On 25 June 2018, the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) announced it was seeking feedback from the public on four proposals for fee changes.
These proposed changes are a result of a recent fee review, which found that the costs of patent services were continuing to exceed revenue, resulting in annual deficits. This review also found that trade mark revenue was exceeding costs and so subsiding patent services.
As noted on iponz.govt.nz, the changes are intended to 'rebalance patent and trade mark revenues to appropriate levels, and to improve the efficiency, equity and effectiveness of the two regimes'.
The four proposed changes to patent and trade mark fees are:
- increasing fees for patent renewals and maintenance
- increasing fees for high-cost patent services
- new trade mark fee options including discounted trade mark application fees for applicants who use IPONZ’s ‘search and preliminary advice’ reports and classification picklist, and
- simplifying options for IPONZ’s pre-application trade mark advice service.
In some cases, the new fee under IPONZ’s proposals is almost triple the current fee. But these costs are still small in comparison to the cost of IP development as a whole or the potential cost of failing to protect an innovative idea. We understand the reasons put forward by IPONZ for these fee changes but are naturally concerned at the possible negative impact on innovation in New Zealand. As the leading IP law firm in the country, we advocate to safe guard and promote IP development and protection.
So, we encourage clients and anyone with an interest in fees relating to IP development to make a submission before 5pm Monday 30 July 2018. To make a submission, download the submission template here, complete the questions and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more about the review findings and proposed changes, click here to read the full discussion document.