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New Zealand recognises copyright in a wide range of creative and industrial works. Any time something is drawn, written, photographed, filmed or recorded, etc, copyright is automatically created. This includes software code and functional industrial designs.

You need to keep your own records of who created what, and when.

To warn others that you have copyright, you should mark it “©2015 Full Legal Name”.

If you create copyright works for others, you need to make sure the ownership is clearly documented.

The rules are different overseas (even in Australia), so if you are exporting, you need to consider your Overseas IP.

How Saunders & Co adds value

In March 2015, an Australian company was ordered to pay $50,000 in additional damages, for having (wrongly) assumed that New Zealand copyright law was the same as Australian law.

Get the right advice to help you exploit your creativity, with an IP strategy consultation.


Virginia Nichols

Virginia Nichols

Senior Associate | Registered Patent Attorney (New Zealand and Australia)

T +64 3 963 1463
M +64 27 449 8893
E virginia.nichols@saunders.co.nz