Intellectual Property Documents | LawLive
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Intellectual Property

In New Zealand, rights are acquired to various categories of intellectual property (IP) either by registration or under common law use. Registration processes for Designs, Trade Marks, Patents and Plant Breeders Rights are conducted by the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand. IP Australia also keeps a public record. Visit for detailed information about these IP regimes and extensive related information.

Copyright is not subject to registration in New Zealand (but is in some overseas countries) and a claim to copyright in New Zealand is identified by using the © symbol followed by the name of the copyright owner and the year. It is beyond the scope of LAWLIVE® services to discuss here the full range of material in which copyright vests, however there are specialist websites which address this topic.

The above categories of IP can be transferred to a 3rd party and are often included as part of a sale of business. However any sale of IP may have taxation implications (including Capital Gains Tax and/or stamp duty) when goodwill is included with the sale and we strongly recommend that appropriate professional advice be sought when dealing with the transfer of IP.

A separate type of IP is covered by the term Confidential Information which protects information not in the public domain and sometimes includes know-how.

When a business contracts with an outside service provider to provide goods and/or services, the business will often require the service provider to sign a Confidentiality Agreement protecting the proprietary information of the business as an essential condition of the contract.

An employer will generally include a confidentiality clause in an Employment Agreement, especially when engaging executives and senior management. On termination of employment/engagement, a formal Release document may also include an undertaking whereby the executive/employee is to refrain from disclosing certain Confidential Information.

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