New Zealand has formally acceded to the Nice Agreement relating to the classification of goods and services. This final step concludes the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand's ("IPONZ") reclassification of trade marks to ensure that all trade marks on the New Zealand Register are now classified according to the Nice Classification. Previously marks registered in New Zealand prior to December 1941 were classified using an old different classification system which led to a broad range of familiar goods being classified in surprising classes - such as clothing (class 38), games and sporting articles (class 49) and musical instruments (class 9). This required careful management when conducting trade mark searches in New Zealand. IPONZ undertook a reclassification process over the last twelve months to address this anomaly.
The Nice Agreement will come into force in New Zealand on 16 October 2013.