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New Zealand Courts Reject Patenting of Medical Methods

The New Zealand Court of Appeal in the case of Pfizer Inc v Commissioner of Patents (CA22/03) has decided that methods of medical treatment are not patentable under current New Zealand patent law. The Court judgements rejected the patenting of medical methods on the ground that it is generally inconvenient to protect them with letters patent or grants of privilege, and that any reform of this area of law is best undertaken through the parliamentary process.

This decision is contrary to the situation in Australia - which has the same legislative test for patentable subject matter - where the Australian Full Federal Court in the 1998 Bristol-Myers Squibb v. F H Faulding case decided that medical methods may be patented.

June 2004

Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys - Intellectual Property Specialists
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