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Protect your business ideas

Intellectual property (IP) protects the expression of your ideas. From trade marks to patents, and designs to plant variety rights, you can benefit your business.

Learn about IP
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Types of intellectual property

Ideas come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. There are a few different ways you can protect them. Not sure what you need? Find out below.

Trade marks

Distinguish your goods or services in the market place by using a trade mark. Your trade mark could include words, logos, shapes, colours, sounds, smells or any combination of these.

  • Protects your logo, name and brand
  • Costs $100 per class, excluding GST
  • Takes a minimum of 6 months to acquire
  • Can last up to 10 years before renewal


Created automatically with original work, like artwork, books, websites, computer programs, drawings, plays, films, music, and sound recordings. You may use the symbol © to help you demonstrate that you claim copyright in a particular work, but you do not need to.

  • Protects original works
  • Free
  • Automatic right
  • Duration varies depending on the category


A patent gives you a legal right to stop others from making, using, or selling something you have invented for up to 20 years. Your rights only exist in the country or region where your patent is granted.

  • An exclusive right for a new invention
  • Costs $250 to apply, excluding GST
  • Takes a minimum of 6 months to acquire
  • Can last up to 20 years

Dreaming up a catchy name or fantastic logo? Use Trade Mark Check to see if a trade mark like yours already exists on the NZ register

Check a trade mark

Other registered IP types

IPONZ also grants and registers the following types of IP.


A design in New Zealand is defined as the new or original features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament applied to an article by any industrial process or means.

Plant variety rights

A grant of Plant Variety Rights for a new plant variety provides the exclusive right to exploit propagating material of the variety.

Geographical indications

Geographical indications are used to inform consumers that a product originates from a particular geographical region, and has a quality, reputation or characteristic that is essentially attributable to its geographical origin.

Other considerations

Some other considerations for your company that could complement registered IP.

Domain name registration

A domain name helps people locate your website. It distinguishes your website from global competitors.

Company name registration

A registered business name stops any other person from registering a company with that name. Reserving your company name is the first step in incorporating a company in New Zealand.

Trade secrets

Key confidential information that is not publicly known but that has real economic value to a business. Trade secrets include things like confidential processes, customer information, business strategies, and secret recipes.

The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) grants and registers IP rights in New Zealand. This includes trade marks, patents, designs, plant variety rights and geographical indications. We also provide general information about non-registered IP including copyright.

Our services help you protect your innovations so that you get the full economic benefit of your IP.

Learn more about IPONZ