Intellectual Property

Businesses are fully aware that their intellectual property (IP) is an asset. However, many still do not understand how they can protect it, how they can best exploit it, how they can enforce their rights to it and what strategies they need to manage and not loose it.

IP covers (among others):

  • Trade marks
  • Domain names
  • Copyright
  • Confidential information/trade secrets
  • Designs
  • Plant variety rights
  • Patents

You can use your IP to protect your business generally and you can commercially exploit it such as by licensing, franchising, or outright sale.

This is a complex area of law. There are a number of statutes that are well known (such as the Trade Marks Act 2002 and Copyright Act 1994) and some lesser known ones, such as the Major Events Management Act 2007. In addition, there are numerous rulings from the courts on how they should be interpreted.

In addition, should you ever wish to sell into an overseas market or to have your products manufactured overseas, you need to make sure you hold the IP rights under the laws of that country to permit you to do this. Brookfields Lawyers can assist you to keep track of the laws of these countries through our overseas contacts to make sure there are no unpleasant surprises. Importantly, as a business owner you do not want to be on the receiving end of enforcement proceedings from somebody whose rights you have breached in New Zealand or overseas. An Injunction could cripple your business.

Brookfields lawyers  can give you expert advice on:

  • Identifying what is IP that can be protected by law
  • Protecting your IP by registration and otherwise
  • Making money from your IP (including licensing, franchising, special purpose company structures and venture capital funding)
  • Ensuring you do not breach someone else's intellectual property rights
  • Effective management of your IP
  • Enforcing your IP rights when exploited by others, including if necessary by litigation.

Read more about Intellectual Property.

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