Learn IP

Learn IP

Intellectual property (IP) protects the expression of your ideas. Whether it be your company brand or slogan, something you have invented, or the visual design of an item, IP can add value. We’ve collated all the information you need to get started on your IP journey.

What is intellectual property?

IP is fundamental for most businesses and is a tool for creativity and innovation. There’s IP in everything and IP is everywhere. From the food you eat, to the mobile phone you use, the books you read, and the music you listen to. IP is likely involved in every aspect of your day.

Types of IP

IP gives you the exclusive use of your brand, innovation, or idea. Some IP types apply automatically, other types need to be registered with us.

Brands and creative IP

IP can help support and strengthen your brand, or protect something you have created. A combination of different types of IP may be useful for your business.

Protecting and registering your IP

By registering your IP, you are helping protect your business position in the market.

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Wai Mānuka – Three friends launch a premium, non-alcoholic drink made from locally sourced ingredients and take it to market with a powerful trade mark that uses Māori motifs. View the full case study

Māori IP considerations

New Zealand IP law includes specific rules that apply when we review applications that could be offensive to Māori or contrary to Māori values. Applications that include elements of Māori culture, such as words or designs, are reviewed by the relevant Māori Committee. There is no extra cost for this review.

If you’re thinking about applying to register IP that includes elements of Māori culture or traditional knowledge, we recommend that you get advice from an IP professional.

More information about Māori IP

IP must be registered in each country

While there is no such thing as a worldwide IP application, international law makes the process easier. Registration of IP across the world is done on a country-to-country basis. This means if you file your trade mark application with the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand, once granted, your trade mark is protected in New Zealand alone. This is the same for granted patents, designs and plant varieties.

If you’re considering exporting and want to protect your IP in different countries across the world, it’s best to get the advice of an IP professional.

Information on international trade marks 

Information on international patents

Professional help for your IP

The world of IP can be quite complex and technical. IP professionals can help you with your IP strategy and any IP applications you want to file.