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Partner

Richard Watts

BA LLB(Hons) LLM(Cantab)

Auckland

P+64 9 977 5182

M+64 21 895 931

Richard Watts

Richard heads the firm's intellectual property group, advising 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 patent and 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 appears frequently in 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.

  • Asia Pacific Legal 500 Intellectual Property 2019 - Leading Lawyer
  • Chambers Asia-Pacific Intellectual Property 2019 - Leading Lawyer
  • Asialaw Leading Lawyers Guide Intellectual Property 2018 - 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
  • Consolidated Alloys – patent enforcement and validity litigation relating to roofing technology
  • The a2 Milk Company - IP commercialisation and global intellectual property and patent enforcement strategy
  • Procter & Gamble - New Zealand border protection and anti-counterfeiting strategy
  • Novartis Animal Health - acquisition of patents and other intellectual property assets from a New Zealand animal health company, and related licensing and supply arrangements
  • Otago University - IP technology protection and commercialisation 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