A patent gives you a legal right to stop others from making, using, or selling something you have invented for up to 20 years. Your rights only exist in the country or region where your patent is granted.

  • An exclusive right for a new invention
  • Costs $250 to apply, excluding GST
  • Takes a minimum of 6 months to acquire
  • Can last up to 20 years

Getting started

A patent is a right that is granted for an invention.

You can patent a new product or process, the material it is made from, or how something is made.

A New Zealand patent gives protection within New Zealand. To obtain patent protection in another country, a patent application needs to be filed in that country, or in a region including that country.

When you apply for a patent, you must describe the invention. Your invention must be novel, involve an inventive step, and be useful.

Be careful about revealing details of your invention to other people before you have filed your application – doing this may cause your application to be declined.

Managing patents

Once you request examination of your patent application, you should hear from us within three months.

After the grant of your patent, in exchange for your exclusive rights, the patent description is published to encourage innovation.

As a patent owner, you have the exclusive right to commercially exploit an invention for up to 20 years.

During this time you may be able to use your patent to raise money for your business, license or sell your patent, and take legal action to exclude others from using the invention covered by your patent.

You may take legal action against any person who infringes your granted patent in New Zealand.