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Intellectual Property Blog

Patents, Trade Marks & Copyright

Register Business Name

Register your Business Name & Trade Mark South Africa Register a Company If you would like your business to transact with the formal sector, or wish to access government support, you are required to register the business with the CIPC.  To register a business is a...

The Stapler Invention

A stapler is a device that joins pages by driving a metal staple through the paper and folding the ends. It can also be used to join human or animal tissue together with surgical staples to close a wound. The first known stapler was made in the 18th century in France...

How to File a Trademark

How to File a Trademark South Africa A registered trademark represents the mark that distinguishes your products / services from others. Trademarks are filed with the intellectual property office in Pretoria an will be subject to certain requirements. A trademark may...

Trademark Registration South Africa

Trademark Registration South Africa A trademark registration in South Africa is filed with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) in Pretoria, together with details of the applicant, details of the trademark, classes, list of goods and services, and...

Registered Design vs Patent

A registered design protects the appearance of an article, unlike a patent which protects the invention on which an article is based. Even though the underlying principle of operation may be the same, a new appearance may be protectable by way of a registered design....

TM Registration

TM Registration Trademark Registration in South Africa A TM registration (trademark registration) may be done by a qualified trademark attorney or trademark practitioner. When a trademark (Name, Slogan, Logo, Shapes, 3D Marks, Colours) has been registered, competitors...

How to get a Patent

A patent is an exclusive right granted by a sovereign state to an inventor in exchange for the details of that invention. The procedure on how to get a patent might vary between countries, but a patent application should always include claims that define the...

International Trademark Search

International Trade Mark Search Trade Mark Search Websites International Trade Mark Search websites for Eurpoe, U.S, Australia, ARIPO, China and South Africa. A word or mark that distinguishes your goods / services from the goods / services of others is considered a...

ARIPO Trademarks

ARIPO Trademarks Trademark Registration and Protection Smit & Van Wyk Intellectual Property law firm specialises in Trade Mark filings for ARIPO (African Regional Intellectual Property Organization). ARIPO is an intergovernmental organisation for English-speaking...

Registered Trademark Symbol

Registered Trademark Symbol ® and ™ are the two symbols commonly used to indicate trademarks. ® is used as the registered trademark symbol and ™ is used for marks that have not been registered. The registered trademark symbol provides notice that the word or mark has...

gTool PenDriver

gTool is the leading tooling brand committed to innovation in the mobile and cell repair industry. PenDriver is the worlds first artificial intelligent screwdriver that is able to think for itself and determine screw orientation. PenDriver Pro The PenDriver...

Brexit effects on Intellectual Property

A portmanteau of the words “Britain” and “exit,” it is the nickname for a British exit of the European Union. The UK refers to the union of what were once four separate nations: England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland (although most of Ireland is now...

Patent Protection China

Patent Protection in China A patent is an exclusive right granted for a product or a process that provides a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem. The patented invention cannot be commercially made, used, distributed or sold...

Patent Protection United States

Patent Protection in the U.S File a Patent in the U.S In simple terms, any person who invents or discovers a new and useful process or composition of matter (or any new and useful improvement thereof) may obtain a patent in the United States of America, subject to...

Patent Litigation

Patent Litigation When a patent is infringed, the patentee has various options to consider including litigation. Litigation is an action brought in court to enforce a particular right and involves a series of steps that may lead to a court trial and ultimately the...

Madrid System

Madrid System International System for Trade Marks The Madrid system is the primary international system for facilitating the registration of trade marks in multiple jurisdictions around the world. Its legal basis is the multilateral treaty Madrid Agreement of 1891,...

Intellectual Property Law

Intellectual property law in South Africa refers to all legislation concerning patents, designs, trademarks and copyright protection. It is meant to protect the intellectual property of legal entities, as intellectual property can also carry significant...

Trademark Applications

Trademark Applications South Africa Trademark Applications represent marks which distinguishes your goods or services from goods or services of others. Trademark applications in terms of the South African Trade Marks Act No 194 of 1993 and subject to certain...

Public Domain Works

Public domain works refers to intellectual property that is not owned by anyone. The term indicates that these properties are therefore "public", and available for anyone to use. The public domain can be defined in contrast to copyright, trademarks or patents....

Industrial Designs

What is industrial design? An industrial design is the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of an article. The design may consist of three-dimensional features, such as the shape or surface of an article, or of two-dimensional features, such as patterns, lines or...

Database Rights

European Union law In European Union law, a database protection is a legal right, that was introduced in 1996. Database rights are specifically coded laws on the copying and dissemination of information in computer databases. De facto, databases when defended have...

Copyright Applications

It is not necessary to formally submit copyright applications in order to receive copyright protection. Copyright exists automatically in force of creation. In other words, as soon as the qualifying work is written or recorded on some physical...

How to protect your Copyright

Copyright attorneys will tell you that copyright in South Africa, as in many other countries, does not need to be registered. Unlike patents, trademarks and designs, the rights associated with copyright rest in the author of a work once the work is created...

Patented

There are several categories of Intellectual Property in South Africa. The overall concept of Intellectual Property relates to ideas and creations of the mind. Your ideas and creations can take the form of an invention, design, mark, song, photograph or poem, and...

Copyright Attorneys

Smit & Van Wyk is an intellectual property law firm located in South Africa. Our copyright attorneys have experience dealing with copyright and trademark related issues. With advances in technology, copyright infringement is increasing, so our copyright attorneys...

Register a Patent

To register a patent in South Africa is a two-step process, with the two steps being spaced 12 months apart. The reason for this two-step approach to patents is to give you time to determine the market for your invention, and to refine your invention into...

Patent Exploitation

A patent grants exclusive rights to an inventor for a fixed period of time in exchange for the public disclosure of that invention. A patent is an exclusionary right which gives the owner the right to exclude others from making use of or infringing the patent in any...

Design protection in South Africa

Design protection in South Africa is awarded based on the article appearance and not the underlying invention of the article. Design protection is cheaper than patent protection and is often in used combination with trademarks, patents, and copyright to gain maximum...

Patent an Invention

How to Patent an Invention In order to patent an invention it has to be New, Inventive and Useful. This means that the invention has to be useful to agriculture and industry, involve an inventive step and fall within the categories of...

Registered Design Renewals

Registered designs (South Africa) must be renewed within the allotted timeframe and must be done on the 3rd anniversary of the registration. There is a six months grace period for the payment of the renewal fees, but it should be noted that a fine is also payable....

Application for Design Registration

Applications for design registrations are filed at the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission in Pretoria. Some designs are necessitated by function and others are aesthetic, although it is also possible to register your article for both. In addition, it is...

Copyright Protection of Photographs

It is important to know that once you upload your photographs onto the Internet that it is your own responsibility to take the necessary steps to protect the copyright of your photographs. Copyright Symbol © The first step to protect your...

Trademark a company name

Trademark a Company Name South Africa Do not mistake the registration of a company with that of registering a trademark. It is possible to register a company in South Africa without registering the trademark. It is recommended that you also register the trademark the...

How to Register a Trade Mark

 How to register a Trade Mark South Africa Register a trade mark that uniquely identifies and distinguishes the products and services for which it is used. You can register a trade mark under the regulations of the South African Trade Marks Act No. 194 of 1993. The...

Patent Duration

Patent duration refers to the period in which the patent holder has monopoly rights to their invention, the granting of usage, distribution, and marketing rights to others, and the right to commercial benefit from such for a specific period. Patent duration is...

Copyright Protection in South Arica

Copyright is just one of the four divisions that fall under the general heading of Intellectual Property, and there are South African attorneys who have had special training in the subject and will be only too happy to advise you on the subject. The four general...

Filing a Patent

To file a patent for an invention in South AfricaRequirements for the invention to be considered eligible for patent rights:- Novel, Original- Not obvious to someone skilled in the art- Applicable in industry, commerce or agriculture- Involve an inventive...

Developing Zika Vaccines

Krishna Ella's Indian firm, Bharat Biotech (represented by Smit & Van Wyk, Inc.), has become the first company in the world to have two vaccine candidates against the rapidly spreading Zika virus. Zika doesn’t cause much harm to adults, but when pregnant women get...

What is a Patent?

So what is a Patent and why is it so important? A patent is the sole right granted to an inventor by the State for a given length of time in exchange for making the invention known to the public. Application for a patent in South Africa must be made through the CIPC...

Domain Name Infringement

Trademarks serve to distinguish companies, goods, and services from competitors, and domain names provide unique identification on the Internet. With millions of companies competing for the attention of online users, every step taken in protecting and distinguishing a...

Trademark Registrations

Trademark Registrations South Africa Trademark registrations are done to ensure that the products for which registrations are completed are uniquely marked and distinguishable from that of competitors. The benefits of trade mark registrations outweigh the waiting...

Copyright Films in South Africa

It is possible to copyright films in South Africa under the Copyright Act of 1978, because any cinematograph film or storage, fixation, and production such as signalling of data to produce the work fall under the protection. This means that the soundtrack of...

Aesthetic vs Functional Designs

The difference between aesthetic and functional designs are briefly explained below to help you make an informed decision regarding the appropriate section for your specific design. In both cases, a design can only be valid upon registration if there was no...

Patent Search

The rights of a patent may only be conferred on the inventor if the invention is new and inventive. The invention must thus be novel. This means that the key aspects of the invention may not have been described in any form anywhere in the world before the first...

CIPC

Companies and Intellectual Property Commission The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) was established through the amalgamation of the Office of Companies and Intellectual Property Enforcement (OCIPE) and the Companies and Intellectual Property...

Trademark Attorneys Qualification

Trade Mark Attorneys Qualification saiipl The Trademark Attorneys qualification is a statutory qualification under control of the Patent Examination Board. An Attorney who has this qualification is entitled to register and practice as a Trademark Attorney and to...

Patent Attorneys Qualification

Patent Attorneys Qualification saiipl The Patent Attorneys qualification is a statutory qualification under control of the Patent Examination Board. An Attorney who has this qualification is entitled to register and practice as a Patent Attorney and to Fellowship of...

How to Copyright Films

What is Copyright? A copyright is an exclusive right granted to an author of original work for a limited period of time. For a work to be eligible for copyright protection, it must be original and be reduced to material form. In South Africa all these works are...

Domain Name Disputes

Domain Names vs. Trademarks Domain name disputes occur when someone registers a domain name similar to that of someone else's trademark. It is common practice for a business to register its trademark as a domain name in order for the public to easily identify the...