The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand, more commonly abbreviated with the acronym IPONZ, is the government agency tasked with reviewing applications, granting and registering of intellectual property rights. IPONZ is focused on issuing and protecting the intellectual property rights of patents, trademarks, designs and plant varieties within the borders of New Zealand. To register your trademark with IPONZ it is advised you seek the guidance of a professional consultancy firm or trademark attorney.

Scope and responsibilities of the IPONZ

The IPONZ was established in 1870 and has since grown in scope, and gained international recognition as a leading and reputable intellectual property registry. The primary aim of the organization is to support, develop and protect new creations and competition in the market place through registering trademarks, patents, designs and plant varieties.

The IPONZ is a business unit of the Ministry of Economic Development (MED) and administers the following legislations;

  • Patents Act 1953
  • Trademarks Act 2002
  • Designs Act 1953
  • Plant Variety Rights Act 1987

Through enforcing the above laws, the registry strives to facilitate a competitive marketplace and aims to harness its economic potential with respect to all intellectual property (IP). IPONZ is a well known registry and received 17427 trademark applications in 2010/2011 alone.

Tasks the registry performs include, but are not limited to:

  • Processing and examining trademark, patent, design and plant variety registration applications
  • Implement and monitor international agreements
  • Initiate hearings for IP registration oppositions
  • Enforce policy on IP rights in New Zealand
  • Work in partnership and act as receiving office for WIPO
  • Handle IP registration renewals
  • Handle online IP correspondence

For mark owners seeking to register their trademark in New Zealand it is advised to have a basic understanding of the responsibilities, scope and legal protection that the IPONZ can provide to all register intellectual property owners. Many trademark owners find the process of registering their IP daunting and relatively confusing, and so enlisting the professional guidance of a trademark attorney or professional consultancy firm.

Learn more about New Zealand Trademarks and how Starting Business can assist you.

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