Register a trade mark, IPONZ

The challenge

There are about 15,500 trade marks registered with the Intellectual Property of New Zealand (IPONZ) every year. IPONZ data showed higher drop-off rates when small businesses applied. Many opted for applications via third parties with higher fees, or paying lawyers to submit applications on their behalf.

IPONZ wanted to make the process more accessible so small businesses would feel confident to do it themselves. There was also a desire to help applicants submit applications that meet the requirements first time round, removing the need to make changes to their application later.

The response

Business Connect worked with IPONZ to create a guided application form with simplified content, help text, and plain English examples. This service was designed to be more easily completed by small business users, and gave them a better understanding of what was required. The new Business Connect trade mark application form removes the complex options that are unnecessary for the majority of applicants, improving the speed and efficiency of submitting and processing applications.

API integration between the Business Connect system front-end and the IPONZ case management system ensured required data was transmitted accurately and immediately. The Business Connect and IPONZ teams worked collaboratively to troubleshoot teething issues with the new application form and released fixes quickly. .

The outcomes

  • Businesses can apply to register a trade mark  with a user-friendly experience on the Business Connect platform, with less need for professional services.
  • Completion rates have improved, with over 66% of applications successful on their first attempt.
  • Further improvements through analytics and enhancements to the form are ongoing. 

Business Connect is helping IPONZ give businesses a simplified, guided online application for the registration of a straightforward trade mark. It means they can confidently apply for a trade mark themselves and save time and money.

Rob Garrett, Business Systems Manager, Intellectual Property Office NZ (IPONZ).

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Last updated: 29 September 2023