Smit & Van Wyk Patent, Trademark & Registered Designs

Intellectual Property Law

Intellectual Property Attorneys

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 value and is thus vulnerable for exploitation by outside parties. With the exception of copyright, intellectual property law in South Africa require for this property to be registered in order to qualify for protection. If you come up with a brilliant new invention, but do not register the patent, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it if someone else copies your idea and market it themselves. There are certain requirements that need to be adhered to before you can register something under the intellectual property law. The best advice is to consult with an expert in this field, such as Smit & Van Wyk Incorporated, in order to determine the best way to protect your intangible assets.


In terms of the South African Patents Act No. 57 of 1978, a patent may be granted for any new invention that involves an inventive step and that is capable of being used or applied in trade or industry or agriculture.

Industrial Designs

The rights conferred by a design registration are governed by the South African Designs Act 195 of 1993 (“the Designs Act”).  In terms of the Designs Act, the protection afforded by a registered design relates to a design as applied to an article.

Trade Marks

The Trade Marks Act 194 of 1993 (“the Trade Marks Act”) and the pursuant Regulations defines the mark used or proposed to be used by a person in relation to goods or services for the purpose of distinguishing those goods or services from the same kind of goods or services connected in the course of trade with any other person.


The Copyright Act No 98 of 1978 provides that the following works, if they are original, are eligible for copyright: literary works, musical works, artistic works, cinematograph films, sound recordings, broadcasts, programme-carrying signals, published editions and computer programs.

Posted on 29 May 2016
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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.