The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand ["IPONZ"] has announced that new Trade Mark Regulations may be in force by 10 December 2012. The Regulations which are currently being drafted incorporate several changes to existing trade mark law and practice in New Zealand, including:
- increases in official fees, including a 50% increase in the filing fee from NZ$100 to NZ$150 per class;
- changes required for New Zealand's implementation of the Madrid Protocol International Trade Mark Registration system;
- mandating the use of online communication with IPONZ for all trade mark matters. IPONZ introduced an online case management system earlier this year which has not enjoyed universal popularity throughout the trade mark profession. Trade mark owners and the trade mark profession will be interested to see if the Regulations include provision for communication with IPONZ by other means, to address concerns regarding reliance upon an online communication system exclusively.