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Standards and Patents

What is a standard?

"A standard is a published technical document designed to be used as a ruleguideline or definition. It is a consensus-built, repeatable way of doing something.”​ European Committee for Standardization (CEN​)

A short video on standards:

Standards establish specifications and procedures designed to ensure the reliability of the materials, products, methods, and/or services.

Why are they important?

  • They establish consistent protocols that can be universally understood and adopted
  • They enable compatibility and interoperability in product development
  • They make it easier to understand and compare competing products
  • They increase product safety and quality

https://beyondstandards.ieee.org/general-news/what-are-standards-why-are-they-important/

Standards and the law in NZ

The Standards and Accreditation Act makes provision for standards in New Zealand.

Standards New Zealand, develops, manages, publishes and sells standards in New Zealand.  It is a business unit within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

Standards are not mandatory but if they have been referenced in legislation, they become part of the technical regulation framework.

Standards can be:

  • referenced in Acts or regulations as legally mandatory
  • referenced in Acts or regulations as ‘acceptable solutions’ or ‘means of compliance’ – this ensures compliance with legislation but does not prevent the use of an alternative method, provided it meets the specified legislative criteria
  • used by a government agency to detail a required condition of contract with an external supplier
  • incorporated into non-regulatory material as examples of best practice or guidance for industry
  • employed as a means of compliance with industry regulation, for example, specifying requirements for audit certification
  • promoted as a means of dealing with legal liability issues, for example, compliance with various risk management Standards may be cited in court as proof that all reasonable steps were taken.

Standards New Zealand - Regulations and standards

Classification

New Zealand standards are organised by ICS (International Classification for Standards) codes managed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).  

Browse NZ Standards for more information.