4 April, 2012
New Zealand is a step closer to joining an international protocol that will make it easier for entrepreneurs to protect their ideas, Commerce Minister Craig Foss announced today.
Mr Foss met with the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organisation, Mr Francis Gurry at Parliament today, to discuss New Zealand's accession to the Madrid Protocol.
New Zealand will be the first country to undertake an 'operational preparedness' test before it implements the protocol.
The Madrid Protocol provides an international regime for the registration of trademarks, called the Madrid system. It will enable New Zealand businesses 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. Currently, New Zealand businesses need to submit separate applications in each country where protection is required.
"When New Zealand is fully signed up, Kiwi companies will have a one-stop-shop for worldwide trade mark registration" says Mr Foss.
Mr Foss says New Zealand's online trademark registration system will easily satisfy the required criteria.
"We're a world leader in the area of online trade mark registration and I'm confident we'll pass the application test with flying colours" says Mr Foss.