1. Opposition proceedings (section 21)Up one level
When a patent application is accepted by the Intellectual Property Office (IPONZ), the applicant receives a notice of acceptance and the details of the patent application are published in the monthly Patent Office Journal (available from the IPONZ web site). The date of issue of the Journal becomes the publication date of the patent application. The details of the patent application including a copy of its complete specification are also available on the IPONZ web site from the publication date.
A three-month opposition period begins from the publication date of the patent application and “any person interested” can file a notice of opposition under section 21. This opposition period of three months can be extended by one month by filing a patents form 16 which must be filed before the end of the 3 month period. If no notice of opposition is filed within this opposition period then the patent application is automatically granted and sealed. An opposition cannot be filed after the expiration of the opposition period.