IPONZ Proposes Reduced Trademark Fees (but increased patent fees)

Wade Pearson, Rosie Clark

The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) is seeking feedback on its proposal to reduce fees for trademarks, while increasing patent fees. IPONZ is requesting submissions before 5pm on Monday 30 July 2018. Full details are available on the IPONZ website and in the discussion document.

 

Why is IPONZ reviewing its fees?

IPONZ has forecasted its revenue and found that changing fees would be the most efficient way to ensure the office is funded, without overcharging users. IPONZ is also proposing some changes to streamline how trademark applications are made. Throughout the process, IPONZ has to balance a number of competing interests while aiming for a more consistent and transparent approach to cost-recovery.

 

What fee changes are proposed?

IPONZ wants to reduce trademark fees, and encourage more applicants to use the search and preliminary advice services. These services help indicate whether an application is likely to be successful, and reduce the time IPONZ examiners spend on each application.  

IPONZ also proposes to introduce a reduced fee for applicants that pick from a list of pre-approved classification terms in each class, leading to the following fees:

Service (per class)

Current fee

Proposed fee

Search advice

$40

$50 (for both combined)

Preliminary advice

$40

Application to register trademark (standard)

$150

$100

Application to register trademark (after search and preliminary advice)

$50

Application to register trademark (using list of pre-approved classification terms)

$70

Renewal of trademark (every 10 years)

$350

$200

 

We expect these reductions would be relatively well-received by businesses that have or want trademark protection. But the increases to patent fees are even more significant. Full details are available here, but most increases are of several hundred dollars. The largest increase is in the fee to renew a patent after its 13th year – rising from $1,000 to $5,900.

 

What can you do to respond?

If you’re likely to be affected by the proposed fee changes, we recommend making a submission, through this link, or by email to mail@iponz.govt.nz. We’re also happy to discuss any questions or comments you have on applying for (or maintaining) trademarks.