Protect yourself with patents and trade marks

If you’ve got a new invention, are launching a brand or marketing a new stream of business, it’s important to consider whether you need a patent or trade mark. Both take at least six months to process in New Zealand, so the sooner you do your homework, the better.

  1. A patent is granted for an invention - It can be a new product or process, the material it is made from, or how something is made.
  2. A trademark protects your name, logo or brand - It can be a word such as a name, a phrase, number, symbol, logo, colour, label, shape, or even a sound or smell, provided the mark can be represented graphically.

What are the benefits of a patent?

* Applying for a patent? Be careful about revealing details of your invention to other people before you have filed your application: doing this may cause your application to be declined.

What are the benefits of a trade mark?

Not sure if your name is unique? Before you do anything, check to see if a trade mark or logo like yours is already on the NZ Register. Use the Trade Mark Checker on the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand's website.

* If you need protection in other countries as well as New Zealand, talk to an IP lawyer. They do extensive searches of brand names across all relevant categories, advise on similar companies and can tell you whether your application is likely to be accepted.


Following changes under the Patent Amendment Regulations 2019 and Trade Marks Amendment Regulations 2019, trade mark registration and renewal have decreased slightly. Some fees for patents will increase.

We can help you decide on the best way forward. 03 474 0475

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