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Richard Watts

BA LLB(Hons) LLM(Cantab)


P+64 9 977 5182

M+64 21 895 931

Richard Watts

Richard is a leading intellectual property lawyer, and heads the firm's IP & ICT national practice group. He advises a number of the world's leading companies in the FMCG, pharmaceutical, IT, and sports industries. His practice covers both non-contentious and contentious IP.

Richard works with a number of leading pharmaceutical companies and research institutions, particularly in international licensing and enforcement. This work includes development and implementation of IP commercialisation strategies for leading local and international businesses. He has been involved in a number of New Zealand's most significant patent disputes, in the pharmaceutical and construction industries.

Acting for a number of leading brands in the FMCG area, Richard has co-ordinated trade mark protection, enforcement and border protection measures for numerous household names, both in New Zealand and abroad.

Richard is also highly regarded in copyright law, particularly in relation to IT and new technologies, having advised a number of the world's favorite brands in relation to the launch of their new electronic and web products in New Zealand. Richard is frequently chosen for complex IP disputes, having appeared in leading Supreme Court and Court of Appeal IP cases, as well as in the High Court, Copyright Tribunal and Intellectual Property Office in New Zealand and Australia.

  • Asia Pacific Legal 500 Intellectual Property 2022 - Leading Lawyer (Hall of Fame)
  • Chambers Asia-Pacific Intellectual Property 2023 - Leading Lawyer
  • The International Who's Who Legal Trade Marks | Life Sciences 2021 - Global Leader
  • Asialaw Leading Lawyers Guide Intellectual Property - Market-leading Lawyer
  • IAM Patent 1000 - Recommended, Patent Litigation and Licensing, New Zealand
  • World Trade Mark Review WTR1000 - World's Leading Trademark Professional
    • Leading Individual, New Zealand: Enforcement and Litigation
    • Leading Individual, New Zealand: Strategy and Prosecution

Examples of Work

  • Novartis AG - patent litigation advice regarding key medicines
  • Bayer New Zealand - litigation and strategic advice relating to animal health
  • Google - strategic IP advice surrounding launch of new technologies in New Zealand
  • New Zealand Olympic Committee - brand protection and enforcement strategy for 2016 and 2020 Olympics
  • The a2 Milk Company - IP commercialisation and global intellectual property enforcement strategy
  • Procter & Gamble - New Zealand border protection and anti-counterfeiting strategy
  • The a2 Milk Company - Global trade mark litigation regarding protection of A2 MILK and other strategic marks
  • Comfort Group - New Zealand and international brand protection and enforcement strategy
  • Austin Nichols (Wild Turkey bourbon) - appeared in the Supreme Court of New Zealand in New Zealand's leading trade mark case
  • Sony Music - copyright and passing off proceedings in New Zealand's first "soundalike" music litigation

Other Credentials

  • International Trademark Association (INTA) - Member
  • Intellectual Property Society of Australia and New Zealand - Committee member
  • International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) - Member
  • Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (UK) - Member