Intellectual property (IP) rights include:
- trade marks to distinguish your goods and services
- patents for new inventions
- designs for the distinctive aesthetic of your products
- plant variety rights for new varieties in agriculture or horticulture
- geographical indications for wines and spirits that are characteristic of a particular location
- copyright for your creative works like books, paintings and software.
IP is fundamental for most businesses, and is a tool for creativity, innovation, and even education.
Some IP rights may be registered, which gives you certain exclusive rights over your brand, innovation or the expression of your idea.
By protecting your IP, you may gain a competitive advantage in the market place, enabling you to profit and grow your business.
IP reference cards
Keep IP information on hand, with reference cards about what each IP type is for, what it gives you, and how it works. Additional cards show you how to set up a company name and a website domain.
- Trade marks [PDF, 466 KB]
- Copyright [PDF, 258 KB]
- Trade secrets [PDF, 261 KB]
- Designs [PDF, 261 KB]
- Patents [PDF, 262 KB]
- Plant variety rights [PDF, 272 KB]
- Geographical indications [PDF, 262 KB]
- Company names [PDF, 262 KB]
- Domain names [PDF, 262 KB]
Search existing IP in New Zealand
To help you find a market niche or business partner, you can search our online databases to discover what IP assets your competitors have an interest in, including areas of technology and who they have sold IP assets to.
If you’re setting up a business, use ONECheck to search for existing trade marks, company names, website domain names, and social media handles that are the same or similar to one you have in mind.
If you have a possible trade mark in mind – whether it’s a business or product name, slogan, logo, or image – you can use Trade Mark Check to see if there are any trade marks on the New Zealand Trade Mark register that may conflict with yours.