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New guide helps businesses integrate Māori cultural elements into their IP

The unique branding opportunities and commercial benefits that Māori culture represents have been opened up to more businesses with the launch of an intellectual property (IP) guide by the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ).

The Guide to protecting intellectual property with a Māori cultural element has been developed after in-depth research and customer segmentation identified the need for more information, specifically for individuals and businesses wanting to protect, manage or use Māori IP.

IPONZ examiners use special processes to protect mātauranga Māori when granting intellectual property rights – a unique arrangement in the world of IP – and we make it clear in this guide how people can respectfully integrate Māori cultural elements into their IP.

The practical guide will help more businesses leverage the creativity and innovation happening in the Māori economic sector, as well as protecting and growing Māori IP.

Information in the guide includes each type of IP right, such as patents, copyright, and trade marks, case studies and practical tools on how to use Māori IP, as well as explanations of how IPONZ can help.

The guide is expected to prove helpful to Māori individuals, communities, organisations and enterprises, as well as any others interested in Māori IP.

For IPONZ the release of the guide builds on our role as a regulatory organisation that grants and registers IP, and helps customers realise the full commercial value of their creativity.