A patent is a monopoly or an exclusive right granted for a specified period of time by the State to an inventor, or to another person, in exchange for  a full disclosure of the invention to the public.This monopoly entitles an Applicant, within the territory of the Republic, to exclude any third party from making, using, disposing or offering to dispose of, or importing the invention for the specified period…


WHAT IS THE VALUE OF A TRADE MARK AND WHY SHOULD I REGISTER A TRADE MARK? You may be in the process of building a reputation of your product. If your product is a commercial success, competitors may try to imitate your product and capitalise on your goodwill and reputation. To ensure that the buying public does not confuse your goods or services with those of your competitors, registering a…


WHAT IS COPYRIGHT? In basic terms, Copyright is the right to prevent others from copying, or from using for commercial gain, that which belongs to you. IS THERE A STATUTE GOVERNING COPYRIGHT? Yes, the Copyright Act 98 of 1978. WHAT IS PROTECTED IN TERMS OF THE Copyright Act, 1978? Copyright can be described as the statutory right which vests in the creator of an original work, recognised by the…


Matters relating to registered designs in South Africa are governed by the Designs Act 195 of 1993.A registered design is generally used to protect the physical appearance of an article and is normally judged solely by the eye. This may be contrasted with a patent which protects functional aspects of an invention or methods or principles of construction. However, in the case of a functional design, the design…


Intellectual property rights, which include inter alia Trade Marks, Copyright, Patents, Designs and rights afforded by common law such as Know How, are becoming increasingly visible especially due to the massive affect of globalisation


May be registered for the manner in which a process is carried out, or the basis, or principle of operation of a product or machine and in general protects a concept. For an invention to be protectable it must be new (not know anywhere in the world) and must involve an inventive step. A patent is valid for 20 years from date of filing provided that the prescribed renewal fees are paid.

Know How

Generally refers to secret technology, and usually relates to a process. It may be licensed to others in return for payment. By its nature, know how will only be valid for as long as the trade secret remain secret.

Trade Marks

Is generally used to protect a name or logo (device) of the Applicant, which is attached to an article for marketing, or to a service rendered. Simple examples would include the Coca Cola trade mark and OMO. In some instance it is even possible to protect a sound or shape, configuration,colour, pattern or ornamentation by a Trade Mark. Trade marks are valid for life – provided that the prescribed renewal fees are paid every ten years.


Generally protects the visual (aesthetic) appearance of an article. In order for a design to be registered, it must be new. Designs are generally classified into two categories namely Aesthetic Designs and Functional Designs. An Aesthetic design is generally judge solely by the eye (appearance) whereas a Functional Design is necessitate by its function.


Subsists in artistic works such as literary works, music, cinematographic films, sound recordings, drawings, plans, computer programs etc. It may protect a two dimensional or three dimensional work and generally comes into existence automatically and hence does not require registration. Cinematographic films may be registered, although copyright does come into existence automatically, the registration certificate is considered to be proof such existence.

Various other forms of Intellectual Property rights exists such as Internet, Plant Breeder Rights, Franchising and Licensing and we invite you to contact us should any additional information be required on any of the aforementioned topic. Please peruse our intellectual property portfolio for additional information.

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