We help New Zealand and international businesses protect their intellectual property rights in New Zealand.
We examine, grant and register intellectual property rights under:
- the Patents Act 2013,
- the Trade Marks Act 2002,
- the Designs Act 1953,
- the Plant Variety Rights Act 1987, and the Plant Variety Rights Act 2022
- the Geographical Indications (Wines and Spirits) Registration Act 2006.
We also have a number of operational functions. We:
- process and examine patent, trade mark, design, plant variety right and geographical indication applications,
- implement international agreements,
- conduct dispute hearings about intellectual property registrations/eligibility,
- contribute to intellectual property rights policy development,
- act as a receiving officer for the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO),
- respond to requests for information,
- provide assistance including information and training to customers, and
- collect application volumes data.
IPONZ services during COVID-19
As of September 2022, most COVID-19 rules in New Zealand have been relaxed. This includes the COVID-19 Protection Framework (traffic light system) that was active between 2021 and 2022. For more information about the current phase of the New Zealand Government’s COVID-19 response, please see the Unite against COVID-19 website:
- Current phase of New Zealand’s COVID-19 response — Unite against COVID-19
IPONZ’s online services continue to be available as normal. However, we recognise the unprecedented nature of current events and the impact that the response to COVID-19 is having on the community and businesses.
Please refer to the following updates on how we are able to support clients affected by COVID-19:
- IPONZ services during COVID-19 - updated 16 July 2020
- Deadline extensions for patents responses due to COVID-19 – updated 16 July 2020
- Hearings evidence guidelines and status of hearings by attendance under COVID-19 – updated 16 July 2020
- IPONZ Plant Variety Rights services during COVID-19 – updated 12 April 2021
IPONZ fees review
Following a routine review of its fees in 2018 and 2019, IPONZ changed some of its patent and trade mark fees from 13 February 2020.
For more information on the proposals, feedback submissions, and processes behind this fee change, please visit our IPONZ fees review and consultation page.
Our quality policy
We are individually and collectively accountable to meet the requirements of our quality management system and continually improve its effectiveness in achieving the purpose of IPONZ, which is to deliver and foster high quality and robust Intellectual Property rights.
We are certified with the ISO 9001:2015 quality management system standard. This demonstrates our commitment to quality in all aspects of our work.
We strive to be at the forefront globally in facilitating robust and timely intellectual property rights.
View our 2021/22 to 2022/23 business plan [PDF, 334 KB]
IPONZ is a business unit of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), part of Te Whakatairanga Service Delivery group (formerly referred to as Market Services).
The Commissioner of Patents, Trade Marks, Designs and Plant Variety Rights is responsible for ensuring that all the duties, and functions of the Commissioner noted in the Patents, Trade Marks, Designs and Plant Variety Rights legislation, are fulfilled.
IPONZ consists of seven teams. Six of them report to the National Manager. The Stakeholder Engagement team reports to the General Manager Engagement and Experience.
View larger image [PDF, 58 KB]
MBIE information gathering
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) transparency statement describes the kind of information MBIE gathers to ensure it can effectively:
- protect people, information, and places
- ensure regulatory compliance
- detect and prevent criminal offending.
MBIE’s transparency statement | Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
- The IPONZ Year in Review 2020/21 [PDF, 3.3 MB] provides a summary of our activities and outcomes for the year 1 July 2020 - 30 June 2021.
- The IPONZ Year in Review 2019/20 [PDF, 1 MB] provides a summary of our activities and outcomes for the year 1 July 2019 - 30 June 2020.
- A Survey of New Zealand Patent Activity [PDF, 4 MB] was conducted by Derwent and Clarivate Analytics, to provide an analysis of patent filing trends up to 2019.
- The IPONZ Year in Review 2018/19 [PDF, 2.1 MB] provides a summary of our activities and outcomes for the year 1 July 2018 - 30 June 2019.