Intellectual Property Rights Guide

So you thought you'd get on the band wagon and start selling smart phones, popular brands of shoes or watches but you'd heard Trade Me had a few rules about intellectual property rights and wanted to know more? You've come to the right page!

Trade Me works hard to ensure that the site is free from counterfeit goods and items that infringe other people's intellectual property rights and this includes the protection of smart phones, tablets and clothing and handbags amongst hundreds of popular brands.

We take this stuff seriously as we want Trade Me to remain a trusted place for Kiwis to buy and sell everything under the sun, and despite what you might have heard, this includes Android phones!

Our first priority is to protect our members and the marketplace we operate, and that means we need to do our bit to help consumers not be misled or confused about what they are buying by helping sellers understand what is and isn't OK to sell.

We've noticed there has been a few issues with people listing items which cross the line in terms of some popular brands' intellectual property rights and this has caused a fair bit of confusion, so we thought we'd put together this guide to help you when listing products on the site.

  • Don't sell counterfeit items on Trade Me. It makes no difference if you say they are fakes, replicas or counterfeits. No exceptions allowed.
  • IP rights holders often monitor the site and may bring your listings to our attention. In reviewing these reports, considerations may include whether the item has any design elements copied from another product such as shape, colours, similar buttons and buckles, or switches and their placement.
  • Android tablets and smart phones are welcome on Trade Me, as long as they aren't copies of other branded products or otherwise infringe intellectual property rights.
  • If it looks just like a genuine branded product, but isn't, don't list it. If the item could be easily confused with a branded product, don't list it.
  • Ensure that the text and pictures you use in your listings are yours to use and not simply copied from another website.
  • Be sure to check that your product sources are reputable. There are many businesses and websites out there that will happily sell you items that infringe intellectual property rights.

Trade Me just wants to remain a site where our members can buy with confidence and be sure they are buying genuine items - if the deal you are about to offer is too good to be true, it probably isn't so don't list it.

Handy Links:
Consumer NZ has a discussion of Copyright Law here.
IP Rights holders can contact us here.

Want further assistance?

  • Our 0900 support line is currently unavailable but we've still got our internet connection so flick us an email if you need our help!
  • Email us your questionWe aim to respond within 3-5 days.