Intellectual Property

South Africa
Smit & Van Wyk Patent, Trademark & Registered Designs

Copyright as Property Right explained

Copyright is governed by a set of intellectual property laws. Just as patents, trademarks, and designs are types of property rights, so must one respect copyright a property right. A right means that you must have author or ownership over the work and are entitled to specific rights such as compensation, sole usage rights, control over your work, and the right to transfer ownership in part or wholly to another party. Copyright as property right is today widely disputed by anti-copyright groups which argue that software copyrights should be eradicated to ensure the free flow of ideas rather than restricting access to usage and exploitation of works. The groups argue that the large software companies make millions and that they charge too much for their products.

Because of the high prices of software packages, many users make use of peer to peer sharing facilities to share and install software packages. The software companies argue that copyright as a property right should be respected and because there is such widespread piracy of software that they lose millions in revenue. Just as one can have property rights on a specific piece of land, one can also see copyright as a property right in the sense that one is the originator of the work and as such must have full rights over the work.

The peer to peer share systems make it possible to distribute software, music, videos, and other copyright protected material. The problem with this is that the rightful owners of copyrights don’t receive any benefits from such, only the share systems users. Unless copyright as property right is understood, accepted and enforced, many authors and companies will have to ask more for their works because they have a smaller paying market.

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South Africa

South Africa

We assist with the filing, prosecution and enforcement of your patent, design, trade mark and plant breeders’ rights in South Africa. Copyright dispute resolution and litigation. Franchise agreements and negotiation. Company registrations. Domain name registration and protection.

Patents in Africa, Trademarks in Africa

File in Africa

Foreign clients who wish to file patent, design and trade mark applications in South Africa and across Africa (including OAPI and ARIPO). Our firm acts as a patent agent as well as a trade mark agent for foreign clients who wish to protect their Intellectual Property in Africa.

World, International Protection

International Protection

Local clients who wish to file and protect patent , design and trade mark applications internationally. Our services include the search, filing and renewal of patents and trade marks in foreign markets such as Australia, China, the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, etc.

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Domain Names

Domain Names

In simple terms, a domain name is the address through which internet users can access a website, for example, www.companyname.co.za or www.companyname.africa or www.companyname.com. Although these...

Common Law Tort of Passing Off

Common Law Tort of Passing Off

A question that inevitably arises is whether unregistered trade marks are afforded protection in South Africa and if so, to what extent. South African trade mark law is hybrid legal system governed...

South Africa

South Africa

The Smit & Van Wyk team of experienced intellectual property attorneys are able to provide legal advice regarding your patents, trade marks and copyright. We are a specialist...