Changes to New Zealand designs practice

In line with the New Zealand Designs Amendment Regulations 2011, as of 19 April 2011 the following changes apply to New Zealand designs practice:

The Commissioner of Designs now has the discretion to restore abandoned design applications or lapsed design Registrations.

As per similar provisions in other jurisdictions, the restoration process involves submitting to the Commissioner reasons why the abandonment or lapsing was unintentional. Importantly, it should be noted that the application for restoration must be made within 3 months of abandonment or within 12 months of lapsing.

The issuance of the Certificate of Registration can now be delayed by up to 15 months.

The effect of this new provision is that registration/publication of the design can be delayed by up to 15 months. This can be advantageous if Applicants wish to keep their designs secret for as long as possible. Previously, this option was not available and, assuming the design application was in order upon filing, it could be published in a few short weeks.

In addition to the above provisions, various filing practice changes have been codified including the ability to file applications online and the removal of the requirement for duplicate copies of forms and representations.