Christchurch: CBD – (03) 379 7690 | Ferrymead – (03) 940 2435 | Hornby – (03) 349 5111

Intellectual Property

Anything you think up is Intellectual Property (IP) – let us put the technical label on it. If you design, build, innovate or market, you have IP.

Saunders & Co can help you identify your IP, whether you are starting a business, developing, or preparing to buy or sell. We can offer you strategic advice and protect your IP both in New Zealand and your export markets.

We can help you protect your rights, both in New Zealand and overseas, using the various registration systems available for IP, such as trade mark registration, patents, and registered designs.

For more detailed information, see our topic specific links, or contact our team to discuss your IP.

External links to further information

Our intellectual property services include:

  • Protecting branding in New Zealand, Australia and overseas
  • Obtaining New Zealand patent protection
  • Prosecuting international patent applications
  • Developing international IP strategies for new products
  • Renewing IP rights
  • Licensing trade marks, copyright & advising on IP aspects of franchise agreements
  • Transferring ownership of IP

Examples of our recent work

  • Opposing and attacking conflicting trade mark applications at IPONZ and IP Australia
  • Working to defend an application for removal of a trade mark
  • Negotiating IP conflicts including assertions of copyright and trade mark infringement by negoation

Get further advice from

Virginia Nichols

Senior Associate

Direct Dial: +64 3 963 1463
Mobile: +64 27 449 8893
Assistant: Michaela Combe
Office: CBD

Virginia is a lawyer, a Registered New Zealand and Australian Patent Attorney, and a Registered Australian Trade Mark Attorney. She joined Saunders & Co in 2015, bringing over 10 years’ experience as a patent attorney and IP specialist to the firm.

Virginia advises local clients on all aspects of intellectual property, from simple matters such as protecting a company name, to the complexities of protection of designs, brands and ideas, through copyright, trademarks, and patents. If disputes arise, she has the litigation experience to identify and pursue a range of commercially realistic solutions

International clients are provided with registration and maintenance of their IP rights in New Zealand and Australia, and the support of our full commercial and litigation teams in developing their business interests in New Zealand and enforcing their rights here.

She also assists other members of the Saunders & Co team with intellectual property issues arising in the commercial context, for example during the sale and purchase of a business, franchise or distribution agreement; and undertakes civil litigation work in the District Court and High Court.

Providing clients with clear communication and regular updates throughout what can be a complex and unfamiliar process is a key aspect of Virginia’s personable approach.

Virginia enjoys learning how things work, identifying and resolving issues. Her technical background is evidenced by her BSc(Hons) in Physics and ME(Elec) from the University of Canterbury. Her post-graduate work was in the Nanostructure Engineering Science and Technology (NEST) group, focussing on the fabrication and characterisation of wide band-gap semiconductors, particularly Gallium Nitride, which was one of the first materials used to make blue LEDs, and can be used to make UV detectors.

Outside of work, Virginia enjoys hiking, singing, reading, and spending time with her family.

Virginia specialises in the following areas:

Read articles written by Virginia:

What Virginia’s Clients Say

“Welhaus engaged Virginia Nichols of Saunders & Co to work on a case where we argued another party couldn’t monopolise a generic name for a process. From the outset, Virginia’s confidence, decisiveness and expertise in the field were evident and she quickly presented us with some good, clear options for moving forward. We appreciated her evidence-based approach, specific knowledge of the subject and willingness to dig deeper into the matter. This greatly helped our decision-making process and resulted in a speedy conclusion, achieved in just a few days. The process even proved inexpensive given Virginia’s efficiency. The experience of dealing with Virginia and Saunders & Co was refreshing and I have no hesitation in recommending them to others.”
Dan Tremewan, Welhaus

“I’d like to take this opportunity to personally recommend Virginia Nichols, currently a Senior Associate with the Christchurch legal firm Saunders & Co. It must be said that Virginia is a unique and special person. She is not only skilled and very capable at her craft – but better still she actually listens to the client, finds out their total requirements and then efficiently moulds their needs into a strong legal format. Importantly she is not afraid to advise her clients where she believes an aspect of their demands may be unreasonable or inappropriate, doing so with caring and a gentle yet firm approach. Virginia sees herself as a regular down to earth individual with a burn to help others and make a difference. She truly does that in spades!”
Bill Rodger 




CBD: 131 Victoria Street, Christchurch, NZ

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