Practical and a natural problem solver, Margot works alongside her clients to build strong brand ownership locally and abroad.
As a trade mark specialist, Margot helps her clients protect and enforce their trade marks and related intellectual property (IP) rights. She works with small businesses as well as some of New Zealand’s largest corporates across the food and beverage, FMCG, luxury goods, and building industries. Many of them are exporters and Margot works with international associates to ensure her New Zealand clients get appropriate protection in their chosen overseas markets. She also acts for some of Germany’s largest companies, protecting their IP in the New Zealand market.
Approachable, commercially astute and pragmatic, Margot is a big-picture person who likes to get to know her clients’ businesses and find solutions to fit their needs, plans, and budgets.
For five years Margot owned and ran a small manufacturing business selling value-added fresh fruit and vegetables into supermarkets throughout the North Island. Having gained an LLB from Victoria University, she joined AJ Park in 2008. Her background in branding and product development attracted her to IP law, and Margot’s firsthand experience of running her own company has led to an affinity with small-business owners.
‘I can relate to small-business owners who are expanding and looking to export. I understand their excitement and the challenges they face. They have to be a jack of all trades, and IP is just a small part of their worries, one that I can help them manage.’
One of Margot’s specialist areas is in protecting non-traditional trade marks. These include shape, colour, and sound trade marks. Margot has a track record of obtaining protection for clients in this particularly tricky area of trade mark law.
There's a lot to keep an eye on, but AJ Park manages our IP extremely well. Knowing they'll advise us when issues arise gives us peace of mind.- Tim Silverstone, GM Corporate Affairs, Sealord
Margot's recent professional accolades include selection by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers™ in New Zealand in 2022.
Outside of work Margot enjoys putting her practical, common-sense approach to work in home improvement and DIY projects. She’s also very fond of cheese, in particular Dutch-style New Zealand cheeses and creamy blues. It’s something that developed alongside her other passion, travel. As well as extended stays in London, she’s also visited the Easter Islands, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Bolivia, Chile and Guatemala, and spent 11 weeks travelling solo through China.
- LLB, Victoria University of Wellington (1996)
- Admitted as a Barrister & Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand
- Registered Patent Attorney (New Zealand and Australia)
- Registered Trade Marks Attorney (Australia)
Sealord \ Catch of the day
With 4.4 million square kilometres of marine fisheries waters, New Zealand's fishing and aquaculture industry is worth $1.3 billion annually. Sealord, New Zealand's best known Seafood brand, distributes more than $500 million worth of sustainable, quality seafood each year to consumers in over 60 countriesCatch of the day
Margot Smith's insights
\ 3 Aug 2021
AJ Park’s continued recognition for excellence and expertise
We’re pleased to be named amongst the very best in the most recent rankings for Best Lawyers, IAM Patent 1000, Managing IP…
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 \ 9 Apr 2021
Madrid trade mark registrations in Zambia, Lesotho, Sierra Leone and…
International trade mark registrations through the Madrid Protocol System (MPS) do not carry any legal force in Zambia, eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), Lesotho…
Article \ 24 Mar 2021
IP dispute between Taylor Swift and US theme park turns…
“Taylor Swift” (image cropped) by Eve Rinaldi licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0Does a scorpion sting when fighting back? Yes, according to the…
Article \ 23 Feb 2021
New Zealand signs the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement
This article discusses the impact of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement on geographical indications (GIs) and Māori traditional knowledge in…
Article \ 27 Jan 2021
Rules for owning Australian domain names are changing
The rules for owning Australian domain names are changing from 12 April 2021. This will affect businesses who currently own .com.au or…
Article \ 19 Jan 2021
The brands and the bees: trade marks and the Mānuka…
The global honey market is estimated to be worth over US$8 billion dollars, and Mānuka honey is the industry’s “Queen Bee”. Mānuka…