LAWCOMM 454 - Trade Mark Law

Credit points: 10 points
Offered: Summer School 2020
Contact hours: 4 hours per week
Course Coordinator: Rob Batty
Prerequisites: LAWCOMM 404

Course description

An in-depth examination of the law related to the protection of trade marks, including the history of, and justifications for, trade mark protection, the operation of the registration system, the commercial exploitation of trade marks, infringement of registered trade marks, and the protection of unregistered trade marks.  

Content outline

This course is for students who have already established a foundational understanding of trade mark law. Building on such foundations, this course explores more advanced topics which arise under New Zealand and overseas trade mark law. The first part of the course examines the methods of protecting trade marks, and the rationale for doing so. The second part of the course considers key issues relating to the creation of registered trade marks rights. The third part of the course explores issues with the enforcement and exploitation of registered trade marks. The fourth and final part of the course examines the loss of registered trade mark rights.

Learning Outcomes

Students who complete this course successfully will be able to:

  1. Identify the different methods of protecting trade marks and the underlying theoretical justifications for trade mark protection;
  2. Articulate the key legal principles and concepts that relate to the creation, exploitation, enforcement and cessation of registered trade mark rights to different factual scenarios;
  3. Apply relevant key legal principles to a factual scenario through the completion of written assignment; and
  4. Demonstrate effective written communication skills through a written examination and a written assignment.


250 word reflection piece (5%)

1250 word assignment (25%)

2 hour open-book exam (70%)

Open book means that you may, if you wish, bring into the exam and refer to any materials such as casebooks, textbooks and study notes.

Recommended text

There is no prescribed text, but the following text is recommended: Paul Sumpter Trade Marks in Practice (4th ed, LexisNexis NZ Ltd, Wellington, 2018).