Smit & Van Wyk Patent, Trademark & Registered Designs

Intellectual Property Attorneys

Intellectual Property Attorneys

As specialist intellectual property attorneys, we deal exclusively with intellectual property law here at Smit & Van Wyk. We have the knowledge, resources and experience to provide intellectual property advice on all fields of practice relating to patents, trade marks, industrial designs, copyright, franchising, and trade secrets.  We also provide advice on the commercial rights attached to each of these forms of protection, as well as intellectual property litigation. We file patent, trade mark, and registered design applications for our South African clients into foreign markets, while also assisting overseas patent attorneys that wish to file in South Africa or the rest of Africa. Many of our intellectual property attorneys are also qualified engineers or scientists, making them extremely skilled in their fields of practice and able to provide excellent advice on complex legal matters to our clients.

They are further aided by a dedicated support team that ensures we are efficient and up to date at all times, with the help of state-of-the-art software. We also have an outstanding foreign department that assists with patent, trade mark, and registered design cases that cross borders. Feel free to contact our Intellectual Property Attorneys to assist with your enquiry, whether you are a local South African client, or an overseas patent attorney that requires advice on IP filings in South Africa or the rest of Africa.


The rights that creators have over their literary and artistic works. Works covered by copyright range from books, online content, music, paintings, sculpture and films, to computer programs, databases, advertisements, maps and technical drawings. In South Africa, Copyright does not have to be registered. Copyright vests in the author of a work once the work is created in a material form.

Trade Marks

According to the South African trademark law you can register your unique mark to protect your business interest from being exploited and potentially harmed through misuse by unauthorised entities. Once you have registered your trademark, the South African trademark law requires you to renew this every ten years to stay in force. However, provided you continue renewing your trademark registration in South Africa, your rights to the trademark may last indefinitely.


Grants exclusive rights for an invention, providing the patent owner with the right to decide on how the invention can be used by others. In exchange for this right, the patent owner discloses technical information about the invention to the public. A South African patent may be granted for an invention that is new, inventive and useful. If your invention meets these three requirements, subject to certain exclusions, a patent may be granted.

Registered Designs

Protects the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of a product. A design may consist of three-dimensional features such as the shapes, or of two-dimensional features such as patterns, lines or colors. In South Africa, the designs register is split into aesthetic and functional. An aesthetic design protects the appearance of an article, irrespective of the aesthetic value thereof. A functional design protects the appearance of an article which appearance involves a function to perform.

Plant Breeders’ Rights 

A form of intellectual property rights granted to breeders of new plant varieties for protection of their varieties against exploitation without their permission. To be granted rights, a plant variety must be new, distinct, uniform, stable and have an acceptable denomination (variety name). Well known plant species protected by plant breeders’ rights include: (1) the peppadew plant which classifies as a fruit, (2) flowers such as carnation varieties bred for high tolerance to fusarium, (3) wheat varieties bred for enhanced productivity and varietal improvement, (4) and seedless table grapes that are easier to produce.

Posted on 7 January 2010
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Patent Attorneys
It is highly recommended that your claims be written by a qualified patent attorney or patent agent. The patent attorneys at Smit & Van Wyk provide a wide range of patent-related services across multiple industries and fields of technologies, including patent drafting, filing and prosecution.

Mauritius Trademarks
Mauritius trademarks recognise the Nice Classification of goods and services, and allows for multi-class filing. Mauritius trademarks are valid for 10 years from the filing date and renewable for periods of 10 years each upon payment of the renewal fee.

Franchise Attorneys
Franchising legal advice is specialised and differs from other areas of law, thus you need find yourself an attorney that specialises in this specific type of law. Franchise attorneys represent the franchisor, as well as the franchisee. 

PCT National Phase Patents
The PCT National Phase is the second of the two main phases of the PCT procedure. It follows the international phase and consists in the processing of the international application before each Office of (or acting for a Contracting State) that has been designated in the international application.