|But it looks nothing like a flightless bird?|
Wednesday, 10 October 2012
Avid IPKat readers will be aware of New Zealand's imminent accession to the Madrid Protocol (see post here) but the actual date has long been the subject of speculation. Now though, via a triple announcement of WIPO Information Notices, we know that 10 December 2012 is the all important date when owners of international trade marks may designate the Land of the Long White Cloud or Aotearoa.
Much like the UK, New Zealand designations must be accompanied by a declaration of an intention to use the mark in relation to the goods and/or services specified. The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand will also have up to 18 months to notify applicants of a provisional refusal of protection and may still refuse protection after the 18 month period following an opposition (though this Kat hopes the majority of applications will be processed well before this).
Curiously [but crucially for those brands seeking protection in all jurisdictions - Merpel], the tiny island of Tokelau will not be covered by an international designation of New Zealand. Fortunately however, the island with 1,411 occupants (in October 2011) is still covered by a domestic New Zealand application. This Kat has no doubt that there is currently fierce debate in Tokelau as to whether it should join the international trade mark registration system.