Professional help for your IP

Professional help for your IP

The world of intellectual property (IP) can be quite complex and technical. IP professionals can help you with your IP strategy and any IP applications you want to file. Find out more below.

What is an IP professional?

An IP professional is an expert qualified/trained to help with IP applications. They can help provide advice at any time during your IP journey. Using an IP professional will help you get the greatest protection and make it more likely that your application will be successful.

IP professionals often specialise in particular areas (such as patents or trade marks). You’ll need to ensure you are talking to the right type of IP professional for your business. There are many firms out there who have the mix of specialised skills you will need.

How can an IP professional help?

An IP professional can help provide you with any advice relating to legal or business decisions in the IP space. This includes:

  • preparing and submitting applications
  • providing advice on the commercialisation of your IP
  • developing an IP strategy for your business
  • searching for ideas similar to yours
  • the ongoing management of your IP and monitoring of potential infringements
  • providing advice and action on international IP applications
  • developing confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements.
paku at whiteboard

Paku - Two friends applied to trade mark their company name, Paku, to help protect their brand with a name that is unique to Aotearoa. View the full case study

How to choose an IP professional

When you get professional IP advice it is important to get the right fit of expertise to help you protect your IP. These directories of legal practitioners may be useful resources to find an IP professional with the right set of skills.

NZIPA (New Zealand Intellectual Property Attorneys Inc) - Member patent attorney firms

Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board – Register of patent attorneys and firms

The New Zealand Law Society Te Kāhui Ture o Aotearoa – Find a lawyer

Tips for meeting with your IP professional

Time with an IP professional can be expensive, so it’s important you are prepared for your meeting. Ask about costs up front so you know what to expect.

When you meet with your IP professional, they will want to know about your idea or invention. To make the best use of your time, before you meet make sure you:


Have a clear understanding

Have a clear understanding how your idea is different from others already. Your unique ideas are what sets your business apart from competitors.


Have some basic knowledge

Have some basic knowledge on the type of IP that may apply to your idea or invention. In many cases, we recommend reaching out to an IP attorney to help with your IP application.


Supply any documentation

Supply any documentation (such as plans, sketches, details of the process etc.) that are relevant to your application. It is important to keep your idea a secret until you have submitted your IP application.


Your competitors in the market

Research and document what your competitors are doing in the market. Do your research up front of other technology or products that are out in market similar to yours.

How to enforce your IP

If you think someone has infringed your rights, we recommend you engage with an IP professional. They can advise you on the best course of action and act on your behalf for the next steps. This could simply range from sending a cease-and-desist letter to further legal action.

An application for IP cannot be enforced - IP rights can only be enforced when they are granted. 

Do you have a question for us?

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Did you know?
The New Zealand Patents Act was New Zealand’s first registered intellectual property law. This came into force in 1860, with the first patent being granted in 1861.