Intellectual property

What is intellectual property?

Intellectual property refers to new or original innovations and creations of the mind such as:

  • literary or artistic works, sound recordings and films
  • performances of performing artists
  • inventions in all fields of human endeavour
  • industrial designs
  • trade marks, service marks and commercial names and designations.

There are various forms of IP protection available.

Intellectual property rights

Intellectual property rights give creators and innovators the exclusive right, for a limited time, to control what others may do with their work.

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An introduction to copyright protection and laws in New Zealand.

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Design registration

Registration of a design gives the owner the exclusive right to make, import, sell or license the design for up to 15 years.

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Intellectual property enforcement

Trade mark owners and copyright holders are reporting a growth in the sale of counterfeits in New Zealand. Find out how you can enforce your intellectual property rights.

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Geographical indications

A geographical indication is used to identify goods that have a quality, reputation or other characteristic specific to a particular place.

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A patent protects an invention that is a ‘method of new manufacture’. It gives exclusive use of an invention for up to 20 years and can become a valuable business asset that can be bought, sold, transferred or licensed.

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Plant variety rights

Plant Variety Rights (PVR) gives you the exclusive right to produce for sale and sell propagating material of a new plant variety.

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Trade marks

Trade marks can include words, logos, colours, shapes, sounds, smells – or any combination of these.

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Consultation on fees charged by the Intellectual Property Office of NZ

IPONZ is seeking feedback on proposals to change the fees it charges for patent and trade mark services.

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Intellectual property rights service centre

To improve the transparency of intellectual property rights and enforcement in the APEC region, member economies have been encouraged to set up virtual IPR Service Centres.

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Integrated circuit design protection

In New Zealand, the layout design of semi-conductors and integrated circuits is protected by the Layout Designs Act 1994.

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Parallel importing in New Zealand

"Parallel importing" allows retailers, wholesalers and other parties to obtain goods subject to intellectual property rights directly from licensed or authorised overseas sources, rather than dealing with local suppliers, licensees or agents.

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Trans-Tasman licensing regime for patent attorneys

Australia and New Zealand have implemented a single trans-Tasman licensing regime for patent attorneys.

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Haka Ka Mate Attribution Act guidelines

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and Ngāti Toa Rangatira have jointly developed guidelines for the Haka Ka Mate Attribution Act 2014.

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Trans-Pacific Partnership Intellectual Property Chapter

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a free trade agreement that will liberalise trade and investment between 12 Pacific-rim countries: New Zealand, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Viet Nam.

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Contact us

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For further information (except legal advice), please contact:

Business Law
Commerce, Consumers and Communications Branch
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
15 Stout Street
PO Box 1473

Phone | 04-472 0030 
Fax | 04-499 1791
Email | 
Copyright Act Review