The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) has proposed stiff hikes to patent fees.

A fee review occurs every five years, and this is the first since the new Patents Act 2013 came into force. Several options are proposed for how the fee increase could be implemented, but the preferred option places the largest increases when requesting examination (a 50% increase), at maintenance and renewal (a 100% to 200% increase, depending on the age of the patent) and restorations (a 500% increase).  There is also the introduction of an excess claim fee payable for 30 claims or more, payable when requesting examination and during examination should the claim number increase.

IPONZ operates on a cost-recovery model, in which the fees charged are intended to cover the costs of maintaining the Office. The proposed fee increases are defended as necessary to recover the costs of implementing the new patent eligibility requirements of the Patents Act 2013, which continue to exceed revenue. IPONZ further notes that the proposed increases will put New Zealand’s official fees on par with those of Australia, the United Kingdom and Singapore.

IPONZ also proposes a modest reduction in trade mark fees. At the moment, trade mark revenue has been subsidising the costs of patents services. The IPONZ fee proposal aims to restore parity between the trade mark and patent fees so that fees for each IP regime are proportional to their share of costs.

No changes are proposed to the fees relating to registered designs.

Written submissions on the proposal are due by 30 July 2018. The official IPONZ announcement and relevant documents may be found here.

IPONZ proposes implementation of the amended fees to be in early 2019 with a notice period of at least 28 days.  It may therefore be prudent for applicants to consider making an early request for examination of relevant applications.  We will continue to report updates on this in the news section of our website.

Please contact us if you have any questions.