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Amendments to Trademark Laws

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Apr 02, 2013 (Newsletter Issue 4/13)
New Zealand
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TM Law Reform/TM Amendment Regulations

The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) announced that the amendments that are being made to the Trade Marks Regulations 2003 were notified in the New Zealand Gazette on 28 March 2013.
The Trade Marks Amendment Regulations 2013 come into force on 29 April 2013. These are the second part of the update to the Trade Mark Regulations 2003, following the implementation of the first part in December 2012.

The primary purposes of these Regulations are to update the Hearings procedures to improve the administration of proceedings before the Commissioner. Changes include:
- Allowing the Commissioner to grant an extension of time up to 3 months if the request is considered reasonable in the circumstances
- Introducing procedures relating to undertakings regarding confidential evidence
- Allowing the Commissioner to consolidate proceedings
- Amending regulation 75 allowing the Commissioner to grant an extension of time after the deadline has passed (request must still be filed prior to the deadline)
- Introducing procedures if a party repeatedly fails to - follow the directions of the Commissioner from a case management conference/ - provide documentation as directed by the Commissioner/ - agree to a Hearing date or attend a Hearing

In addition there are some other miscellaneous amendments to improve the operation of the regulations, including:
- Allowing an agent to remove themselves as agent from a trade mark
- Mandating that a class number must be provided when filing a Search and Preliminary Advice application
- Clarifying when a request for an extension of time in certain circumstances applies (continued processing)

For more information see the Trade Marks Amendment Regulations 2013 here