Trade marks are signs that distinguish one trader’s goods and/or services from those of another trader. Such signs can include words, logos, colours, shapes, sounds and even smells.

How do I get a trade mark registration?

Trade marks must have three key elements to be considered acceptable for registration, namely they must be:

  1. capable of being represented graphically (usually more of an issue for the more unusual sound or smell marks);
  2. not confusingly similar to any prior mark; and
  3. inherently distinctive, i.e. not laudatory or descriptive.

A pre-filing search will give you a good idea of whether your trade mark meets these registrability criteria.  We will work with you to help you develop a strong branding strategy that protects your product range and sets you apart from competitors here and abroad.

Obtaining a trade mark registration is generally a straightforward process.  Once the application for registration has been filed, the trade mark is examined to see whether it is eligible for registration.  If yes, a Notice of Acceptance will be issued.  If not, an Examination Report will issue detailing the objections to registration.  We will then work together to try to overcome these objections.

Following acceptance of the application, the trade mark is advertised for a defined period of time by the Intellectual Property Office during which the application may be opposed by third parties. If no one opposes the application during the relevant time frame, the application will proceed to registration.

Please click to view NZ Trade Mark Process – NZ Originating Applications

Please click to view NZ Trade Mark Process – Overseas Originating Applications