IPONZ fees review and consultation

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IPONZ fees review and consultation

Changes to some patent and trade mark fees came into force on 13 February 2020.

Updated 13 February 2020

The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) is a business unit within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). IPONZ’s trade mark, patent and design services are fully cost-recovered. This means that IPONZ charges fees to recover the costs of its services from those who directly benefit from those services.

Between 2018 and 2019, IPONZ carried out a routine review of our fees to support a more consistent and transparent approach to cost-recovery across the range of services that we provide.

The review identified a number of areas where changes could be considered, with the intention to rebalance patent and trade mark revenues to appropriate levels; and to improve the efficiency, equity and effectiveness of the two regimes.

The proposals were:

  • Increasing fees for patent renewals and maintenance.
  • Increasing fees for high-cost patent services such as patent restorations and amendments after acceptance, and introducing an ‘excess claims’ fee for complex patent applications.
  • Introducing discounted trade mark application fees for applicants who use IPONZ’s ‘search and preliminary advice’ reports and the IPONZ online classification tool.
  • Simplifying trade mark application processes by phasing out separate services for ‘search’ and ‘preliminary advice’ reports.

Changes to fees for designs, plant variety rights, geographical indications and hearings services were not proposed.

Consultation

Between 25 June and 30 July 2018 public submissions were sought on the proposals. A brief explanation of the fees review and fee change proposals is provided in the ‘Summary’ documents below. Full information is provided in the discussion document.

Submissions

A total of seven submissions were received from the consultation period and considered carefully.

Two proposals relating to patents fees changed as a result of feedback from submitters. For more details on these, please refer to the Final Policy Approvals Cabinet Paper and Attachments document below. This includes a summary of submissions and IPONZ's responses.

The process

Cabinet approved the changes to fees at its meeting on 11 March 2019. The Cabinet paper and minutes for the fees proposals are provided below.

Amendment regulations were approved by Cabinet and the Executive Council on 16 September 2019, and consequently entered into force on 13 February 2020.

Following the approval of amendment regulations, IPONZ officially notified the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) of its fee changes for trade mark and patent applications filed under the Madrid and Patent Cooperation Treaty systems. IPONZ also made changes to accommodate the new fees in its online case management facility.

What has changed?

For more details on the fee changes and those applications which will be affected by these changes, please refer to the Patent and Trade Mark Fees Changes document below.