International trademark treaty to come into force this year

Issue 43 – October 2012

Commerce Minister Craig Foss announced last month that regulations to implement two major international trademark treaties will be in force in New Zealand by the end of the year.

New Zealand deposited the Instrument of Accession to the Madrid Protocol and the Ratification of the Singapore Treaty with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on 10 September 2012. The agreements will enter into force in New Zealand on 10 December 2012.

The Madrid Protocol provides a cost effective way for individuals and businesses with trademarks to protect their marks in multiple countries, by filing one application with a single office and without the need for a local agent to do the filing. The regulations will allow for trademarks for multiple overseas territories to be filed with the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) through an international registration system. The Singapore Treaty is aimed at internationally harmonising the administrative rules and procedures for trademark registration.

The regulations will also assist in meeting obligations under the Nice Agreement (concerning the international classification of goods and services for the purposes of registering trademarks and service marks) and more closely align New Zealand's trademark regime with Australia's. The New Zealand and Australian Governments have agreed to work towards developing a single trademark regime as part of their Single Economic Market programme.

→ Visit the WIPO website for more information on the Madrid protocol

→ Read Minister Craig Foss's press statement about the Madrid protocol

Summarised from Russell McVeagh Watching Brief Newsletter, 3 October 2012.


Published in business and ICT.