New Zealand Law Awards Finalists
Zone Law is delighted and proud to be finalists in the New Zealand Law Awards this year under the category of Intellectual property firm of the year. This will be our eighth year in a row.
The winners will be announced at a black-tie event held at the Cordis Hotel Auckland on the 10th of November.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our clients and all those who nominated us for this award.
All the excellence awardees have been published on the Law Awards website.
Choosing and Checking a Name
Once you have thought of a new brand for your business or product, the first step to take is to make sure it’s available.
Stories about businesses being forced to rebrand, or change the name of a recently released item, seem to pop up in the news every few months, a prominent recent case being the “My Boobie Bag” situation in which a small business owner was asked to rebrand their business for straying too close to an existing brand.
Not all trademarks will be registered, and not all registered trademarks will be in current use. Therefore, care must be taken from the outset to understand the extent to which you might be in breach of someone else’s rights.
Online research is a good start, but the process is a bit more involved than that. The New Zealand Trademarks Register must be searched as well, and there are traps and pitfalls lurking for the unwary.
Zone offers simple and more in-depth trademark searches to help you protect yourselves and to ensure you have the right to your trademark from day one.
Buying, selling or even refinancing property is more complex than it used to be with lots of law changes. However, there are a few things you can do to help ensure you are prepared:
1. Engage a lawyer – Even if you haven’t decided what/when you want to do something, talking to a lawyer at the beginning of the process can save time and money later.
2. Finance – Bank lending generally requires more information and takes longer than it used to. Using a mortgage broker can help, although we suggest you ask which banks, they can deal with. You will also need insurance to get finance. Give yourself plenty of time and talk to your lawyer at the beginning of the process – depending on the transaction you might find you also need to get tax advice before committing to what you do.
3. Due diligence – Whether buying or selling, make sure you understand the property, consider getting builders and other reports so you know what you are dealing with. Certain types of cladding may have more problems than others and certain work on a property needs consent. Make sure the boundary is where you think it is – the location of a fence or even a garage is not necessarily a good indicator.
4. Purchasing “off the plans” – Because the property has yet to be built more work at the beginning is needed to understand what you will get, what it will cost, when you will get it and whether you can get out if it takes too long. We recommend you ask your lawyer to complete a review of the contract, so you understand what the risks associated with this type of purchase are. It is always better to get advice before committing yourself.
5. Secure tax advice – Buying, selling, or refinancing, there are many possible pitfalls. Your lawyer will often be able to tell you if you will need tax advice, but it is worth allowing time to get it if you need it. Once you have decided how you will do something, changing it to deal with tax consequences might not work.
If you are thinking of completing a property transaction or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us – our Zone Law property team will be happy to help you.
New Zealand IP Attorneys Annual Conference
On 12 August, Julie and Jeremy attended the annual conference of the New Zealand Intellectual Property Attorneys Inc. (NZIPA). NZIPA is an organisation for IP professionals in New Zealand.
The conference was held at Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre, which opened in late 2021. It is a great facility and and forms part of the post-earthquake regeneration of central Christchurch.
The conference provided an opportunity for our patent attorneys to keep up with developments in IP law and practice. Many good ideas in connection with the management of IP, its protection and enforcement were shared. We look forward to passing them onto our clients.