The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) is experiencing continued delays with examination of International registrations (IR) designating New Zealand. The ongoing effects of Covid-19 and tight labour market has undoubtedly contributed to the delays.
At present there is approximately a 4-5 month delay in examining New Zealand designations, which is in stark contrast to the 15 working day turnaround for national filed trade mark applications. New Zealand has one of the quickest examination turnaround periods for national filed trade mark applications.
If a trade mark owner places a high priority on knowing the likely outcome of applications for trade mark protection, or is about the enter the New Zealand market with branded goods or services, opting to file a national trade mark application instead of designating via the IR route may provide greater peace of mind. If problems arise during examination, they should be known in 15-20 working days thus allowing more time to resolve potential issues.
There is also less risk that the Examiner of a national application might be influenced by earlier examination decisions. This can sometimes be the case with examination of New Zealand designations where other designated jurisdictions have published refusals via Madrid Monitor.
Filing of national trade mark applications in New Zealand, as opposed to designation via the IR system, certainty merits serious consideration in the current situation.
If you would like to find out more about the benefits of the different approaches to filing trade marks into New Zealand, please get in touch.