website.

STEP 2: Draft your patent application.

Draft your patent application

Now that you have your account set up, the next thing to do is to prepare your patent application. This involves creating the legal documents that will be submitted to IPONZ. Well, we recommend you have this information ready before you actually file an application.

While you can write the application yourself, we recommend hiring a patent attorney familiar with New Zealand patent laws to ensure accuracy and completeness.

For your application, you’ll need to provide the following information:

  1. Applicant’s Details: This includes your full name, address, and nationality. If there are multiple applicants or a company involved, their details must be provided as well.
  1. Inventor’s Details: You’ll need the full name and address of the inventor(s). If your invention is part of a Treaty application entering the New Zealand national phase, the PCT international application number must also be included.
  1. Address for Service and Communication: An address for service in New Zealand or Australia, along with an email address, should be provided. This is where all official correspondence will be sent.

STEP 3: Complete the application form.

Complete the application form

Make sure to log into the IPONZ case management facility for this step (see Step 1). Once you’re logged in, you’ll be taken to your Inbox. 

Under the Patent section, select the type of patent application you are applying for, and then proceed to filling out the application form.

On the application form, you will see the following sections:

  • Reference: Enter your reference for the application. You should use a different reference for each application. You’ll be prompted if you enter a previously used reference by mistake.
  • Contact: Identify who is filing the application. Choose “I am acting: In my own right” if you’re the applicant, or “I am acting: As an Agent” if you’re acting on behalf of the client.
  • Patent Information: Enter the details of your patent application here.
  • Request Examination: You can request examination at the time of filing or within 5 years of submitting your complete specification. If you choose to wait before requesting examination, leave the Request Examination box unticked.
  • Technology Group: Select an appropriate technology group for your application. Choose “Unknown” if unsure, and IPONZ will determine it during examination.
  • Inventor(s): Search for Inventor details here. If a new inventor is required, you’ll be able to create a client record for them by using the add button in the client search screen.
  • Abstract: Provide a mandatory abstract and a drawing (if appropriate) upon filing.
  • Title of Invention: Enter the title of the invention.
  • Postponed acceptance period: If you wish to delay acceptance, enter a number between 1 and 12 months from the day of the first examination report.
  • Māori traditional knowledge or New Zealand indigenous species: Tick this box if your invention is derived from Māori traditional knowledge or indigenous New Zealand plants/animals. Additional details can be provided.
  • Convention Priority: Put the details of the basic application if claiming priority based on an overseas application.
  • Patent Specification: You are required to give the specification a title. This must have the same title as the application.

What are the types of patent applications in New Zealand?

There are two main types of patent applications in New Zealand: provisional and complete.

  1. Provisional patent application: If you want a quick and simple initial filing, the provisional patent application might be the right choice. It’s a less formal option, requiring no full invention description and no examination by the IPONZ.

The advantage of this application is that it grants you a priority date, ensuring your invention is considered new if similar patents are filed later.

  1. Complete patent application: A more formal and detailed application, subjected to thorough examination by the IPONZ. If you’re fully ready to disclose all aspects of your invention, the complete patent application is the way to go.

If your invention meets the requirements, the IPONZ will grant you a patent, providing strong protection.

In addition to these two main types of patent applications, there are also a few other types that are available in New Zealand. These include:

  1. Paris Convention application: This allows you to use your first patent application’s filing date in one country as the priority date for filing in another Convention country within 12 months. 

It provides a window to assess foreign markets while preserving the priority date. If you have international expansion plans and need more time to explore opportunities, the Paris Convention application is worth considering.

  1. Divisional application: If your invention has various innovative components, a divisional application can optimize your patent protection strategy. 

This is a unique application to protect specific aspects or components of an existing patent application. It enables you to separately safeguard parts of your invention that may require distinct patents. 

To determine the most suitable patent application type for your invention, consider the level of detail you wish to disclose, your time constraints, and potential international expansion plans.

Note: For a comprehensive understanding of various patent application pathways and their specific requirements, visit the “Application types” section on the IPONZ’ Apply for a patent webpage.

STEP 4: Submit the application form.

Submit the application form

After completing the application form, it’s crucial to review your application thoroughly and make any necessary final changes before proceeding to submission. Take your time to ensure that all the information is accurate and complete.

Note: If there are any errors or omissions in the form, a message will be displayed in red at the location on the screen where the information is missing or incorrect.

If you wish to save your application without submitting it immediately, you can do so by clicking on the “Save” option. Additionally, you have the option to generate a printout of your application by clicking on “Generate PDF Summary.”

When you are confident that your application is accurate and complete, go ahead and click “Submit” to officially submit your patent application.

Once your application is successfully submitted, you will receive a notification at the email address listed in your contact details. Moreover, you can find a confirmation and summary of the submission of your patent application in the “Discussion” section of your Inbox on the IPONZ website.

Keep in mind:
Before submission, take note of the fee description displayed at the bottom of the main application page and on the payment page. For more detailed information on fees, you can refer to the “Patent fees” page on the IPONZ website.
If you have a direct debit facility loaded on your account, you can choose the “Direct Debit” option for payment. Otherwise, you can select either “Credit Card” or “Internet Banking” and complete the payment process as instructed.

What’s next after I’ve filed my application for a patent to protect my invention in New Zealand?

filed application for a patent to protect invention in New Zealand

With your patent application successfully submitted, you’ve completed a significant milestone! The next steps will involve IPONZ examining your application and issuing an examination report. 

If any objections are raised during the examination process, you’ll need to address them accordingly. IPONZ may also direct you to request an examination if you haven’t already done so.

Stay vigilant for any communication from IPONZ during this process, and be prepared to take further actions as required to move your patent application forward.