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Intellectual Property Licensing

Intellectual property (IP) forms a fundamental element of most businesses. It encompasses creativity, innovation and in some instances, education. In certain circumstances, intellectual property rights may be registered, thereby making provision for particular, exclusive rights over an invention, creative expression or brand. Securing protection for intellectual property, may provide for a competitive market place advantage, and facilitate an increase in profit margins and growth. Multiple forms of rights are available for intellectual property. Available rights include, but are not limited to trade marks, patents, plant variety rights and copyright. Forms of intellectual property rights are predominantly territorial, meaning enforceability is often...

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Plant Variety Rights

Grants of Plant Variety Rights (PVR) are available for any plant variety with the exceptions of algae and bacteria. Currently, New Zealand has a noteworthy plant breeding industry. New Zealand growers and breeders take the lion’s share of some of the plant variety registered crops that include kiwifruit, clover and apples. There is a potential for New Zealand to generate significant income not only from the sale of produce but also from obtaining and licensing new varieties from other countries. In application ‘variety’ means a cultivated plant variety, and encompasses any clone, hybrid, stock or line of plant. Within this context,...

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Best vs Reasonable Endeavours

Have you ever seen a contract or agreement including terms such as “best endeavours”, “reasonable endeavours”, or “all reasonable endeavours”? What do these terms mean? What is a party expected to do under these terms? These common terms are generally misunderstood. However, as a general rule, these terms are used to compel a person to take action to fulfil an obligation or condition that might be, to some extent, beyond that person’s immediate control. However, as with any contractual obligation, the devil is in the detail and courts are often called upon to determine what the detail actually requires of the person...

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Sharemilking Agreements

What is Sharemilking? For a number of years dairy industry has been an integral part of New Zealand’s economy and a sharemilking arrangement provides a stepping stone for farmers looking to become farm owners themselves. Two parties exist under a sharemilking agreement, the farm owner and the sharemilker. Essentially, the parties enter into a sharemilking agreement on the basis that the sharemilker is responsible for operating the farm on behalf of the owner, but does not own the land and in return is paid a share of the income from selling milk and anything else produced off the land (e.g. silage). As...

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Employment Law Update

Recent changes to Employment Act not be too stressful. If you follow the news you’d think that being an employer has just become impossibly complicated but don’t let the media’s search for the sensational distract you. The recent changes to the Employment Relations Act are not so hard to understand, and those who have wound themselves up over the calculation of holiday pay may need a holiday themselves. Holidays first. When a person is on paid leave it seems obvious that they should be paid for that day as if they were working it. But the obvious is not always simple. The...

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RMA Reform Likely to Become Law

Last December Government’s long foreshadowed reforms of the Resource Management Act received their first reading in Parliament. The proposed changes are mild, and while they lean toward a developer’s perspective, they are likely to become law without too strident an opposition. Of note for rural areas, the Bill would enable the making of regulations that require stock to be excluded from waterways (particular waterways or more generally). That echoes the Land and Water Forum’s recommendation to exclude livestock from waterways on plains and lowland hills. At this stage the intended regulations are not out – so I cannot elaborate on them, to...

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Equine Law Made Easy | April 2016

It is not uncommon for a horse to be owned by multiple parties, or for an arrangement to be entered into where the horse’s owner leases the horse to another person, on the understanding that the ultimate sale price shall be split by the two parties to take account (for example) the training done by one party. In my experience, these situations are often not recorded in writing or, if they are, lack the required detail to properly minimise potential disputes. That being said, I am sure that in most situations the arrangement will work well. However it may not always work...