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Posts tagged ‘intellectual property’

You and your intellectual property

Intellectual property is work which has been thought of by an individual before anyone else.

Intellectual property includes copyright, patents, confidential information, trade marks and registered designs.


The copyright act

The copyright act protects original expression and grants control over certain activities such as use of the works and dissemination of the works.

Copyright covers:

  • Literary works
  • Dramatic works
  • artistic works
  • Musical works
  • Sound recordings
  • Films
  • Broadcasts
  • Cable programmes
  • Typographical arrangements


Copyright requirements

Work must fall within the above categories, must be sufficiently original, the author must be a qualified person (???) and certain works must be ‘fixed’


Copyright does not cover government works or court judgements


With your own copyrighted material you can copy, publish, sell and issue the work to the public, play/show/broadcast the work in public, adapt or authorize others to use your work


The duration of a copyright

50 Years from the author’s death

50 Years from broadcasting

25 or 16 years from industrial application

After these times the work becomes ‘public domain’ which means anyone can use it


Permitted acts

These are exceptions to the copyright.

  • Fair dealing – Excerpts can be used for criticism or review etc
  • Limited copying for educational purposes
  • Limited copying/ dealing for librarians
  • Certain crown activities
  • Copying to braille
  • Backup of computer programmes
  • ‘Time shifting’ (recording for later viewing, like taping a show you may miss) or for complaints


Protecting your copyright

Your copyright comes into existence automatically when you create your work there is no registration system so you may want to keep dated proof and include a notice on the work. There is international protection (WTO) although only if the other country has the same laws and bothers to enforce them…


Your copyright moral rights

You have the right to be identified as the author, you have the right of integrity and you have the right to not have work falsely attributed to you, especially if you didn’t do it 😛


Copyright amendment act 2008

This was bought in to conquer the rights of technology and stuff

It generalizes some terms, allows educational storage and the expands archival rights, allows decompilation of programs under section 92a


The patent act

A patent is an invention or manner of new manufacture with a time limited right that is only valid in New Zealand (or the country which it is registered). A full description of the work is required


Patent rights

Your rights exclude others from making, using and selling your work while the patent is current.

The patent lasts 20 years with renewal fees being paid yearly for those 20 years. Patents are granted by the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand.


International patents

These can be obtained either in each country or by using an international application


Trademarks act

A trademark can be a sign, it is something represented graphically, something which covers goods or services and distinguishes between persons or companies


Trademarks do not cover

Names in general, same or similar material to others, misleading, confusing or offensive material, generic or descriptive terms, superlatives and geographic material


A registered trademark provides

The exclusive right to use the trademark

The right to assign or license

Ten years protection

Right to renew after each ten years

No rights overseas


The design act

This relates to visual appearance only based on new or original features of shape, configuration, pattern and ornament

Can be registered for up to 15 years and needs to be renewed every 5 years within this time

This act doesn’t apply to methods or principles, sculpture (except casts or models), Wall plaques or medals, printed matter such as book jackets, maps and plans.



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