Having registered trade mark protection in Australia does not provide protection in New Zealand.
Here are three reasons to protect your trade marks in New Zealand:
Close economic ties
Despite intense sporting rivalries between the countries, Australia and New Zealand have always had a close economic relationship. The countries have for many years sought to harmonise regulatory requirements and standards and to reduce compliance costs, making the export of goods between the countries easier.
This has resulted in New Zealand often being the next point of call for Australian companies looking to expand overseas - New Zealand is Australia's 6th largest trading partner. Even if you are not currently trading in New Zealand, it is still good practice to protect your trade marks there given close geographical proximity of the countries and to ensure you keep your options open should an opportunity arise.
Unlike Australia, the New Zealand Trade Marks Office does not charge registration fees. Therefore, you are only required to pay one upfront official filing fee of NZ$150 per class (about AU$140) to register your trade mark - compared to AU$200 per class in official filing fees and AU$300 per class in official registration fees in Australia. (Professional fees will also arise)
This is a low cost measure to ensure you have secured your position in New Zealand.
Once you file a trade mark application in New Zealand, the New Zealand Trade Marks Office will examine it within 3 weeks. Subject to any third party oppositions, this short turnaround time means you will have a good indication within a few weeks as to whether the trade mark is available for registration. We therefore often recommend filing a direct National Application in New Zealand rather than including New Zealand as a designation in an International Registration, which can unnecessarily delay registration in New Zealand.
If you have any further questions or require expert advice, please don't hesitate to contact us.