Intellectual Property Attorneys
Smit & Van Wyk, Inc. is a specialist legal practice dealing exclusively with patent and trademark law in South Africa. Our fields of practice encompass all aspects relating to patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright, including litigation, as well as providing advice on the commercial rights attached to each of these forms of protection. Strange as it may sound, many individuals and businesses are unaware of the intellectual property that they have created, or they often underestimate its value. Therefore, if certain steps are not taken to protect their intellectual property (patents, registered designs, trade marks, copyright), such intellectual property cannot be exploited to its full commercial potential.
The first step in protecting your intellectual property is to identify it. Although it may seem like an obvious process, it is most often not possible to identify the intellectual property of a business without involving specialized expertise. Once the intellectual property of a business has been identified, it is possible to take steps to protect it, whether by means of registered forms of intellectual property protection such as patents, trade marks, registered designs, or unregistered forms of intellectual property protection, such as copyright, contractual agreements or non-statutory forms of protection.
A patent is an exclusive right granted by a sovereign state to an inventor for a limited period of time in exchange for the details of that invention. The procedure for granting a patent vary widely between countries according to national laws and international agreements, but a patent application must include claims that define the invention. These claims must meet relevant patentability requirements, such as novelty, usefulness, and non-obviousness.
A Trademark is a mark which distinguishes your goods or services from goods or services of others in South Africa, or elsewhere. Examples of Trade Marks: Name, Slogan, Logo, Shapes, Three-dimensional Marks, Colors, Holograms, Motions / Multimedia, Positions, Gestures, Olfactory (smells / scents), Sounds / Tunes, Tastes, Textures. A registered trade mark can be protected forever.
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