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James & Wells’ lawyers are experienced in dealing with intellectual property disputes, litigation and matters brought before tribunals such as IPONZ, and, generally speaking, in the intellectual property field "litigation" describes an adversarial process by which one party tries to restrain another party from engaging in certain types of conduct by obtaining an order to that effect from a third party (usually a court).
In the intellectual property field the most prevalent forms of litigation involve: breach of patent rights, breach of the rights conferred by a registered trademark, breach of a registered design right, breach of copyright rights and breach of other common law rights under the Fair Trading Act or via the tort of passing off
Challenging intellectual property rights.
Some adversarial intellectual property matters are conducted before the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ). For example, patent applications and trade mark applications can both be challenged through opposition processes, and registered patents and registered trade marks can be challenged through revocation procedures. Matters conducted through IPONZ may be resolved faster and at lower cost than through a court.
The majority of litigation in the intellectual property field is conducted in the High Court rather than the District Court. That is because a number of the Acts which confer registered intellectual property rights require proceedings to be filed in the High Court. In addition, intellectual property cases usually involve damages in excess of the $200,000 threshold for actions in the District Court, and many litigants perceive that High Court judges have greater expertise in the intellectual property field and would prefer their case to be decided by a High Court Judge.
Cases in the High Court are governed by a complex set of procedural rules (known as the High Court Rules). Nonetheless virtually every case will follow the same format of claim being filed, defence filed, parties exchanging lists of relevant documents in their possession, documents mutually inspected, written statements of evidence exchanged, matter heard and judgement issued. In some cases the above procedure will also involve a judicial settlement conference. This is a form of court-ordered alternative dispute resolution (or "ADR. For more detailed information about litigation in different areas of intellectual property law, and to find out more about domain name registration, registering domain names and Fair Trade NZ please go to http://www.jaws.co.nz .