Intellectual Property law in New Zealand is administered by The Intellectual Property Office (IPONZ) which is responsible for the application, examination and registration of patents, designs and trade marks. The Office is also empowered by some of the current legislation to deal with matters such as oppositions and revocations, and ownership disputes. A right of appeal before the Commissioner is provided to an applicant for most sections of the Acts administered by the Intellectual Property Office. The Commissioner also has limited powers of discretion over most matters governed by corresponding regulations (to each Act) and for matters defined in certain sections of each Act.
Appeal to the High Court, and higher courts, exists for most decisions of the Commissioner, although time limits may be imposed within the various Acts, or the right of appeal precluded. Certain actions, such as patent revocation, may be taken to the High Court in the first instance, although the issues, grounds, and the manner by which they are to be considered can vary from those considered before the Commissioner. Court decisions issuing in other British Commonwealth countries often carry weight in New Zealand courts (and Intellectual Property Office hearings), particularly in the absence of New Zealand case law on the issue.