New Zealand trademark

Amendments to the New Zealand Trade Marks Act Trademark Owners Should be Aware of (Part 2)

The amendments to the Trade Marks Act of 2002 have significant effect on the way applicants and owners should approach their trademarks.  Here are more of these changes.


Changes in Fees


The New Zealand Intellectual Property Office (IPONZ) is the government agency in charge of intellectual property rights including trademarks and patents. It has announced changes to its fee structure effective after February 13, 2020.


The good news: These are reduced fees!

  • Request for a pre-application search and initial advice on a trademark’s availability $50/class
  • Application for registration of a trademark after the abovementioned service $50/class
  • Application for trademark registration using pre-approved description of products and services $70
  • Other trademark applications $100/class
  • Renewal of existing registered trademark $200/class


Keep in mind that these are government-imposed costs and, as such, there’s no bargaining and escaping them. If you want your trademarks registered, you have to pay the government these fees. In exchange, you will have the government’s protection in enforcing your rights of ownership to the trademark.


These costs are also exclusive of costs related to the preparation of the trademark supporting documents and the professional fees of the trademark experts hired for the job.


Changes in the Security for Costs


In all legal proceedings before the Commissioner or courts, any of the parties can seek an order whereby the other party will pay the security for costs within a specific period. The proceedings include non-use revocation action, opposition to an application and invalidity action.


Before the amendment, the courts and Commissioner can only act on the request when any of the parties didn’t reside or conducted business within New Zealand.  Under the amendment, the courts and Commissioner has the authority to ask any of the parties to pay for security for costs.


Such authority occurs when the Commissioner and courts believes with reason that any of the parties doesn’t have the financial resources to pay the costs of the other party in case of failure in the proceedings. If the party being directed to pay the security for costs doesn’t comply, the court or Commissioner will consider the proceedings as abandoned.


Changes in Ownership Restriction on Certification Trademarks


Certification trademarks indicate that the products and services covered have been certified as in compliance with a specific set of standards, or possess a specific composition or made with a specific manufacturing process, among others. The change in certification trademarks lie in Section 13A of the Trade Marks Act where registered owners cannot register separately a trademark of the same kind for goods and services.


Again, these changes have a significant impact on trademark owners. If you want to strengthen your ownership rights, you should think about hiring a trademark expert on a one-time basis or on retainer.


We are the Hong Kong patent application grant (PAG) authorized patent agent and can help you to apply for the said grant and international patent application and/or trademark registration.



CtR Intellectual Property Co.

Hong Kong Patent Application Grant Authorised Patent Agent

Offering Professional Patent and

Hong Kong Trademark Application & Related Services