Case studies

Ideas come in all shapes and sizes. It is likely that no matter your business or industry, intellectual property (IP) will help you along your journey. Find out more about how these New Zealand companies have leveraged IP to get to where they are today.


Trade marks Copyright

Learn how copyright is automatically applied for original artworks, such as handcrafted wallpapers! Gaining a trade mark for their brand name also gave an extra layer of protection and increases trust in their brand.

Ben Masters, co-founder of PaperHands Ltd talks about the trade mark.
Credit: Mark Tantrum Photography Ltd.
Duration: 1:19

Slow mood music plays. The film opens with close up views of grape vines in Martinborough, New Zealand, and then sweeps up to show a view of the Martinborough township.

We see a plain shop front on a Martinborough Street. Then the camera moves through the door into a large studio with wallpapers samples on the walls and various screen printing tools and resources.

The narrator says “Hi, my name is Ben Masters. I’m a co-founder of PaperHands. The idea for the business came when we were looking for wallpaper for our own house.”

The film shows a spatula mixing brightly coloured ink in a small container. We see Ben laying out a sheet of blank paper stock, setting up a screen and applying patterns.

“When we started PaperHands, we weren’t sure if it was something that would work.”

“We gave ourselves a couple of years to see if it would succeed, before we registered our trade mark.”

The film shows a finished pattern on a roll of paper, it’s in layered tones of grey on a black background.

“We registered (the trade mark) ourselves. It was really easy. We registered the word mark PaperHands.”

“The difference between hand made and machine made paper – I guess you do get a certain amount of variance and expression in the hand made wallpaper. I guess you have the opportunity to be different, to create different stuff. To take a chance.

The film shows Ben working at an illuminated drafting table, he is adding to a large drawing of a New Zealand bush scene.

“We set up in Martinborough because we live here.”

“A break through moment for us was when Urbis named us in their December issue as the best wallpaper of the year.”

The film shows stacked screen printing frames, they all hold different designs and have various names written on the frames like ‘native forest’.

“Helen and I create the ideas ourselves. But recently we’ve started working with a range of other New Zealand designers.”

“We want to be the first thing people think of when they want to buy a New Zealand wallpaper.”

The film shows a stack of wallpaper samples.

The credits show “Own your handcrafted wallpaper idea” and then show the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand logo.

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