With a unique mix of arts training and legal experience, Gillian is equipped to help clients in a wide range of industries and locations.
During her time at AJ Park, Gillian has worked in the firm’s Wellington and Auckland offices with both local and international businesses. While in Wellington, Gillian assisted international companies with their trade mark portfolios throughout the Pacific, Australia and New Zealand. Now in Auckland, Gillian’s practice focuses on local clients, and helping guide everyday New Zealanders through the world of intellectual property (IP). Her clients operate in the areas of food and beverage, manufacturing and engineering, human and animal pharmaceuticals, and IT and software.
Gillian conducts trade mark availability and clearance searches, advises on trade mark registration, files and prosecutes applications, and deals with border protection matters.
I enjoy being able to solve a client’s problems, provide the information they need, filter out what they don’t, and help ameliorate their stresses. Being able to help New Zealand start-ups move their businesses into a global setting is exciting. I spend my days helping people realise their dreams.
With degrees in History and English literature, Gillian brings a unique approach to IP that focuses on explaining the law in a clear and succinct manner, without the legal jargon. She is currently finishing off her law degree part-time.
Gillian has lived all around the world, often doing humanitarian work, including teaching English in Tanzania. It’s this global outlook that helps her understand different markets and international clients. During her university studies, she worked for several charities and not-for-profits, including Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga.
Efficient, diligent and approachable, Gillian’s special combination of arts studies and her knowledge of trade mark matters, gives her a unique skillset; and her understanding of language and semantics is an asset when arguing against trade mark objections.
Gillian was named a 'rising star' in Managing IP's IP STARS for 2023 and 2022.
Beyond the office
Outside of work, Gillian has a wide range of interests. A professionally trained classical singer, she’s a member of a local Auckland choir. She also loves hiking and rock climbing, and volunteers her time to Habitat for Humanity, going overseas every second year to build houses. Born in South Africa, Gillian has lived in Hong Kong, Tanzania and England, but calls New Zealand home.
- BA (Hons, First Class), Victoria University of Wellington (2011)
- MA, Victoria University of Wellington (2012)
- Registered Trade Marks Attorney (Australia)
- LLB, Auckland University of Technology (2020)
- Admitted as a Barrister & Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand
Gillian Nelson's insights
Article \ 10 Jun 2021
Is anyone above the © law? A holy row between…
In a time of global crisis amid pandemics and economic instability, you might not expect intellectual property issues to attract global attention.…
Article \ 19 Nov 2020
It’s high time we protected our cannabis trade marks
It has been a big year for cannabinoids in New Zealand.
From 1 April 2020, New Zealand’s medicinal cannabis scheme was launched. New…
Article \ 17 Nov 2020
The dance-off ends: a (partial) resolution to Fortnite’s slurry of…
Since its launch in July 2017, Fortnite has dominated the online gaming scene, gathering billions in revenue from in-game purchases much to…
Article \ 17 Aug 2020
Don’t use my music! Neil Young sues Donald Trump for…
Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at the Prescott Valley Event Center in Prescott Valley, Arizona (cropped) by Gage…
Article \ 11 Mar 2020
A win for non-traditional trade marks: Griffin’s successfully registers two…
When asked what a ‘trade mark’ is, people traditionally think of words or perhaps a logo. But a trade mark can be…
Article \ 13 Jan 2020
Pirates sour Christmas vintage
Hundreds of New Zealand vineyards and wineries entered the Christmas season with some distressing news—a pirate had filed trade mark applications for…
Article \ 23 Dec 2019
Rogue trade mark pirate files for 450+ New Zealand wine…
A Chinese company has filed trade mark applications to register some of New Zealand’s best-loved wine brands, in its own name.