Trade marks

Trade marks

If you think you are in need of a trade mark, you can find everything you need to get started below. From what is covered by a trade mark, to how to apply and how to search existing trade marks, we have compiled a basic intro for you.

Paku – Two friends trade marked Paku, protecting their brand with a name that represents products unique to Aotearoa. View the full case study

What is a trade mark?

A trade mark can help make what you do or sell stand apart from the competition in the market. They come in several different types – but most trade marks protect words, logos, or a combination of the two. You could register a trade mark for your company name or a product name. So long as no one else is using it, and it isn’t a common term for the use you want to register it for. A registered trade mark lasts for ten years and can be renewed for as long as you continue to use it.

Trade marks are registered in individual countries so you could consider if your trade mark is able to be registered where you want to export to. Trade mark protection must be applied for and registered in each country. So, it’s a good idea to get advice about overseas trade mark protection from an IP professional.

Check if a trade mark is already registered

If you have a possible trade mark in mind – whether it’s a business or product name, slogan, logo, or image – you can use Trade Mark Check to see if there are any trade marks on the New Zealand Trade Mark register that are similar to yours.

Trade Mark Check
paku testimonial

“We trade marked Paku for our products. We did that to protect ourselves from being copied, and to protect the ideas and kaupapa we put into our products”

– Jamie Prier and Johnson Witehira, Paku

How to apply for a trade mark

Can your idea be a trade mark?

Trade marks must be distinctive for what you want to use it for. For example Apple® is distinctive for computers, but not for fruit. To be able to be registered, trade marks cannot be offensive – ask yourself how your idea might be viewed by different audiences.

Check if you your trade mark is available

Make sure that a trade mark like yours does not already exist on the register for similar goods and services – you can use Trade Mark Check for this.

Visit Trade Mark Check

Classify your goods and/or services

Your application will need to list all the goods and services you intend to use your trade mark for. This is known as your specification of goods and services, and will define the scope of your trade mark’s protection.

File your application

Choose how to submit your application – through Business Connect, our case management system, or your intellectual property professional.

Application examined

Your trade mark examiner will accept your application, or notify you if there are any issues and give you an opportunity to respond.

Wait for advertisement and international priority requirements to pass

Once your application is accepted, it will be advertised in The Journal for 3 months, which gives others time to oppose your trade mark application if they believe they have grounds to. IPONZ also needs to wait 6 months just in case an application with an earlier priority date is received from another country.

Over 99% of advertised applications proceed to registration.

Examples of registered trade marks


Edmonds Baking Powder

NZ trade mark number: 10823

Owned by: Goodman Fielder Pte. Ltd

View this trade mark
buzzy bee

Buzzy Bee

NZ trade mark number: 176654

Owned by: Lion Rock Licensing Ltd.

View this trade mark
l and p


NZ trade mark number: 776409

Owned by: The Coca-Cola Company

View this trade mark

Ready to get started?

Apply for a trade mark