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Intellectual Property

Africa
Smit & Van Wyk Patent, Trademark & Registered Designs

Industrial Designs in Africa

Industrial Design protection often forms part of a comprehensive IP portfolio and protection of registered designs thus goes hand-in-hand with other forms of IP protection. Our patent attorneys can assist in the identification, protection, prosecution and enforcement of industrial designs in South Africa and abroad. Our attorneys have the necessary experience to advise clients on the steps to take to protect their registered designs in the various African jurisdictions. Unfortunately, as with other forms of protection such as patents and trade marks, Africa does not have unified laws when it comes to protection of designs. We therefore, need to advise clients on the following aspects in respect of each of the African countries:

  • the filing requirements;
  • whether a country is a member of the Paris Convention;
  • whether a country forms part of the Hague Agreement which provides protection in multiple jurisdictions;
  • whether they are members of the two regional organisations being ARIPO and OAPI; and
  • any other peculiarities that need to be considered in a particular country.

It is also important to note that design protection is not available in all African countries. Please contact us for more information. For further filing requirements for each of the African countries and for the various regional systems, please refer to the Africa page.

Patents in Africa, Trademarks in Africa

Smit & Van Wyk provides a full range of Intellectual Property legal services in all African countries where protection is available. We can provide information on the filing requirements in each of the African countries and can also offer information on the various regional IP organisations such as ARIPO, OAPI and the Madrid protocol. We work with a network of trusted and knowledgeable agents to develop the best possible solution to each of our clients’ needs for trade marks, designs and patents in Africa.

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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...