WLUG Meeting - 25 July 2005
Location: University of Waikato, LitB
Denise Tyrer-Harding of Pipers spoke to the WLUG about IntellectualProperty within NewZealand.
Denise outlined the 4 major forms of Intellectual Property protection:
- Design Registration
Copyright in New Zealand
- Free and automatic to the creator.
- Need evidence that you're the creator - "© year" on the work, and a "development record" is useful
- Does not protect against someone else independently coming up with the same thing.
- Copyright given to an entity - an individual person, a company, or an incorporated society.
- industrial copyright - 16 years from the date of the 50th model created from the design.
- written copyright - 100 years from the date of the creator's death
For hardware; lasts 15 years. Requires application to the Patent Office. This covers how a device looks, not its functionality.
Until recently, software could not be patented in NZ at all.
The key clause is "method of manufacture", and this has been re-interpreted to (sometimes?) include software when combined with hardware.
NZ is a signatory to the Patent Cooperation Treaty - 18 months of protection in ~100 countries.
In NZ, patents last for 20 years. The benefit of the doubt (during application) goes to the patentee, because there are methods for revocation -- IPONZ review and judicial review.
- For product identification
- not "lauditary" - ie, generally can't trademark names, placenames, sports clubs, etc.
- Trademarks not limited to words - the Harley-Davidson "sound", specific colours (eg the yellow used by the yellow pages or by McDonalds).
- Common law trademark is based on local reputation, and does not require registration.
- Registered trademark is national.
- Trade secrets, "know-how"
- circuit boards
- Patent application process
- 85% of many companies is now "intangibles" -- brand value, trademarks, etc.
General Discussion/Q-and-A session
- moral/ethical aspects of patents
- drug patents
- cheaper to license a patent and get on with life than fight a bad patent
- employment contracts claiming rights to any employee's ideas.
- funny patents