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Nowadays, profit can be made not only from the sale of goods or services under a well-known brand, but also by allowing other market players to use the trademark through licensing. That is why licensing agreements are increasingly being concluded in various business sectors, both at the national and international levels. It is important to conclude a license agreement not only for the use of TM, but also for any other intellectual property.

If you are interested in obtaining intellectual property rights in New Zealand or are planning to set up a company in New Zealand, you may find this material useful.

Foreign business in New Zealand

New Zealand has widely opened its doors to foreign entrepreneurs who have expressed their intention to register a New Zealand company. The country stands out from its counterparts for its favourable business climate. It is a place filled with opportunities for small and large companies alike, be it expanding on existing industries or filling out gaps in the market.

In order to work calmly and without problems in this country, the company just needs to adhere to its laws, namely the "Companies Law" and "Financial Reporting Law". Another prerequisite is that the head of the company must be a resident or physically live in New Zealand or Australia.

If a foreign organization wishes to obtain permission to purchase land in New Zealand and the land area exceeds 5 hectares, an application must be submitted to the Foreign Investment Authority.

License Agreement Forms

New Zealand does not have a legal definition of a license. However, there are many types of licensing agreements, including New Zealand trademark licensing, patent licensing, and know-how. In particular, the license agreement is widely used in the transfer of software and technology.

A license agreement is a legal document that clearly sets out the conditions under which the owner of the exclusive right to use intellectual property transfers the right to use it to a third party or company. This agreement also prescribes the period during which the IP can be used, the requirements on the basis of which the use is carried out, and the payment for which the licensee can use the IP.

It is easy enough to enter into an international licensing agreement in New Zealand. The legislation in this jurisdiction applies equally to both local agreements and international ones. Moreover, there are no restrictions on royalty rates or other fees that may be charged by the licensor.

Any new registration of intellectual property rights in New Zealand must go through the Intellectual Property Office, headquartered in Wellington. The registration procedure is not burdensome and does not take much time, but it is worth considering that there is always a period of time for objections.

The licensing of an unregistered trademark in New Zealand is subject to a contract and there is no law to prevent it. However, to ensure complete protection for the trademark owner, it is in your best interest to arrange for the TM registration in New Zealand.

Trade secret protection

There is no specific legislation governing trade secrets in New Zealand. For this, the general law applies, in particular, the violation of confidentiality of information, which includes know-how, business data, trade secrets, inventions, etc. New Zealand law permits the licensor to restrict the disclosure or use of trade secrets and know-how by the licensee or third parties.

If you need advice on privacy regulation in New Zealand, our specialists have extensive experience in this area and will be happy to provide you with the legal assistance you need.

IP Dispute Resolution

It is not possible to initiate legal proceedings in New Zealand against an infringer of a licensed IP without the consent of the IP owner. 

Before going to the courts, the parties are always advised to first try to resolve the dispute through arbitration. IP arbitration can be initiated in any jurisdiction as long as the parties have agreed to do so from the outset and the agreement contains a relevant clause.

A foreign licensor can initiate proceedings in New Zealand and sue a specific licensee, but the courts usually insist that the dispute be settled amicably first. Resolving a business dispute in New Zealand through mediation is considered environmentally friendly and highly encouraged.

International arbitration hearings usually take place either at the Singapore International Arbitration Center or at the Australian Center.

Advice and support for your business

New Zealand has created favorable conditions to help your business grow. Once you have a good business idea and a workable game plan, all you have to do is follow local rules to put your business plan into action. Just think about your branding and protecting your business idea.

A number of NZ government agencies provide support for new businesses. However, independent legal advice will be in handy. If you need advice when registering a New Zealand company or assistance on obtaining a license in New Zealand, legal experts from IQ Decision UK are at your service.