Intellectual Property Law
Intellectual Property Law is a complex field. The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (“IPONZ”) has a good description here of what Intellectual Property (IP) entails.
In simple terms, Intellectual Property refers to the products of creative expressions. This includes works of art, musical compositions, literature and discoveries that come out of research and development.
The IP protection that has the broadest reach is a non-registrable copyright. This refers to work that does not require official registration for it to exist. To fall into this category, the article in question – either physical or intangible- requires a degree of original effort. It incorporates many important business assets such as databases and customer lists and overlaps with the registration of software and trademark rights.
IPONZ provides useful information on registrable forms of IP. While certain types of IP can be accessed and registered using their resources, many registrable items and concepts depend on a significant degree of technical and scientific input. At Wynyard Wood, we have a good working relationship with the organisations that provide this technical advice.
When it comes to Intellectual Property, it is what you do with it that counts. Whether you are enjoying it as a collector of art, protecting your own artworks as valuable pieces of personal property, identifying, protecting and utilising IP as a commercial asset, or using the IP of others as a licensee or franchisee, it pays to understand your rights and obligations.
Using the combined knowledge of our commercial, employment, litigation and private client teams, we can provide advice and assistance in navigating the complex area of IP law, adding significant value to your IP assets in the process.
- Personal Ownership Advice – Is your interest in IP purely personal, for pleasure and not profit?
- Ownership Issues – Who owns your IP now? Who will own it in the future? Will you require a Trust?
- Commercial Intellectual Property Ownership – Does your business require brand names, trademarks, or other registrable forms of IP such as patents?
- Cost-Effective IP Protection – What do you need to build an IP Protection that is cost-efficient?
- Intellectual Property Access Issues – Can you access someone else’s IP? What are the conditions? Are the terms of any confidentiality, license or franchise agreement unduly restrictive?
- Sharing Intellectual Property – How should you go about permitting access to your IP? What happens if you combined multiple party’s IP? What are the conditions of use? What if something new is developed during the project? Who owns it? Who can use it? What restrictions and opportunities are there?
- Employees & Intellectual Property – How will you manage your employees’ access to your company’s IP? What if a key employee leaves or is dismissed? Do they own your IP? Can they compete against you?
- Intellectual Property Rights and Disputes What can you do about enforcing your rights?