Newsletter – May 2020

May 2020 Updates

  • Services at Zone
  • Extension Possibilities
  • New Zealand Customs Notices Procedure Updated
  • Choosing a Name
  • Queen’s Birthday Holiday

Services at Zone

As the lockdown restrictions are beginning to ease in New Zealand, we are now in level 2. The Zone team are working both on site and remotely to continue to provide the best services for our clients.

Extension Possibilities

Because many businesses have been affected by recent events, there may be circumstances where IP Australia and the New Zealand Intellectual Property Office can permit extensions of time to deadlines for responding to office actions or hearing deadlines for those who have been impacted.

If you have been impacted, please do not hesitate to contact our team with questions or concerns regarding any official intellectual property deadlines for your business. We are happy to provide advice on an individual basis.

New Zealand Customs Notices Procedure Updated

Owners of registered New Zealand trade marks can lodge a notice with the New Zealand Customs Service enabling Customs to detain goods which may infringe a New Zealand registered trade mark, for example counterfeit products. Traditionally, rights holders have had to pay a security of NZ$5,000 to cover storage, transport, and legal costs incurred by Customs in detaining potentially infringing goods.

In some good news for intellectual property rights holders, Customs have recently announced that as of 1 June this year, the requirement to pay this security at the time of lodging a border protection notice will be removed.

The removal of the security requirement makes it easier for businesses to protect their IP rights and reputation against infringing goods arriving from overseas. Moreover, Customs will be refunding bonds it holds starting from 1 June 2020.

If you have an existing bond, Zone will be in touch to arrange this refund. Zone can also assist with lodging Customs Notices for existing rights holders. Contact us to find out more.

Choosing a Name

There has no doubt been a lot of innovation in New Zealand in the last couple of months under lockdown. But what to call your new product or service?

One key thing to remember is to pick a unique name for your band. Some of the most valuable and successful brands in the word have no correlation to the goods or services themselves. Your chosen brand might refer to your products or services in a clever way, however a name that simply states the offering is unlikely to achieve statutory protection. Accordingly, names like “Auckland Cleaning Services” or “Best Automotive Repairs” are unlikely to ever become an asset with value in its own right.

Once you have a name in mind, make sure it is free to use. If someone else is already the owner of the same or a similar brand for the same or similar products or services, you might find yourself reading a cease and desist letter or on the other end of formal legal proceedings.

Zone can undertake searches to determine if your preferred name is free for you to use. Contact us today to find out more.

Queen’s Birthday Holiday

Zone will be closed for business on Monday 1st of June 2020 for the Queen’s Birthday Holiday in New Zealand. The New Zealand Intellectual Property Office is also closed on the same day.

IP Australia will be closed for the Queen’s Birthday Holiday in Australia on Monday 8th June 2020.

Applications and documents submitted on these dates will have the following working day as their filing date. If the deadline for filing an application or document falls on these dates, then the application or document can be filed the following day.