News

Keep up-to-date with the latest intellectual property news:

28 Aug 2008

Supreme Court hears first trade mark case

The recently established Supreme Court, which replaced the Privy Council as the final court of appeal, has determined its first trademark case in Austin Nichols & Co Inc v Stichting Lodestar ([2007] NZSC 103, December 11 2007). The main question for determination was the weight to be placed on the decision of the commissioner of trademarks in an opposition. In June 2000 Stichting Lodestar applied... Read more

28 Aug 2008

Application to register mark by co-owner deemed to be in bad faith

In Neumann v Sons of the Desert SL (CIV 2007-485-212, November 5 2007), the High Court has confirmed that where there are co-owners of a trademark, an application to register the mark by only one of the owners without the co-owner’s knowledge is deemed to have been made in bad faith. In 1998 Herbert Neumann and two others incorporated a... Read more

28 Aug 2008

Great Barrier Air banned from using its name

In Great Barrier Airlines Flight Operations Limited v Great Barrier Air Limited (CIV 2007-404-5710, December 13 2007), the High Court has issued an interim injunction preventing the use of the name Great Barrier Air in relation to an airline service offering flights to and from Great Barrier Island. Both parties operate airlines to Great Barrier Island, a small island off the... Read more

28 Aug 2008

Genealogy services not similar to services to trace living relatives

In Intellectual Reserve Inc v Sintes (CIV 2007-404-2610, December 13 2007), the High Court has dismissed an appeal from the decision of the assistant commissioner of trademarks in relation to a stylised version of the words ‘family search’. Intellectual Reserve Inc is a not-for-profit corporation based in the United States which licenses the right to use the trademark FAMILYSEARCH... Read more

01 May 2008

Crack Down On Parallel Imports

Under the Copyright (Parallel Importation of Films and Onus of Proof) Amendment Act 2003, the onus of proof of copying has now been reversed, with imported copies of films, DVDs, CDs or videos being presumed to infringe in the absence of evidence to the contrary. The timing is probably pure chance, but changes passed to the New Zealand parallel importation laws... Read more

01 May 2008

New World Order: Changes In Technology Patent Trends

The debate about patentability of business methods and gene technology and the desirability of such patents has been enlivened by DET and GT. INTRODUCTION Major patent litigation in New Zealand has, in the past, predominantly concerned the pharmaceutical and chemical industries. To some extent this has occurred because major international companies involved in those areas have seen New Zealand as... Read more

01 May 2008

Now They Can Jail You For Stealing A Trade Secret - Whatever That Might Be

A new section in the Crimes Act 1961 means that stealing trade secrets is now a criminal offence punishable by up to five years in prison. This section makes it an offence for someone to dishonestly take, copy or obtain any document describing a trade secret knowing that it contains a trade secret, with the intention of obtaining a pecuniary advantage... Read more

01 May 2008

Submarine Patents

The problem with submarine patents is that they have been used to generate royalty incomes, by people who have been able to predict developments in a technology, rather than to protect their own developments. In the US, it has been possible to continuously re-file an application, as a divisional or a continuation, thereby effectively allowing the application to remain pending... Read more

01 May 2008

New Zealand exporters at serious risk from counterfeit havens

The strength of New Zealand brands will assist the New Zealand apparel industry to avoid the risk of being squeezed out of the market by an influx of cheap imported clothing.New Zealand is recognised internationally for its sporting, adventurous, outdoors identity, and the clothing going with it. This country is also rapidly gaining recognition as an origin of high... Read more

01 May 2008

Trade mark law gets historical overhaul

The new trade mark law, which came into force today, is the first complete overhaul of the law for 50 years and brings some welcome changes for brand owners. 20 August 2003 is a red letter day in the New Zealand trade mark world as new mark law comes into force. It ‘s the first complete overhaul of the law for 50 years,... Read more