Intellectual property guidance


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Intellectual property guidance

Intellectual property (IP) rights protect the expression of your idea in something you have made or created. IP is fundamental for most businesses, and is a tool for creativity, innovation, and even education. 

If you are unfamiliar with IP, see our overview to get an introduction and guidance on which IP is right for you.

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


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


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.

  • Protects the visual design of your product
  • Costs $100 to apply, excluding GST
  • Usually takes 6 months to acquire
  • Can last up to 15 years

Plant variety rights

A grant of plant variety rights for a new plant variety gives you the exclusive right to produce for sale and to sell propagating material of the variety.

  • Protects your specific plant variety
  • Costs a minimum of $900, excluding GST
  • Usually takes 1 to 5 years to acquire
  • Can last 20 or 23 years

Geographical indications

A geographical indication is a sign used on wines and spirits from a specific geographical location which possess a quality, reputation or other characteristic linked to that location.

  • Reinforces value of wines and spirits
  • Costs $5,000 to register
  • Takes a minimum of 6 months to acquire
  • Lasts 5 years before first renewal

Māori IP

Māori culture and traditional knowledge is a unique New Zealand taonga (treasure) — central to our national identity.