I am a lawyer, a Registered New Zealand and Australian Patent Attorney, and a Registered Australian Trade Mark Attorney. I joined Saunders & Co in 2015, bringing over 10 years’ experience as a patent attorney and IP specialist to the firm.
I advise 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, I have 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 with our full commercial and litigation teams, I can offer support in developing their business interests in New Zealand and enforcing their rights here.
I also assist other members of the Saunders & Co team with intellectual property issues arising in the commercial context e.g. during the sale and purchase of a business, franchise or distribution agreement. As well, I undertake 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 my approach.
I enjoy learning how things work, and identifying and resolving issues. My technical background is evidenced by my BSc(Hons) in Physics and ME(Elec) from the University of Canterbury. My 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.
I specialise in the following areas:
What My 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!”