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Intellectual Property Issues

When is it safe to disclose your invention?

When you have an idea for a new invention, it’s only natural you’d want to share it. Discussing your product or process with others can provide valuable feedback and help you work through any...

A Bega reason to register your trade mark

Trade mark rights are assigned – transferred – from one owner to another all the time. How many trade mark owners know, though, that if they assign an unregistered trade mark to another owner,...

IP and social media – mind your Ts, Cs, Ps and Qs

Social media is a powerful marketing tool. Just ask all those small businesses who have signed up this year to Facebook groups like Chooice (originally called New Zealand Made Products). If used and managed properly,...

When IP rights are bona vacantia it ain’t no vacation

In my last article I wrote about the importance of doing thorough due diligence on any business or asset acquisition. I recommended drawing up a list of due diligence issues, including identifying and verifying...

Do the due (diligence, that is)

It is a sad fact that the victims of Covid-19 are not just those who contracted the virus. The victims also include – as has been widely publicised – many businesses. From small, home-based...

IP strategy and portfolio management during a crisis

The shock of COVID-19 to the business community has been sharp and severe. The lockdown in New Zealand has challenged all businesses, and the evolving situation overseas is creating additional problems. We’ve seen a...
If you don’t know where you are going, then any road will do

If you don’t know where you are going, then any road will do

The competitive and fast-changing business environment is posing new challenges for all businesses. An effective tool in combating these challenges is the development of an intellectual property (IP) strategy. Although it sounds complex, an IP...

Dispute resolution in NZ – the times they are a-changin’

Cheaper and faster court resolution for Intellectual Property (IP) disputes is on its way – maybe. On 16 December 2019, the Rules Committee – a statutory body that has responsibility for procedural rules in the...

An eye for detail pays off

One of the most exciting parts of my job is seeing New Zealand companies take their ideas and leverage them. Our firm has recently worked with brothers Frank and Paul Austin, to take their...

Time to steady the IP ship

There seems little doubt that the New Zealand economy is heading for stormy seas. Headlines like “Slip sliding away” (ANZ New Zealand Business Outlook, 30 September 2019), “Business confidence at lowest level since 2009: NZIER”...

IP insurance – can you afford to be without it?

House, car and contents. Health, life and income. Liability, assets and interruption. These are all types of personal and business insurance commonly available in New Zealand. What is not commonly available in New Zealand is insurance...

To consent or not to consent?

That is the question: Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of consumer confusion, or to take arms against a sea of potential troubles and by opposing end them. “What...

Taking your innovation to the world

The decision to export your product or service from New Zealand can be exciting and overwhelming. Exciting because it represents an opportunity to expand your business and conquer larger, more lucrative overseas markets. Overwhelming...

Names have power, so choose yours wisely

In his book The Lightening Thief, Rick Riordan wrote that “names have power.” Never was a truer word written. You only need look at Google, Apple and Amazon to see commercial proof of this. According...

Sky NZ – 2, Sellers of ‘Kodi’ boxes – 0

It’s been a good six months for Sky NZ. At least as far as its war on 'Kodi' boxes is concerned anyway. Kodi boxes are set-top media and entertainment boxes so nicknamed because they use...
Imitation may be flattery, but it’s potentially illegal

Imitation may be flattery, but it’s potentially illegal

Imitation is a kind of “artless flattery”, wrote Eustace Budgell in The Spectator in October 1714. Some 300 years later, imitation is still a kind of artless flattery. But it is also illegal if it...