1. The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand
The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) provides on-going technical assistance on request to developing and least developed countries. New Zealand will continue to support future work, on request, to improve the intellectual property systems of developing countries.
IPONZ is recognised for its efficient and effective online services, high quality examination and registration processes. As a result, IPONZ hosts delegations and study visits from developing and least developed countries to provide practical training and knowledge sharing.
Recently, IPONZ's ability to assist has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions at the New Zealand border. With these restrictions easing IPONZ can offer its assistance more readily again.
2. The Plant Variety Rights Office (PVRO)
New Zealand has been a member of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) since 1981. A key element of UPOV is cooperation between member States and the harmonisation of testing and examination activity. On an as requested basis, New Zealand supplies variety test reports to several members and utilises testing results from other States for the Rights decision here. Such activity encourages on going sharing and exchange of technical experience and expertise between UPOV member States.
New Zealand continues to actively participate in the Council, Consultative Committee, Administrative and Legal Committee, Technical Committee and the Technical Working Parties for Agriculture, Ornamentals and for Fruit. New Zealand is currently the chair of the Technical Working Party for Fruit Crops through to 2023. The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) conducted all meetings in 2021 by virtual means.
3. AANZFTA Economic Cooperation
The ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) mandates a programme of technical assistance activities to assist AANZFTA Parties to operationalise and implement the Agreement, particularly the 'Economic Cooperation' chapter of AANZFTA. Until June 2022 this was known as the AANZFTA Economic Cooperation Support Programme (AECSP). New Zealand has committed to continue to fund the AECSP successor programme, the AANZFTA Implementation Support Program (AISP), which continues to support AANZFTA Parties to operationalise and implement the Agreement. The successor programme became operational in 2022. Like the AECSP, the AISP is jointly funded by Australia and New Zealand.
Projects funded by the AISP are available to all ten ASEAN member States. The aim of AANZFTA Economic Cooperation is to facilitate AANZFTA implementation; progress built-in agenda negotiations; achieve deeper economic integration among the parties; and increase business utilisation of AANZFTA.
Under the 2023 Economic Cooperation Work Plan for the AISP, the programme will deliver a number of projects focused on intellectual property in the next year, including:
- Strengthening intellectual property knowledge for women's enterprises, supporting women-led businesses to develop their trademark (design and registration), and supporting women's enterprises to participate in the IP Week 2024.
- Knowledge-sharing activities and research on the competencies and skillsets of ASEAN, Australia, and New Zealand's intellectual property service professionals.
- Past AECSP projects that have focussed on intellectual property include:
- Assistance for ASEAN member States to accede to the Madrid Protocol and implement it post-accession, facilitating trademark registration regionally and globally.
- Projects to strengthen ASEAN member States' institutional capacity to design and adopt a high-quality, consistent, and sustainable approach to patent examination and tailored training—through three intertwined projects: Regional Patent Examination Training (RPET), Ideal Patent Examination Training (IPET) Model, and the RPET Mentoring Programme.
- Development of a Regional Intellectual Property Public Education and Awareness Strategy and a pool of resources (e.g., IP for Business Portal, handbook, and guide) to raise awareness of AANZFTA business communities and IP creators about strategic IP management, helping them reap the benefits of AANZFTA through innovation and applying for and using their IP rights.