How you can be heard
Regulations 122, 125, 126 and 127 — New Zealand Legislation
After all the evidential steps in the proceeding are completed, you will need to decide how you wish to be heard.
Your options are:
(a) On the papers already filed (no hearing fee).
- Parties choosing this option are not required to do anything further and will be notified through the case management system when the Assistant Commissioner has decided the case.
(b) By filing written submissions to be considered by the Assistant Commissioner hearing the case (hearing fee required).
- Parties choosing this option will be set a task through the case management system to file their written submissions.
- Payment of the hearing fee is due at the time of filing the written submissions. 1
(c) By attendance at a hearing in person before the Assistant Commissioner (hearing fee required).
- Parties choosing this option will be notified of a hearing date no less than one month in advance. 2
- Junior counsel are welcome to attend (and participate), provided they are also listed as attendees in the pre-hearing arrangements.
- A task will be set to file hearing submissions prior to the hearing date.
- Payment of the hearing fee is due 10 working days before the hearing date. 3
Please see our fees for more information.
Once the parties have confirmed how they wish to be heard, IPONZ will notify both parties of their respective elections.
Māori tikanga as part of the hearing process
IPONZ supports incorporating Māori tikanga as part of the hearing process. If both or one of the parties wish to have Māori tikanga as part of the proceeding then advance notice should be given in order to ensure that necessary preparations can be made.
As a guideline, the process adopted by the Commissioner will usually be:
- Welcome and karakia;
- Assistant Commissioner and Hearings Case Officer mihi:
- Opponent’s counsel and representatives introduce themselves with their mihi;
- Applicant’s counsel and representatives introduce themselves with their mihi;
- The hearing will run its usual course;
- Hearing conclusion and closing karakia.
Te Reo Māori is an official language of New Zealand. IPONZ supports the use of Māori language and is open to it being used in hearings.
Hearing dates are final once scheduled
Hearing dates are set by the Hearings Office having regard to a number of considerations such as the availability of the Assistant Commissioner hearing the case. When a hearing date is set down, it should be considered final.
While the Hearings Office will endeavour to accommodate the availability of the parties' counsel where possible, this will not determine the hearing date. Parties and their counsel (if any) are responsible for ensuring they can attend the hearing.
In certain circumstances, such as hearings on the papers or by written submissions only, the Office may set down the hearing date without prior consultation.
Hearings will only be rescheduled in the case of exceptional circumstances. Requests for rescheduling of a hearing must be made in writing via the case management system and as soon as possible before the hearing.
Hearings by attendance are held either:
- In person in Wellington or Christchurch; or
- By video-conference.
The following types of hearings are only held via video-conference 4 :
- Examination hearings / ex-parte hearings (hearings involving only one party); and
- Interlocutory hearings.
In-person hearings are scheduled at the following physical locations:
- MBIE Wellington, 15 Stout Street, Wellington;
- Pastoral House, 25 The Terrace, Wellington; and
- Grand Central Building, 161 Cashel Street, Christchurch.
Attendance at hearings by parties to the proceeding, members of the public or the media
Parties to a proceeding may request to attend a hearing via their counsel. If a party is unrepresented, they may directly file a request via the case management system.
Members of the public may be permitted to attend a hearing as an observer. To request attendance at a hearing please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- Your name; and
- Whom you represent (e.g. media organisation).
All requests must be received by the Office at least 5 working days before the hearing date.
The Assistant Commissioner hearing the matter will determine if it is appropriate for you to attend the hearing. If your request is declined, we will advise of the reasons why this is the case.
If your request is permitted your attendance will be by video link. Members of the public can only observe the proceeding and will not be allowed to participate.
Consequences of failing to pay the hearing fee, or file submissions, on time
A party who fails to pay their hearing fee and/or file submissions by the relevant deadlines will forfeit their right to appear at the hearing or make submissions for the hearing. IPONZ will not vacate the hearing, and reschedule it for a later date, in these circumstances.
Changing how a party wishes to be heard
If a party wishes to change how they have elected to be heard, they must contact IPONZ before the hearing fee is due.
Assistant Commissioner’s written decision
Regulation 162 — New Zealand Legislation
Following the hearing (either by appearance, written submissions, or on the papers filed) the Assistant Commissioner will issue a written decision.
Please see our practices on trade mark hearing decisions for more information.
- 1 Regulation 126(2)(b)
- 2 Unless the case is listed as ready for a hearing at short notice.
- 3 Regulation 126(2)(a)
- 4 Alternative means will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.