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Maintain a patent

To maintain a patent, you can submit all requests online through the Maintain a Patent service in our case management facility, including paying maintenance fees for a patent application or renewal fees for a patent.

Change ownership

When ownership of a patent or application changes, the previous or new owner can request that the new details are recorded on the register.

It is a requirement new owners have a valid address for service in New Zealand. If there are multiple owners, or an agent then you must determine who will receive correspondence from us.

You will also need to file evidence supporting any change in ownership for example the deed of assignment or a verified copy.

  1. You will need to be logged on as a registered user of the website.
  2. For example, a request to enter a new owner for a patent:
  3. Select Maintain a Patent from the left hand menu of your Inbox. The Request Patent Change page will display.
  4. Click Select cases(s) for Assignment from the Change Owner section to Search Patent Case(s).
  5. You will be promoted to search for one or more Patents you wish to change the ownership of. Once you have identified the correct cases tick the check box to select. Then click the Select button. The Request a Change of Ownership on patent(s) will display.
  6. Enter your Client Reference.
  7. Select whether you are acting as the new owner or if you are acting on behalf of the owner. If you are acting on behalf of the owner, you will be listed as the agent. If you are authorised to become the agent for the application, you need to upload an Authorisation of Agent.
    If you do not wish to be recorded as the new agent for the assigned cases click the remove button to remove your firm as the agent. You will still be able to record the change of ownership, you just won’t be recorded as the new agent for the cases.
  8. To add the new owner for the assigned cases select Search by the Applicant field. You will be taken to the Search IPONZ Client Database screen. Search to find, or manually add, the new owner(s). By default the search will be restricted to clients in our database that you have already acted for.
  9. To upload Agent Authorisation select Add by the Agent Authority field.
  10. Add your documentary evidence to support to your request then select Submit to complete your request. 

Change an address

When an address for service, business or residential address, or, a communication address has changed, a notice of change of address must be filed with the Commissioner of patents, trade marks and designs.

Note – to own a trade mark you must have an address in New Zealand.

  1. On the Search IPONZ Client Database screen, search for your client record and select Edit to modify. You can add, or remove addresses.
  2. You can add or remove addresses.
  3. Select Submit to complete your changes.

At the individual IP level users can nominate which of their addresses to use for the purpose of communication on that case. Principally, as communication with the Office is electronic, that will be a system user’s details, and their associated email and address for service.

Change a name

You must provide supporting documentation confirming the name change, for example, a certificate from the Registrar of Companies.

  1. On the Search IPONZ Client Database screen, search for your client record. If you are a New Zealand company enter your name in the Search Company field. For other client types, modify your name.
  2. Select Edit on the right side of the correct result. You will be taken to the Edit Client screen.
  3. If you are a New Zealand company enter your name in the Search Company field. For other client types, modify your name.
  4. Upload your supporting documentation by selecting Add Document and then selecting Continue once you have uploaded your documents.
  5. On the Edit Client screen select Submit to complete your request.

Change an agent

You can make an online request to change (or add) your professional representative (agent).

You can request to add or change an agent for a case through our Maintain a Case facility. There is no charge for this service.

  1. You will need to be logged on as a registered user of the website.
  2. For example, a request to enter a new agent for a patent:
  3. Login and select Maintain a Patent from the left hand menu of your Inbox. The Request Patent Change page will display.
  4. Click Select cases for Change Agent from the Change Agent section to Search Patent Case(s).
  5. Search for one or more patent/s. Once you have identified the correct cases tick the check box to select. Then click the Select button. The Request Change of Agent screen displays with the case(s) listed.
  6. Enter your Client Reference.
  7. Select whether you are replacing the current agent or adding an agent.
    Note - if the new agent is not the same for each of the cases you will need to make a separate request for each case.
  8. To enter the new agent details for the case(s), select Search in the Agents section, you will be taken to the Search Client screen to search for your details. When adding an agent, check Change Contact Details to become the new contact.
  9. Select the Add button in the Documentary Evidence section to upload your Agent Authorisation documentation.
  10. Select Submit to complete your request.

What happens next?

We will either accept or refuse your request and you'll receive email notification within one working day.

Removing an agent

If you are already the agent for an IP case you will be given the additional option to remove yourself as the agent.

Change inventor

You can make an online request for an inventor to be assigned to, or changed for, a patent. You can also make an online request for an inventor details to be altered (change of address/change of legal name.)

  • If you need to change or add an inventor listed on a patent, follow the steps below.
  • If you need to alter the details of an inventor (change of address/change of legal name) on a patent or patent application, follow the steps below in ‘To alter inventors details’:
  1. You will need to be logged on as a registered user of the website. Find out more about becoming a registered user.
  2. Select Maintain a Patent from the left hand menu of your Inbox. The Request Patent Change page will display.
  3. Select Change or Add Inventors. The Search for Patent(s) screen displays.
  4. Search for the patent or patent application that you wish to amend. Once you have identified the patent or patent application check the radio button to select. Then click the Select button.
  5. Enter your Client Reference and make the changes following the onscreen help.
  6. Select Submit.
  7. You will return to the Request Patent Change screen and a confirmation Info box will appear. Click OK to close the box.

What happens next?

We will either accept or refuse your request and you'll receive an email notification within one working day.

Note: If you wish to add any inventor to or remove any inventor from the inventors already listed for a patent application or granted patent, see request a correction of error.

To alter inventors details:

Change of legal name 

  1. You will need to be logged on as a registered user of the website, select Maintain Client from the My Account menu of your Inbox. The Search Client page will display.
  2. On the Search Client screen, search for your client record. If you are a New Zealand company enter your name in the Search Company field. For other client types, modify your name.
  3. To upload your supporting documentation, select the Add button for uploading.
  4. Select Submit to complete your request.

Note: You must provide supporting documentation confirming the name change, for example a deed poll or marriage certificate. If there is an error in the inventor’s name, see Request a correction of error

Change of address of inventors

  1. You will need to be logged on as a registered user of the website, select Maintain Client from the My Account menu of your Inbox. The Search Client page will display.
  2. On the Search Client screen, search for your client record and select Edit to modify. You can add, or remove addresses
  3. Select Submit to complete your changes 

Change licensee/mortgagee/financial interest

Patents can be bought, sold and licensed by way of a contract that defines the terms and conditions upon which you change ownership. You are advised to seek professional legal advice when drafting your contract. IPONZ does not assist in the drafting of contracts between parties, nor does it provide forms for the licensing of patents.

You can make an online request for an interest to be recorded on the register of patent.

  1. You will need to be logged on as a registered user of the website.
  2. Select Maintain a Patent from the left hand menu of your Inbox. The Request Patent Change page will display.
  3. Select Change or Add Licensee/Mortgagee/Financial Interest. The Search for Patent(s) screen displays.
  4. Search for the patent that you wish to amend. Once you have identified the correct case check the radio button to select. Then click the Select button.
  5. Enter your Client Reference and make the changes following the onscreen help.
  6. You must upload evidence supporting these agreements by selecting Add in the document section.
  7. Select Submit.
  8. You will return to the Request Patent Change screen and a confirmation Info box will appear. Click OK to close the box.

 

Request an amendment

You can make an online request for the following:

  • voluntary amendment to an application.
  • postponement of acceptance for an application. 

You may make an online request to amend the title of an application at any point prior to the application's acceptance.

You can make an online request to amend a patent application or granted patent.

  1. You will need to be logged on as a registered user of the website. Find out more about becoming a registered user.
  2. Select Maintain a Patent from the left hand menu of your Inbox. The Request Patent Change page will display. Select Amendment/Correction of Error.
  3. The Search Patent Cases screen displays. Search for the patent that you wish to amend, which will bring you to the Enter Voluntary Amendment on Patent(s) page.
    - If your search produces multiple results, tick the box to the left of the correct case number/s, then click the Select button to proceed.
  4. In the Type of Amendment field select Voluntary Amendment.
  5. Make the changes following the onscreen help.
  6. Select Submit.
  7. You will return to the Patent Change Requests screen and a confirmation Info box will appear. Click OK to close the box.

Below is the list of document types that can be uploaded in the Additional Document(s) field.

Document type

Description

Request for sealing

This provides the option to file a request for sealing if it wasn’t provided at the time of filing. IPONZ will advise if this is required during examination.

Agent authority

A request by an applicant or patentee appointing an agent to act for them e.g. this may be requested in a letter.

Application form

A request to apply for a patent and includes application forms signed by applicants

Certified English translation of the priority document

A certified English translation of a convention priority document(s), PCT amendment(s), or voluntary amendments(s). The certification may be made by the person who translated the relevant document. The certification may alternatively be made by a person who did not prepare the translation but verifies the accuracy and correctness of the translation and takes responsibility for the translation.

Evidence

A document including evidence relating to a patent application or granted patent.

Foreign search report

Patent search and/or examination reports issued from any foreign country.

Notice of entitlement

A notice of the grounds under which the applicant is entitled to be granted a patent.

Prior art

A document including prior art or detailing prior art known which is relevant to the application.

Declaration of inventorship

A declaration the inventors named are the first and true inventors. e.g. this may be declared in a letter

WIPO PCT documentation

Any type of PCT documentation. e.g. International Search Report (ISR), International Preliminary Report on Patentability (IPRP), IB 306.  

Sequence listing

A document containing the sequence listing for a patent application

Micro-organism deposit receipt

A document issued as a receipt by an international depositary institution where a deposit of a micro-organism has been made under the Budapest Treaty.

Request extension of time, Reg.147

A request to extend a regulated time period to file information or a document or for taking a step in respect of a matter where exceptional circumstances exist.

Applicant request OPI

A request to make the complete specification, all documents and information associated with an application visible to public inspection.

Statutory Declarations and Affidavits

These are forms of evidence which are declared, sworn or affirmed before an authorised person such as a solicitor or Justice of the Peace.

Priority Document

A copy of the specification of the basic application for protection in respect of an invention that has been made in a convention country.

Request a correction of error

You can make an online request for the following:

  • correction of an error to an accepted application or granted patent. 

You can make an online request for a correction of error under section 201 or section 202.

As per section 202(2) of the Patents Act 2013, you can make an online request for a correction of error even if you are not the current owner or designated agent for the patent case. Please note that a correction of error in a patent specification may not be requested using section 202(2).

  1. You will need to be logged on as a registered user of the website.
  2. Select Maintain a Patent from the left hand menu of your Inbox. The Patent Change Request(s) page will display. Select Amendment/Correction of Error.
  3. The Search Patent Cases screen displays. Search for the patent that you wish to amend. Once you have identified the correct case check the radio button to select. Then click the Select button.
  4. In the Type of Amendment field select Corrections of Error. Then select which Section of the act applies to the correction.
  5. You must upload a document detailing your correction request in the Correction of Error Request field.
  6. Select Submit.
  7. You will return to the Patent Change Request(s) screen and a confirmation Info box will appear. Click OK to close the box. 

Surrender

You can make an online offer to surrender your in-force patent at any time. Prior to granting of a patent an application may be withdrawn – see Withdrawal.

To offer to surrender a patent:

  1. You will need to be logged on as a registered user of the website.
  2. Select Maintain a Patent from the left hand menu of your Inbox. The Request Patent Change page will display.
  3. To Search Patent Case(s) click Select cases(s) for Surrender from the Surrender Patent section. You can search for one or more patents that you wish to surrender. Once you have identified the cases you wish to surrender tick the check box to select. Then click the Select button.
  4. Check the Confirm offer to surrender Patent(s).
  5. Add your cover letter and documentary evidence (if any) to support your request prior to selecting Submit. You will return to the Request Patent Change and a confirmation Info box will display. Select OK to close the box. 

Withdrawal

Once a Patent application is Withdrawn, it may not be possible to reinstate the application.

You may choose to withdraw an application to explicitly leave no rights outstanding, including the right to claim priority under the Paris Convention on the basis of the application.

  1. You will need to be logged on as a registered user of the website.
  2. Select Maintain a Patent from the left hand menu of your Inbox. The Request Patent Change page will display.
  3. To Search Patent Case(s) click Select cases(s) for Withdrawal from theWithdrawal section. You can search for one or more patent applications that you wish to withdraw. Once you have identified the cases you wish to withdraw tick the check box to select. Then click the Select button.
  4. Tick either of the two options below:
    • Confirm withdrawal of the Patent Application(s).
    • Confirm withdrawal of the Patent Application(s) leaving no rights outstanding including with regard to claiming a right of priority under the Paris Convention.
  1. Select Submit.
  2. You will return to the Request Patent Change and a confirmation Info box will display. Select OK to close the box.

Restoration

To restore your patent or patent application you will have to:

  • apply for restoration through the online system;
  • provide evidence, in the form of a statutory declaration or sworn affidavit, that the failure to pay a renewal fee or place the application in order for acceptance was unintentional and that there was no undue delay in making the application for restoration.

See our restoration practice guidelines under the Patents Act 1953.

  1. You will need to be logged on as a registered user of the website.
  2. Select Maintain a Patent from the left hand menu of your Inbox. The Request Patent Change page will display.
  3. To Search Patent Case(s) click Select cases(s) for Restoration from theRestoration section. You can search for one or more patent or patent applications that you wish to restore.
  4. Once you have identified the patent or patent applications that you wish to restore tick the check box to select. Then click the Select button.
  5. Complete the mandatory fields
  6. Add your documentary evidence to support your request.
  7. Select Submit. You will return to the Request Patent Change and a confirmationInfo box will display.
  8. Select OK to close the box.

Evidence must be supplied with a request for restoration.

If no evidence is supplied for the restoration of a lapsed patent or a patent application then your request will be refused.

Evidence must be in the form of a statutory declaration or affidavit (reg 144). When a request is refused for no evidence, the applicant will have to file another request for restoration. A request made to restore a lapsed patent must also include the date the renewal fee was due.

If a request for restoration of an abandoned patent application is successful, then the request will be advertised in the Journal for opposition purposes. If no opposition is lodged during the two month opposition period following the advertisement, then you will receive an order for restoration. The order for restoration will require that the applicant place the application in order for acceptance. A Respond to examination report task will be sent to your inbox and you will have one month to place the application in order for acceptance and to respond to this task. 

If the request for restoration of a lapsed patent is successful, then the request will be advertised in the Journal for opposition purposes. If no opposition is lodged during the two month opposition period following the advertisement, then a notification will be sent to you requiring that you pay all outstanding renewal and late fees. Following payment of the renewal and late fees, an order for restoration will be issued.

Request a re-examination/submit a third party assertion

  1. You will need to be logged on as a registered user of the website.
  2. Select Maintain a Patent from the left hand menu of your Inbox. The Request Patent Change page will display. Select Request a Re-Examination/Submit a Third Party Assertion.
  3. The Search Patent Cases screen displays. Search for the patent that you wish to amend. Once you have identified the correct case check the radio button to select. Then click the Select button.
  4. Based on the status of the case you have selected you will take you to the relevant screen either Request a Re-examination or Submit a Third Party Assertion
  5. Enter your Client Reference.
  6. Add your documentary evidence to support to your request then select Submit to complete your request.
  7. If you are requesting re-examination you will be taken to a payment screen to pay the relevant fee of $500 (excluding GST).

Request the Commissioner to Direct Examination of a patent application

You can make an online request to the Commissioner to direct an applicant to request examination of their application under section 64(3) of the Patents Act 2013.

You do not need to be logged on to access this online form.

If you are logged in:

  1. From the left side menu of you user inbox select the Information Requests tab
  2. Then select Request for Information/Direction
  3. Enter your Client Reference
  4. Enter your name and email, if you are logged in this will be automatically entered from your login details
  5. From the option under Declaration/Type of Request select I am requesting the Commissioner to direct examination of a patent application.
  6. Ensure you add the relevant case number
  7. In Request Details field add the information for why the Commissioner should direct examination
  8. Select Submit to complete your request.

If you are not logged in:

Go to Request for Information/Direction and complete the online form starting from Step 3 above.

Also see renewal of a patent.