The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) has confirmed that changes to fees for patents and trade marks will be implemented in 2019.

Patent fees
Fees for patents and patent applications in New Zealand will increase. The fee hikes impact the request for examination and re-examination (a 50% increase), maintenance and renewal fees (a 100% to 200% increase, depending on the age of the patent), amendments after acceptance (a 230% increase) and restorations (a 500% increase). Fees for filing a new application (including requests for entering national phase) and voluntary amendments during examination will remain the same.

IPONZ also plans to introduce an excess claim fee for applications with 30 claims or more. The fee will be set at $120 for every five claims above the threshold. The fee will be charged after the patent application has been accepted, and will need to be paid before the patent is granted. Although the fee will be payable at acceptance, it will be calculated based on the maximum number of claims that the application contained at any point during the examination process (i.e. between the request for examination and acceptance). Therefore, claim numbers need to be managed throughout prosecution of the application to avoid excess claim fees.

Trade mark fees
New Zealand trade mark application fees will decrease. Filing a trade mark application will reduce from $150 to $100. Further fee reductions are available where the goods and services are selected from a ‘pick-list’, or where applications have already had a pre-application review from IPONZ. Renewal fees will also decrease from $350 to $200 (per class, every 10 years).

Timeframe
The changes to IPONZ fees have been approved by Cabinet, and will take effect in the third quarter of 2019.