Progress towards international trade mark treaty

  • Craig Foss

Commerce Minister Craig Foss has announced that New Zealand is closer to implementing a major trade mark treaty to help businesses protect their brands overseas.

Cabinet has agreed that regulations for the Madrid Protocol will be drafted and are expected to be in force by the end of the year.

“The Madrid Protocol will make it much easier for Kiwi business owners to register their trade marks in multiple countries.

“It will give New Zealand entrepreneurs the opportunity to protect their brands in nearly all of our major export markets with just one international trade mark application.

“Innovation is a key plank of the Government’s Business Growth Agenda and these intellectual property regulations will make it easier for New Zealanders to export and grow,” says Mr Foss.

Mr Foss said the Intellectual Property Office (IPONZ) had introduced a world-leading online trade mark system this year which would simplify the process further.

“As a result, New Zealand will be one of the first OECD countries in the world not to charge a fee for certifying and transmitting international trade mark applications.”

The regulations will assist in meeting obligations for two other treaties; the Nice Agreement and Singapore Treaty. They will also align New Zealand's trade mark regime with Australia, as part of the Government's Single Economic Market program, mandate the use of online trade mark filings and introduce small fee adjustments.