Newsletter – September 2019

In this September Newsletter

  • Zone Nominated for Law Awards
  • Zone Welcomes a New Team Member
  • The Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka Awards
  • International Interns
  • The New “Trade Mark Checker” Tool
  • Labour Weekend Closure

Zone Nominated for Law Awards

Zone Team PhotoZone are proud to be finalists once again in the New Zealand Law Awards in the category of Intellectual Property Specialist Law Firm of the Year 2019. This is fifth year in a row where we have made the finals. The winners will be announced on 21 November 2019. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our clients and all those who nominated us for this award.

Swetha Balaji

Zone Welcomes a New Team Member

Zone is pleased to welcome Swetha Balaji, a new member to our legal team. She is working closely alongside Chris on IP matters.


Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka Awards

Zone are proud sponsors of the Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka Awards for the fifth year in a row.
Congratulations to all the finalists and especially to Lila Madden who won the premier award!

International Interns

During the month of August, Zone hosted two international student interns at our Wellington office.
Kevin, a 4th year student from Germany and Emma, a 2nd year student from France.
They learnt extensively about Intellectual Property Law. For more background on Kevin and Emma visit our Facebook page.

New “Trade Mark Check” Tool

The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) has recently launched a new tool called “Trade Mark Check” in July 2019.

Searches of the trade marks register can be challenging especially in relation to logos or images. The new tool has built-in artificial intelligence that automatically identifies the significant features of the images uploaded and helps search similar logo or image trade marks. It also includes automatic searching of words that look and sound similar. IPONZ has been developing this tool for the past 10 years and has plans to continue its development.

We have tested the tool and consider it may have merit. In particular, it provides opportunities to people who are new to intellectual property law and encourages them to perform their own research. We welcome the development of such new legal tech tools which aids in making the process smoother. It is particularly advantageous for small businesses and people who are coming up with an initial idea and want to quickly check their chosen brand name.

However, these advantages come with certain risks. For example, the users of the tool must be aware the results are not definite. It is important to note that these searches are only a preliminary step and cannot replace legal advice. Rather, it helps determine the context in which legal advice is necessary.

The “Trade Mark Check” tool is available for use on the IPONZ website at

Labour Weekend – Monday 28 October 2019

Zone IP will be closed for business on Labour Day, Monday 28 October 2019.

Our websites and online platform will still be available. We will be open for normal business hours from Tuesday 29 October 2019.

The Intellectual Property Office will also be closed on Monday 28 October 2019.

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