Patents Act 1953

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Reprint as at 1 January 2011

Patents Act 1953

Public Act1953 No 64
Date of assent26 November 1953
Commencementsee section 1(2)


Changes authorised by section 17C of the Acts and Regulations Publication Act 1989 have been made in this reprint.

A general outline of these changes is set out in the notes at the end of this reprint, together with other explanatory material about this reprint.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.



1 Short Title and commencement

2 Interpretation

3 Commissioner of Patents

4 Assistant Commissioners of Patents and other officers

5 Patent Office

5A Closing of Patent Office at short notice

6 Officers and employees of Patent Office not to acquire interest in any patent or prepare specifications

Application, investigation, opposition, etc

7 Persons entitled to make application

8 Application

9 Complete and provisional specifications

10 Contents of specification

11 Priority date of claims of complete specification

12 Examination of application

13 Search for anticipation by previous publication

14 Search for anticipation by prior claim

15 Commissioner may require information as to corresponding applications overseas

16 Reference in case of potential infringement

17 Refusal of application in certain cases

18 Supplementary provisions as to examination, etc

19 Time for putting application in order for acceptance

20 Acceptance and publication of complete specification

21 Opposition to grant of patent

22 Refusal of patent without opposition

23 Mention of inventor as such in patent

24 Substitution of applicants, etc

25 Provisions for secrecy of certain inventions

26 Inventions relating to atomic energy

Treaty application

26A Treaty application deemed to be application accompanied by complete specification

26B Description, claims, and drawings

26C International filing date

26D Commissioner to provide international filing date

26E Amendments to documents forming part of complete specification

26F Treaty application void

26G Requirements for examination of Treaty application

26H Publication of Treaty applications

Grant, effect, and term of patent

27 Grant and sealing of patent

28 Amendment of patent granted to deceased applicant

29 Extent, effect, and form of patent

30 Date and term of patent

31 Extension on ground of inadequate remuneration [Repealed]

32 Extension on ground of war loss [Repealed]

33 Extension on ground of war loss of licensee [Repealed]

34 Patents of addition

Restoration of lapsed patents and patent applications

35 Restoration of lapsed patents

36 Restoration of applications where patent not sealed

37 Restoration of application where complete specification not accepted

Amendment of specifications

38 Amendment of specification with leave of Commissioner

39 Amendment of specification with leave of court

40 Supplementary provisions as to amendment of specification

Revocation and surrender of patents

41 Revocation of patent by court

42 Revocation of patent by Commissioner

43 Surrender of patent

Voluntary endorsement of patent

44 Endorsement of patent licences of right

45 Cancellation of endorsement under section 44

Compulsory licences, etc

46 Compulsory licence

47 Provisions as to licences under section 46 [Repealed]

48 Exercise of powers on applications under section 46

49 Endorsement, etc, on application of Crown [Repealed]

50 Revocation of patent [Repealed]

51 Inventions relating to food or medicine, etc [Repealed]

52 Procedure on application under sections 46 to 50 [Repealed]

53 Appeal and references to arbitrator [Repealed]

54 Supplementary provisions

Use of patented inventions for services of the Crown

55 Use of patented inventions for services of the Crown

56 Rights of third parties in respect of Crown use

57 Reference of disputes as to Crown use

58 Special provisions as to Crown use during emergency

58A Nature and scope of rights under section 55

58B Duty to inform owner

58C Patentee entitled to remuneration

Anticipation, etc

59 Previous publication

60 Previous communication, display, or working

61 Use and publication after provisional specification or foreign application

62 Priority date in case of obtaining

Miscellaneous provisions as to rights in inventions

63 Co-ownership of patents

64 Power of Commissioner to give directions to co-owners

65 Disputes as to inventions made by employees

66 Avoidance of certain restrictive conditions

67 Determination of certain contracts

Proceedings for infringement, etc

68 Restrictions on recovery of damages for infringement

68A Burden of proof for infringement of process patent

68B Regulatory review exception

69 Order for account in action for infringement

70 Counterclaim for revocation in action for infringement

71 Relief for infringement of partially valid specification

72 Proceedings for infringement by exclusive licensee

73 Certificate of contested validity of specification

74 Remedy for groundless threats of infringement proceedings

75 Power of court to make declaration as to non-infringement

76 Attorney-General may appear in patent proceedings

International agreements, etc

77 Orders in Council as to convention countries

78 Supplementary provisions as to convention applications

79 Special provisions as to vessels, aircraft, and land vehicles

80 Extension of time for certain convention applications

81 Protection of inventions communicated under international agreements

82 Regulations under section 80 or section 81

Register of patents, etc

83 Register of patents

84 Registration of assignments, etc

85 Limitation of proceedings

85A Application of Personal Property Securities Act 1999

86 Commissioner may dispense with production of probate or letters of administration in certain cases

87 Rectification of register of patents by court

88 Correction of errors

89 Evidence of entries, documents, etc

90 Requests for information as to patent or patent application

91 Restriction upon publication of specifications, etc

92 Loss or destruction of patent

93 Commissioner may grant extension of time

93A Additional provisions for extending time limits

Proceedings before Commissioner

94 Exercise of discretionary powers of Commissioner

95 Costs and security for costs

96 Evidence before Commissioner


97 Appeals to High Court

98 Appeals to Court of Appeal

99 Costs of Commissioner in proceedings before court

Patent attorneys

100 Registration of patent attorneys

101 Powers of patent attorneys

102 Cancellation of registration of patent attorneys

103 Restrictions on practice as patent attorney

104 Recovery of patent attorney's charges


105 Falsification of register, etc

106 Unauthorised claim of patent rights

107 Protection of Royal Arms, etc

108 Offences by companies

109 Certain offences may be dealt with summarily [Repealed]


110 Service of notices, etc, by post

111 Declaration by person under disability

112 Journal, indexes, etc

113 Rules of court

114 Regulations

115 Fees

116 Annual report of Commissioner

117 Saving for Royal prerogative, etc

118 Application of Act to Tokelau

119 Repeals and savings

Schedule 1
Enactments repealed

Schedule 2
Regulations revoked

Schedule 3
Transitional provisions

Patents Amendment Act 1992

Patents Amendment Act 1994

Reprint notes

An Act to consolidate and amend certain enactments relating to patents