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A trade mark is any sign that you use to distinguish your business from another. Accordingly, this intellectual property right can apply to various things, ranging from words or graphics to sounds or smells. When you register a trade mark with the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ), you gain registered ownership rights over that trade mark. These rights give you various powers, such as the right to decide who can use your trade mark. However, you need to maintain your trade mark, which includes renewing it when necessary. Therefore, this article will go through four steps for renewing a trade mark in New Zealand.

1. Determine Whether You Want to Renew Your Trade Mark

When you register a trade mark, your business should actively use it concerning the goods and services you have registered it for. 

For example, if you register the name of your product as a trade mark, you should refer to your product by that trade mark in advertising and documentation.

However, you may find that your business wants to update its branding or that you no longer use the trade mark. Therefore, it is worthwhile to consider whether the trade mark still brings value to your business before renewal. This consideration is crucial for a few reasons, as you must determine whether you:

  • can justify the continued cost of maintaining this trade mark; and
  • use the trade mark enough to avoid a revocation application.

If you have not used your trade mark, then a third party could apply to IPONZ to revoke your trade mark if it harms their own legitimate interests.

If you decide that you do not want to renew your trade mark, you can apply to cancel it or let its registration lapse through non-renewal.

2. Confirm Your Renewal Date

When renewing your trade mark, you must get its renewal date right. You can renew your registered trade mark every 10 years from its ‘priority date’. This date is either the trade mark’s filing date or convention priority date, whichever is the earliest of the two. There is no limit on how many times you can renew your trade mark, as long as you do it within the relevant renewal period set by IPONZ.

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IPONZ will notify you when your renewal date is coming up, and you can renew your trade mark up to a year in advance. However, if you miss your renewal date, you have a six month grace period where it has the status ‘Registered – past expiry date’. 

Renewing your mark before the end of the six month grace period restores its registered status. To avoid this process, make sure you know when your renewal date is coming up with plenty of time to spare.

3. Decide What You Want to Renew

Renewing your full trade mark is a relatively simple process, but there is a bit of flexibility if you only want to renew parts of it. At this point, you can choose to renew your trade mark for only some goods or services, rather than all of them. Subsequently, you can renew the other classes later, as long as you do so within the year before the renewal date. 

This process can be useful if you are rebranding or discontinuing a product line. If this situation applies to you, make sure you undergo this step in the renewal process.

If you would like to delete certain goods or services from your trade mark before it is due to be renewed, you will need to file a request with IPONZ. 

4. Renew Your Trade Mark Online

IPONZ provides an online portal to renew all of the trade marks your business owns and pay their corresponding fees.

It costs $200 (excluding GST) to renew a trade mark for each class of goods or services it applies to.

This process will involve selecting the trade marks you want to renew and paying the renewal fee online. Additionally, you can use this chance to update any of your personal details as the owner, such as your address or contact details. 

Key Takeaways

If you own a registered trade mark, you need to renew this trade mark every 10 years. It is important that you get your renewal date right and renew a mark that still brings value to your business. If you would like more information or help with renewing your trade mark, LegalVision’s IP lawyers can assist as part of our LegalVision membership. For a low monthly fee, you will have unlimited access to lawyers to answer your questions and draft and review your documents. Call us today on 0800 005 570 or visit our membership page.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a registered trade mark?

A registered trade mark is a kind of intellectual property right that you have registered with the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ). This right protects a unique sign of your business, such as its name or logo.

How can I renew my registered trade mark?

IPONZ provides an online portal on their website for renewing your trade mark. You will need to choose which trade mark you want to renew and pay the corresponding fees.

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