The impacts of COVID-19 have had far-reaching effects on businesses, both in terms of the economic effects and capacity to attend to day-to-day matters.
The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (‘IPONZ’) has recognised the material impact COVID-19 continues to have on business's and the community, and has adjusted its approach to deadlines to reflect the disruption. Accordingly, IPONZ has advised that certain due dates for cases and tasks will be automatically extended – for example, deadlines to respond to trade mark compliance reports.
For due dates not automatically extended, IPONZ has indicated that it will treat requests for extensions of time favourably where circumstances related to COVID-19 have affected a business, or are affecting a business’s ability to respond by a deadline.
More information about the circumstances where IPONZ may automatically extend a deadline is available here.
We are also finding that IPONZ is slightly slower in processing requests at this time, so we may not be receiving responses as quickly as we usually expect to.
One positive piece of news is that earlier this year – and unrelated to the pandemic – IPONZ lowered many of the official fees applicable to patents and trade marks.
- Trade mark renewal fees have decreased from NZ$350, for a registration in one class, to NZ$200; and
- Trade mark application fees have decreased from NZ$150, for an application in one class, to NZ$100.