This privacy statement explains how we collect, store, use, and disclose personal information that people provide to us when using our website and services. The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (‘IPONZ’, ‘we’ or ‘us’) is a business unit of Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).
We will update this privacy statement periodically to reflect changes in legislation, systems and processes. This statement was last updated in July 2023. This privacy statement applies to personal information collected by us, including:
- our website iponz.govt.nz
- our intellectual property (IP) registers for trade marks, patents, designs, plant variety rights, and geographical indications
- calls to our contact centre
- our social media profiles
We will not share personal information that is provided or collected through our website, unless it is necessary to do so for the purpose for which you gave us the information (e.g. to register intellectual property).
We may use personal information provided to us for other reasons permitted under the Privacy Act 2020 (e.g. with your consent, or for a directly related purpose, or where the law permits or requires it).
Collecting your information at our website
You can use our website and search our IP registers without disclosing any personal information. Some information around usage statistics will be collected as outlined below.
Legally required information
We administer New Zealand legislation for registering intellectual property on behalf of MBIE. We compile registers of intellectual property which include the contact details of IP owners or applicants, case contacts, and agents. The registers are in the form of online databases and are publicly available on our website.
To register IP in New Zealand, applicants are required to provide information to the Commissioner of Patents, Trade Marks, Designs, and Plant Variety Rights, and/or the Registrar of Geographical Indications, as described on our website.
We examine, grant and register intellectual property rights under the:
- Patents Act 2013,
- Trade Marks Act 2002,
- Designs Act 1953,
- Plant Variety Rights Act 1987 and the Plant Variety Rights Act 2022
- Geographical Indications (Wines and Spirits) Registration Act 2006.
If an applicant chooses not to provide information where it is required by law, the applicant may not be entitled to the service or benefit offered or could be in breach of their obligations.
Case management facility registration
To register IP using our online services you must create a login on our online case management facility. We will require your name, email address, and other addresses to manage your account with us and meet the requirements of the relevant IP legislation. Your client record name and addresses will be published in our public registers (more detail in the Sharing your information section below).
Authentication to our online case management system is handled by RealMe®, provided by the Department of Internal Affairs.
RealMe® Privacy Statement — RealMe®
When registering for our online case management facility you can associate your Client ID with a record on the New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) Register. This makes it simpler to maintain your information with us. If you have a change in your contact details you can login to our case management facility and ask for the details to be refreshed from your record on the NZBN Register. We may also update your details from publicly available information on the NZBN Register.
When subscribing to our newsletters you will be asked to provide your name and email address. If you opt-out from our email newsletter your details will be added to a suppression list, which prevents further emails to your address unless you choose to subscribe again. Subscription related information is stored in a secure third-party database provided by Campaign Monitor.
Other online forms
If you fill in the Contact Us Online form on our website, or another online form, we may require your name and contact information for the purposes of responding to your query.
You may voluntarily provide personal information to us, e.g. in comments, questions or feedback. This information will be viewable by website administrators, our staff (as appropriate), and sometimes third-party contractors who administer or work on the website.
Our job vacancies will be listed in the Work for us section of the MBIE website. If you wish to apply for a job with us, you will be required to register your details on the MBIE website.
Sharing your information
Information published in our IP registers
Our intellectual property registers include the names and contact addresses of IP owners or applicants, case contacts, agents, and other relevant parties such as inventors or breeders created through the registration process for our case management facility.
You may want to use a business address to avoid publishing your residential address.
The registers are publicly available on our website and through Application Programming Interface (API) data connections. Other parties may collect information from our registers for re-use, including name and address information of applicants. The registers do not include email or phone contact details, except where they are in public documents.
Applications for trade marks, patents, designs, and geographical indications are published monthly in The Journal of the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand. Applications for plant variety rights are published quarterly in the New Zealand Plant Variety Rights Journal.
Additional documentation will be published in our registers depending on the type of IP registration you have applied for.
- Trade mark applications include the summary of the mark at application including a representation of the mark, and the certificate of registration (if applicable).
- Patent specifications, examination reports and applicant responses will be published 18 months from the earliest claimed priority date of the application. Third party assertions and related documents will also be published. There is further information in the patents examination process page.
- Design applications will include the representations of the design.
- PVR applications will include the variety description and photos of growing trials.
- GI applications include geographical data defining the boundary of the area, applicant’s evidence, examiner’s check sheet, and certificate of registration (if applicable).
Sharing information internationally
When you make an application for an international registration through our case management facility at our website, your information will be shared with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) located in Switzerland. WIPO will forward the registration request to the requested countries or jurisdictions where it will form part of their intellectual property registers. The respective local privacy policies will apply.
Release of information
We treat requests for information as requests under the Official Information Act 1982. There is information about the content that can be requested on our release of information page.
We may also be required to release information to a Parliamentary Select Committee, or to Parliament in response to a Parliamentary Question.
IPONZ Hearings Office – legal proceedings
If you file a notice of opposition with the IPONZ Hearings Office the applicant will receive a copy of your notice of opposition, including your name and address for service. Individuals presenting information to a hearing may be named in the decision of the commissioner.
Decisions of the commissioner are published on the New Zealand Legal Information Institute website. A listing of the decisions is published in the news section of our website and emailed to subscribers (normally monthly).
Records and retention of personal information
Holding of information
We will only retain personal information as long as it is required for the purposes for which the information may lawfully be used. When you provide personal information, it will be held by us. It may be stored or accessed on behalf of us by authorised third parties (such as third-party contractors) to the extent that is necessary, for example for them to administer or work on our site. We will store and keep information secure in accordance with the Privacy Act 2020 and agents will be subject to MBIE’s information security and privacy requirements.
Where any information provided (which may include personal information) to or through this site constitute public records, it will be retained to the extent required by the Public Records Act 2005.
Our website has security measures in place to prevent the loss, misuse and alteration of information under our control. In order to maintain the cyber security of our systems and information, our systems are subject to ongoing monitoring (including activity logging), analysis and auditing. We may use information about your use of our websites and other IT systems to prevent unauthorised access or attacks on these systems or to resolve such events. We may use this information even if you are not involved in such activity. We may utilise services from one or more third party suppliers to monitor or maintain the cyber security of our systems and information. These third party suppliers will have access to monitoring and logging information as well as information processed on our website and other IT systems.
General enquiry phone calls to us are answered by the MBIE contact centre. All calls to our contact centre are recorded to improve our customer service.
You can request a transcript of your call by phoning 0508 266 726 and asking for the Privacy Officer.
Collecting statistical information
You can manually disable cookies at any time. Disabling cookies will not affect your ability to use our website.
We use Google Analytics to collect statistical information about use of our website to help us improve our services. This includes information such as how the website is navigated and the screen resolution and language setting of your web browser. This information is aggregated and does not contain information that identifies you. This information is viewable by site administrators and certain other MBIE staff.
We record information about usage of our IP registers to monitor for suspicious activity and help us improve our services. We record transactions in our case management facility to allow us to audit transactions and for data integrity purposes. This information is viewable by certain MBIE staff, and sometimes third-party contractors.
Periodically, we may use information from Google Analytics to advertise to people who have visited certain pages of our website. You can opt-out of remarketing on the Google website:
Social networking services
We use social networking services such as Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube to share information. When you communicate with us using social networks those services may collect information about your interaction. The case study videos on our website are embedded from YouTube.
Social network services have their own privacy policies. They do not have any access to the personal information we hold on our systems.
From time to time we conduct surveys to better understand how you use our services and how we can improve our services. We use SurveyMonkey, a third party survey tool, to conduct these surveys and collect your responses. Participation in any survey is optional and voluntary.
Rights of access and correction
You have the right to:
- find out from us whether we hold personal information about you
- access that information
- request corrections to that information
If you want to check personal information that we hold, please make a request using the Online form on our Contact Us page. Alternately you can write to us at this address:
PO Box 9241
For more information on the privacy laws in New Zealand and contact details for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, please visit the Privacy Commissioner's website.