Division and Merger of International Trade Mark Registrations
Following changes to the Madrid Agreement and Protocol in February of this year, trade mark law has been updated to allow for the division and merger of International Registrations designating New Zealand.
Effective from 21 March 2019, applicants for International Registrations which designate New Zealand can divide specific goods and/or services of an International Registration into a divisional trade mark. Trade mark owners may make use of this new provision where some goods and/or services of a New Zealand designation have attracted objections. In such cases, acceptable goods and/or services will be allowed to proceed to acceptance while the objected-to goods and/or services can be held back. The changes will also allow trade mark owners to merge records previously subject to partial assignment or division, back into a single International Registration.
Similar changes have been proposed for International Registrations which designate Australia – see the Exposure Draft of the Australian Regulations here. It is expected the changes will come into effect in Australia in early 2020. We will provide updates on the Australian changes as more details become available.