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Intellectual Property

When some of the world's leading brands need speed and clarity, they turn to Simpson Grierson. Why? Because our brand promises decisive, commercial advice from recognised experts.

The depth of our IP team sets us apart. It is double the size of any other commercial law firm in New Zealand and led by two internationally-recognised IP practitioners - Earl Gray and Richard Watts.

This strength is reflected in our trade mark and design prosecution practices. These include portfolios for some of the world's leading brands. We are also sought out for some of New Zealand's most significant IP disputes and appeals.

Simpson Grierson's other practice areas regularly seek our IP expertise, including our mergers & acquisition specialists whom we have advised on some of New Zealand's largest commercial transactions.

We are highly ranked in:

  • Asia Pacific Legal 500 - Leading IP Practice, New Zealand
  • Chambers Global - Leading IP team, New Zealand

Examples of our work

  • SKY Television - High Court litigation and successful resolution with New Zealand media entities relating to their use of SKY’s sports footage
  • Procter & Gamble - New Zealand brand protection and anti-counterfeiting strategy
  • Mars Group - New Zealand intellectual property strategy, including successful strategy to gain exclusivity for the colour purple for cat food packaging
  • Google - various copyright issues for launch of products in New Zealand
  • New Zealand Olympic Committee - brand protection and enforcement strategy for the 2016 Olympics, the 2018 Winter Olympics and the 2018 Commonwealth Games 
  • Novartis:
    • commercialisation of key potential pharmaceuticals in New Zealand
    • the transfer and IP issues of the New Zealand aspects of the well-publicised Novartis/GSK deal, in which Novartis acquired GSK's oncology business, and sold its vaccine business to GSK
  • New Line Cinema - intellectual property advice for The Lord of the Rings trilogy
  • Nintendo, Dragonball Z and Electronic Arts - anti-counterfeiting strategies
  • Austin Nichols, Inc (Wild Turkey) v Stichting Lodestar - appeared in the first and only Supreme Court hearing of a trade mark matter in New Zealand, and New Zealand's leading trade mark case
  • Sony Music - copyright and passing off proceedings in New Zealand's first "soundalike" music litigation
  • Major portfolios include those for Vodafone Group, Columbia Sportswear, Virgin Enterprises, Nokia (designs), DB Breweries, The Radio Network and National Foods
  • LIC (Livestock Improvement Corporation) - supporting its growth startegy, including advice on commercialising its IP
  • The a2 Milk Company - supporting its growth strategy, including advising on commercialising its IP