A brand or logo distinguishing the goods or services of one trader from another can be registered as a trade mark at IPONZ. A registered trade mark is entitled to display the ® symbol. A fee is paid to IPONZ when applying to register a trade mark.
The main requirements for registration are that the trade mark is:
* described graphically, that is, in words or pictures;
* distinctive (unusual) and not something that is descriptive of the goods or services, because that would prevent other traders using that word;
* not misleading or deceptive;
* not offensive to any section of the New Zealand community, including Maori.
A trade mark is registered for one or more particular classes of goods or services in New Zealand. Other traders might register the same trade mark for different kinds of goods and or services. However, trade marks that are considered world famous are not permitted to be registered in New Zealand by another trader for any class of goods. Nobody else can use the registered trade mark for trading purposes for goods or services of the same class. If they do, a legal action can be brought against them. A registered trade mark never expires so long as it is continuously used by its owner for commercial purposes and a renewal fee is paid to IPONZ every ten years.