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NZ To Implement Madrid Protocol

by Mary Swire, LawAndTax-News.com, Hong Kong

25 September 2012


New Zealand is close to implementing a major new treaty which will allow businesses to register their trade marks in multiple countries.

Commerce Minister Craig Foss announced New Zealand's intention to sign the Madrid Protocol earlier this year. Under the so-called "Madrid system", New Zealand's businesses will be able to file a single application directly with the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) and designate one or more overseas countries where protection is sought. At present, separate applications must be submitted in each relevant country. The system was launched by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in December, 2010.

According to Foss, the New Zealand cabinet has agreed that regulations for the Madrid Protocol will be drafted and are expected to be in force by the end of the year. He explained: “The Madrid Protocol will make it much easier for Kiwi business owners to register their trade marks in multiple countries. It will give New Zealand entrepreneurs the opportunity to protect their brands in nearly all of our major export markets with just one international trade mark application."

Foss added that a new online trade mark system introduced by the IPONZ this year will simplify the process further. The changes mean that New Zealand will become one of the first Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries not to charge a fee for certifying and transmitting international trade mark applications. The new regulations will also assist New Zealand in meeting its obligations under the Nice Agreement and the Singapore Treaty and will align New Zealand's trade mark regime with Australia's, as part of the government's Single Economic Market programme.

TAGS: business | trademarks | law | intellectual property | entrepreneurs | Australia | agreements | New Zealand | regulation | trade

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