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Level 4 Dominion Building
78 Victoria Street
Wellington 6011
Aotearoa, NZ

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NZ Intellectual Property Office

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

A tool for DIYers and professionals alike — demystifying and guiding people through the process of protecting their IP.

Chrometoaster delivered under the Common Web Services Panel.

The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) administers trademarks, patents and other intellectual property rights. The IPONZ website is NZ's authoritative source of information about Intellectual Property (IP) for businesses and individuals, as well as the starting point to IPONZ's application processes.

The key design problem we faced was a tension between the needs of two different types of user, the first: expert users like IP lawyers who spent their days managing IP on behalf of their clients, the second: business owners and the public who generally over-estimated their own understanding. This gap in understanding led to close to 50% of all trademark applications being rejected, costing both parties substantial time and money.

Three solutions were needed: a way to give experts direct access to specialist search, transactional systems and technical information they used every day; a method for explaining to the user all their options and how they might apply to their business and; just-in-time checks on the user's understanding to support their decisions. We also needed to recognise IPONZ's status as sub-brand of MBIE by finding a unique but sympathetic expression of the overarching brand framework.

We began by reorganising all IPONZ's technical and procedural information into a "library" that allowed clear access for users with a specific need and well-organised summary information for those with less expertise.

Next, we designed an expert-facing dashboard called — Manage IP — where all frequent transactions, specialist search and technical information were set out. From the page title on down this was designed to direct casual users elsewhere on the site and, instead, address the needs of the experts.

For the general user, we built a dynamic home page that allows for quick prioritisation of the options based on their needs. With a single click or tap, they can identify their industry and see a prioritised list of IP types that are most likely to address their needs.

The site demystifies IP, supports the user in achieving their goals and presents relevant content beautifully and simply — changing what could be a dry, text-heavy and technical site into an accessible, elegant and engaging one. The business is already seeing the difference too — getting positive feedback from their harshest critics: New Zealand's IP experts, whilst experiencing a decrease in problems with applications.

Built on the NZ Government's Common Web Platform (SilverStripe CMS)

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