Patents, Designs, Trade Marks and Copyright
Smit & Van Wyk, Inc. is a specialist legal practice dealing exclusively with patent and trade mark law in South Africa and across Africa. Our qualified and experienced attorneys are able to give you the best legal advice regarding your intellectual property. Our fields of practice encompass all aspects relating to patents, trade marks, designs, copyright, including litigation, as well as providing advice on the commercial rights attached to each of these forms of protection. Once the intellectual property of a business has been identified, it is recommended to take steps to protect it, whether by means of registered forms of intellectual property protection such as patents, trade marks, 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.
A trade mark 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.