AJ Park Law Limited, Wellington
Damian has a wealth of experience and expertise in all aspects of trade mark law, as well as the fields of copyright and domain names.
Damian is one of New Zealand’s leading intellectual property (IP) experts.
Specialising in the clearance, protection, and strategic management of trade marks, Damian is also an expert in the fields of copyright and domain names. Damian was a member of the InternetNZ committee that established the dispute resolution system for .nz domain names. He acts and advises on domain name management, protection and disputes, as well as IP strategy, all aspects of trade mark registration and enforcement, licensing, and brand creation and management.
Damian has a genuine interest in the business world, and his clients include New Zealand start-ups and exporters, through to Fortune 500 corporations for which he advises on worldwide trade mark protection strategies. He works with companies across a range of industries, but is particularly experienced in film and television, music, pharmaceuticals, IT and telecommunications, automotive, transport and finance.
The industry we're in is all about originality and IP rights, so we look to AJ Park for advice on these matters. They have a good pragmatic approach and they coach our designers on what's original and what might breach copyright.- Greg Hunt, Weta Workshop
Level-headed, consistent and organised, Damian is detail-driven and takes time to consider the implications ‘before leaping into things’. He has worked with many talented partners during his career and tries to incorporate their wisdom, strengths and work ethic into his own business style.
Damian worked briefly for a small general law practice before joining the AJ Park litigation team in 1993. It was while helping out the firm’s busy trade mark team that he discovered his passion for that aspect of the law and permanently joined the trade mark team. Like most recent graduates, Damian took a year out in 1995 to travel and worked for a major IP firm in London.
Damian became a partner of AJ Park in 2001. In 2014, he was promoted to managing partner of the firm, and subsequently became managing director in 2017 when AJ Park incorporated and joined the IPH group of companies. Damian stepped down from his role as managing director in June 2020.
‘I’m extremely proud of having built up a strong reputation for excellence, both for our team and for the firm. AJ Park has very clear values and goals, and we work hard to align our approach with those values by being astute, approachable and client-focused.’
With three teenage children, Damian is very much a dad outside of work. He likes to cycle and play hockey to keep fit and is a member of the Wellington Masters hockey team. A keen outdoorsman, his other favourite activities include family ski trips and kayak fishing on New Zealand’s Lake Taupo. Damian grew up on ’80s music and played bass guitar before moving to guitar and keyboards. A fan of most music genres, he writes music and even has a small recording studio at home.
Damian's recent accolades include being:
- selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best LawyersTM in New Zealand 2021 in the field of IP law
- included in Managing IP’s 2020 IP Stars list of leading IP practitioners in New Zealand
- highlighted in the 2020 edition of the WTR 1000
- recognised by his peers as being amongst the world’s best and brightest IP practitioners in the WIPR Leaders 2020 handbook
- listed in The Legal 500’s Asia Pacific 2020 guide and elite ‘leading lawyers’ list
- named The Best Lawyers 2020 ‘Lawyer of the Year’ for IP law in Wellington, New Zealand
- named a finalist in the Managing Partner of the Year category of the New Zealand Law Awards 2019
- selected for inclusion in the first-ever WTR Global Leaders 2019, a publication which features the 'best of the best' in trade mark practice and shines a spotlight on those that lead the way across the trade mark industry.
Damian also presents client seminars and writes about trade marks, branding and domain names for numerous publications.
- LLB, University of Otago (1990)
- BA (Psychology), University of Canterbury (1991)
- Admitted as a Barrister & Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand
- Registered Patent Attorney (New Zealand and Australia)
- Registered Trade Marks Attorney (Australia)
- Notary Public (New Zealand)