IPONZ trial for hearings to be held at short notice
Until 30 September 2021 the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) is trialing an initiative to schedule hearings for proceedings which can be heard by the Assistant Commissioner at short notice.
Currently there is delay approximating 12 months for a hearing dates once a proceeding (opposition, revocation, invalidity action etc) is in order to be heard. It is not uncommon for a scheduled hearing to be cancelled by the parties due to the matter being settled. In an attempt to utilize the time freed up by a cancellation IPONZ is giving parties to a proceeding the option to apply to be added to a shortlist to be offered a hearing date at short notice.
Once a proceedings is placed on the short list, IPONZ will notify the parties and prescribe the timeline to get the case in order for the hearing. From the date of this notification, the initiating party will have 1 month to file and serve its written submissions and the responding party will then have 2 weeks to file their written submissions. The IPONZ Hearings Office will set the timeline in accordance with the standard Pre-Hearing Directions.
Given the long delays in securing a hearing date we welcome this initiative. Contact us if you have a matter awaiting determination by IPONZ and want it added to the short notice short list.