The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) has announced that it will be closed, firstly, on Monday, 14 November – and now, Tuesday, 15 November 2016. Any New Zealand deadlines falling on either day extend automatically to the next day that IPONZ is open; best estimates are that this will be Wednesday, 16 November 2016.

Reason for closure of IPONZ

Due to the pending completion of building assessments in Wellington, New Zealand, following an earthquake of magnitude 7.5 that occurred on Monday, 14 November 2016, the Commissioner has deemed it necessary to close IPONZ at short notice. A positive assessment is required before businesses are able to re-open following an earthquake.

Deadlines that fall on a day when IPONZ is closed

If the deadline for filing an application or document falls on a day when IPONZ is closed, it can be filed the next day IPONZ is open – and will be deemed to have been filed on time.

Statutory basis for closing IPONZ at short notice

The closure of IPONZ at short notice is provided for under section 224 of the Patents Act 2013, section 189 of the Trade Marks Act 2002 and section 45A of the Designs Act 1953.

Outlook for Wednesday

Aftershocks are continuing. Indeed, some of the aftershocks have registered 5.5 on the Richter scale. The progress of the required building assessment prior to re-opening has been hindered by flash flooding and gale force winds buffeting Wellington at present. It is hoped that IPONZ will re-open tomorrow, Wednesday, 16 November 2016.

Our thoughts and our sympathies extend to anyone affected by Monday’s earthquake.