For over 60 years New Zealand trade mark applications have been filed accordingly to the Nice Classification System. However, New Zealand has never been party to the Nice Agreement itself.
For the last 12-18 months the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand, in conjunction with the trade mark owners, has been amending registrations filed prior to 1941. These registrations were filed under an old classification system. To be able to accede to the Nice Agreement all trade mark registrations need to have been classified under the Nice Classification system.
On 16 July 2013 this process was completed and New Zealand filed its Accession to the Nice Agreement with the World Intellectual Property Organisation. New Zealand is the 84th country to join.
The Nice Agreement will come into force in New Zealand on 16 October 2013.
While it does not affect any trade mark registrations or new applications, the accession to the Nice Agreement provides New Zealand with the ability to contribute to changes to the Nice Classification system.