Intellectual property

Bell Gully's highly experienced, multi-disciplined Intellectual Property team is distinguished by its strength across all key areas.

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​​​​​​​​​​​Our Intellectual Property (IP) team provides advice and assistance on brand protection, trade mark registration, confidential information, commercialisation of intellectual property, licences and assignments of IP, copyright, patent and information technology issues, and the enforcement of intellectual property rights.

The firm's strength across these key areas distinguishes it from other firms in the market.

The team is multi-disciplined, covering all aspects of: trademark availability, registration and opposition work, and portfolio management; commercial intellectual property work including contracts and IP due diligence in commercial transactions; compliance vetting; and contentious intellectual property work, including advice, disputes and litigation.

We manage important trade mark portfolios for numerous clients including Unilever, Frucor, BMW, Carter Holt Harvey, Reckitt Benckiser, Abbott Laboratories and Abbvie.

Recognition of our intellectual property expertise

The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020​ - Tier 2

"Acts for international clients on the protection and enforcement of IP assets as well as related areas such as domain name issues, and advertising regulations. Represents an enviable number of overseas clients, as well as prominent domestic corporations, on the IP aspects of cross-border corporate transactions across a broad range of industries."

"Notable litigation experience, particularly in relation to copyright and trade mark infringement. Wide-ranging expertise, from financial services and pharmaceuticals to media and entertainment.​"

Chambers Asia Pacific 2020​ - Tier 3

Cola bottle litigation for PepsiCo
Successfully defended PepsiCo and Frucor Beverages (as the manufacturer and distributors of Pepsi, Pepsi Max and 7UP in New Zealand) against claims by Coca-Cola that they had infringed Coca-Cola's intellectual property rights in its contour bottle shape. Trade mark infringement, passing off and breaches of the Fair Trading Act were alleged. The case raised important issues around shape marks.

Copyright infringement litigation for Vero Insurance
Successfully brought proceedings for copyright infringement in respect of the insurance policies and related commercial documents of the client's competitor.

Litigation for Co-op Money NZ
Successfully defended the New Zealand Association of Credit Unions in an interim injunction application brought by The Cooperative Bank which sought to prevent the client from re-branding its business as Co-op Money NZ. 

Launch of Netflix into New Zealand
Advised Netflix on the recent launch of its online entertainment streaming service into New Zealand, including various intellectual property issues.

Intellectual Property due dilligence on mergers and acquisitions
​Danone Asia sale of Frucor
Advising Danone Asia on its sale of the Frucor business in Australia and New Zealand to Suntory, which involved complex intellectual property issues in relation to local and international brands and licenses.

AMI Insurance sale to IAG New Zealand
Advising AMI Insurance on the sale of its on-going insurance business to IAG which included a large number of domain names and trade marks.

Bomac sale of Bayer
Advising Bomac on the sale of New Zealand's largest privately-owned dedicated animal health company to German healthcare company, Bayer, including intellectual property issues.

Brambles' demerger of Recall
​Advising on the New Zealand aspects of Brambles world-wide demerger of its information management business, Recall, which included intellectual property issues.

Goodman Fielder sale of Champion
Advising Goodman Fielder on the sale of its Champion flour milling business in New Zealand for NZ$51 million to Nisshin Flour Milling and its parent, Nisshin Seifun, including advice on a range of trade mark licences including both long term and transitional licence agreements.

Halo Inductive Power Technologies sale to Qualcomm 
Advising Halo Inductive Power Technologies on the New Zealand aspects of its sale to US-based Qualcomm by its owners Auckland UniServices, TTCP Pty Limited Fund and NZVIF (Seed Fund) and Ove Arup, which involved significant intellectual property issues.

Sale of Carter Holt Harvey, pulp, paper and packaging business
Advising Rank Group on the sale of Carter Holt Harvey's pulp, paper and packaging business to a consortium comprising Japanese packaging company Oji Holdings Corporation and Japanese government-backed investment fund Innovation Network Corporation of Japan for NZ$1.037 billion, including intellectual property aspects of the transaction. 

Verifone Systems purchase of EFTPOS
Advising VeriFone Systems, a NYSE-listed international provider of payment systems and solutions, on its purchase of EFTPOS New Zealand by its subsidiary VeriFone New Zealand from ANZ, which included intellectual property aspects. The deal makes VeriFone the biggest EFTPOS solutions and payments provider in New Zealand. 

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  • Alan Ringwood

    Partner Auckland
  • Tania Goatley

    Partner Auckland
  • Dean Oppenhuis

    Partner Wellington
  • Sooyun Lee

    Special Counsel Auckland