Exclusions from patentability

15 Inventions contrary to public order or morality not patentable inventions

(1)

An invention is not a patentable invention if the commercial exploitation of the invention, so far as claimed in a claim, is contrary to—

(a)

public order (which in this section has the same meaning as the term ordre public as used in Article 27.2 of the TRIPS agreement); or

(b)

morality.

Examples

The commercial exploitation of the following inventions is contrary to public order or morality and, accordingly, those inventions are not patentable:

  • an invention that is a process for cloning human beings:

  • an invention that is a process for modifying the germ line genetic identity of human beings:

  • an invention that involves the use of human embryos for industrial or commercial purposes:

  • an invention that is a process for modifying the genetic identity of animals that is likely to cause them suffering without any substantial medical benefit to human beings or animals, or an invention that is an animal resulting from such a process.

(2)

For the purposes of subsection (1), commercial exploitation must not be regarded as contrary to public order or morality only because it is prohibited by any law in force in New Zealand.

(3)

The Commissioner may, for the purpose of making a decision under this section, seek advice from the Māori advisory committee or any person that the Commissioner considers appropriate.

Compare: Patents Act 1977 s 1(3), (4) (UK)