Search terms: Intellectual Property, New Zealand
Provisions of the Trademarks Amendment Act 2011, newly in force, give updated powers to the Ministry of Economic Development and the Customs Service to investigate and prosecute people involved in the manufacture, import and sale of illegal goods. Customs will focus on importers of commercial quantities of counterfeit goods, repeat offenders and cases that pose community health and safety issues.
After 20 years the Waitangi Tribunal has released a report on the WAI 262 claim, in which the tribunal attempts to reconcile Maori IP rights with the predominantly European-influenced IP system in New Zealand. Among other things, it makes recommendations on the use of works inspired by Maori knowledge and proposes a new committee to make binding decisions on certain trademark issues.
The Waitangi Tribunal's WAI 262 report includes views on intellectual property in the genetic and biological resources of taonga species - that is, species that are significant to the culture or identity of Maori tribes. Among other things, the report recommends that a committee advise the commissioner of patents on whether inventions derive from Maori traditional knowledge or use taonga species.
The more people who know a secret, the harder it is to keep. For inventors and innovative companies, disclosing a patentable invention without first getting an non-disclosure agreement signed may destroy their prospects of subsequently obtaining patent protection. However, in some cases a provisional patent may be the answer.
The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act 2011 comes into force shortly. This controversial legislation was designed to give copyright holders a fast and cheap method of preventing unauthorised file sharing over the Internet. However, some critics argue that the system is unnecessary and will not deter serious pirates.
Creating a brand involves a lot of hard work, but it pays off when potential acquirers are lining up to buy the business. Registering brand names as trademarks in New Zealand and in a product's intended export markets means that when prospective purchasers carry out due diligence, they know that exclusivity has been secured in the countries where the mark was registered.