Trade marks can include words, logos, colours, shapes, sounds, smells – or any combination of these. Once a trade mark is registered, the ® symbol may be used to show that it is protected.
A trade mark enables businesses to distinguish their products or services from similar products or services offered by competitors. The main purpose is to create a distinctive and preferably memorable brand that customers associate with quality products or services.
Trade mark registration and protection
Find out about New Zealand trade mark registration and protection on the IPONZ website.
International trade mark treaties
New Zealand is a party to the World Trade Organisation's Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS), which requires member states to have a trade mark registration system and provide minimum levels of protection for trade marks.
New Zealand is also a party to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks, Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement concerning the International Registration of Marks (commonly referred as the Madrid Protocol) and the Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purpose of Registration of Marks, which are all administered by World Intellectual Property Organization.