2017 Smit & Van Wyk, Inc.

Important Notices

  • We are moving 1 November 2017 to our new offices at Brooklyn Bridge Office Park in Pretoria.
  • CIPC will be closed to the public from 10h00 on Friday 22 December 2017 to Monday 1 January 2018.

Intellectual Property Attorneys

Smit & Van Wyk, Inc. is a specialist legal practice dealing exclusively with patent and trademark law in South Africa. Our qualified and experienced patent attorneys are able to give you the best legal advice regarding your intellectual property. Our fields of practice encompass all aspects relating to patents, trademarks, 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, trademarks, 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. It is highly recommended that your claims be written by a qualified patent attorney or patent agent.

Trade Marks

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.

Trademarks Facts South Africa

A trademark is a name, slogan or logo that distinguishes the brand of one entity from another. CIPC administers the Register of Trademarks in the Republic of South Africa. The trademark registration process in South Africa is quite lengthy, which is due to various...

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How to Patent an Idea

How to Patent an idea in South Africa and abroad Keep your Idea a SECRET: It is important to keep your idea a secret because a patent may only be granted for an idea that i new, inventive and useful.  If your idea meets these requirements, generally, it should be...

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First Trademark applications for covfefe

Donald Trump published a tweet containing the mysterious 'covfefe' word at 12:06 on Wednesday, 31 May 2017 and the world went crazy. It left many of his 31 million Twitter followers confused, and slightly concerned. He later then tweeted "who can figure out the true...

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