South Africa

South African IPO recovers CIPRO domain after cybersecurity concerns

Fears over potential phishing attacks were sparked last month when it was revealed that a domain name previously used by South Africa's Companies and Intellectual Property Commission had been purchased by an individual in Mexico.

<strong>South African IPO recovers CIPRO domain after cybersecurity concerns </strong>

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27 Jul 2018

Mark owners beware: trademarks slipping through the cracks of loose corporate structures and corporate governance

Two recent decisions of the South African Supreme Court of Appeal highlight the dangers to trademark owners, from a proof of use perspective, in not setting up their corporate structures properly. Read more

29 May 2018

South Africa a step closer to plain packaging tobacco products

In a move that brings South Africa a step closer to plain packaging for tobacco products, the Department of Health has invited public comment on the Draft Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill 2018. Read more

21 May 2018

High Court: for purposes of passing off, one must compare "whole get-up" of products

In Crabtree Electrical v Lesco Manufacturing, South Africa’s High Court has found that there could be no passing off when one considered the "whole get-up" used by the parties when marketing their products. Read more

16 May 2018

Supreme Court of Appeal: "one cannot monopolise the commons of the English language"

The Supreme Court of Appeal found no likelihood of confusion between PEPPAMATES and PEPPADEW, highlighting the consequences of adopting a descriptive mark through the use of a phonetic equivalent. Read more

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Anti-counterfeiting

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1 Jul 2017

Notorious markets: where to police

In the second of a two-part series, we profile markets which were omitted from the Office of the US Trade Representative’s Notorious Markets List, but which brand owners should have on their radars. This issue, we turn our attention to Asia and Africa Read more

Enforcement and litigation

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27 Jul 2018

Mark owners beware: trademarks slipping through the cracks of loose corporate structures and corporate governance

Two recent decisions of the South African Supreme Court of Appeal highlight the dangers to trademark owners, from a proof of use perspective, in not setting up their corporate structures properly. Read more

21 May 2018

High Court: for purposes of passing off, one must compare "whole get-up" of products

In Crabtree Electrical v Lesco Manufacturing, South Africa’s High Court has found that there could be no passing off when one considered the "whole get-up" used by the parties when marketing their products. Read more

16 May 2018

Supreme Court of Appeal: "one cannot monopolise the commons of the English language"

The Supreme Court of Appeal found no likelihood of confusion between PEPPAMATES and PEPPADEW, highlighting the consequences of adopting a descriptive mark through the use of a phonetic equivalent. Read more

11 May 2018

Counterfeiting in Africa: part two of an A-Z guide

In part two of our A-Z guide to the anti-counterfeiting framework across Africa, we look at problems and solutions from Nigeria to Zambia. Read more

Goverment/policy

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11 Jul 2017

South Africa’s recently tabled Copyright Amendment Bill 2017

Amending the Copyright Act has long been on South Africa’s legal reform agenda and now, through the collective effort of stakeholders, a new Copyright Act is within reach. Read more

IP offices

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15 Aug 2016

Venturing into Africa: law firm opportunity and risk in an evolving IP landscape

For this week’s blog post from the WTR 1000 research team, it is timely to consider the current state of trademark protection in Africa. Read more

Online

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9 Jun 2017

‘Drop-catching’ defence tested in South African domain name complaint

The practice of drop catching in the South African domain name space (‘.co.za’) was considered for the first time in a dispute concerning the domain name ‘darling.co.za’. The adjudicator ruled that the domain name registration abused the complainant’s rights. Where the domain name in dispute is identical to the complaint’s trademark, the onus is on the registrant to prove that the domain name is not abusive. Read more

23 Sep 2016

CLEARVU is again the subject matter of litigation proceedings

The trademark CLEARVU has again been the subject matter of litigation proceedings. After going head to head in South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal over CLEARVU as a Google Adword, M-Systems Group Ltd recently opposed Cochrane Steel Product Ltd’s application to register the trademark, arguing that CLEARVU was not capable of distinguishing. Read more

7 Jul 2016

Supreme Court of Appeal upholds ruling in Africa’s first AdWords case

South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal has upheld a High Court ruling that bidding on a competitor’s trademark as a keyword, without more, is not passing off. Read more

27 Jun 2016

Clarity on Google AdWords in South Africa

Google AdWords have been the subject of a number of disputes in various territories. The decision in Cochrane Steel Products v M-Systems Group has provided much-needed clarity regarding this advertising practice. Read more

Portfolio management

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10 Oct 2017

A TWIST in the tale of landmark trademark dispute

South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal has handed down a landmark decision involving a trademark dispute between PepsiCo Inc and Atlantic Industries, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company.  Read more

22 Jun 2017

OAPI adopts 11th edition of the Nice Classification

The Trademarks Registry of the African Intellectual Property Organisation (OAPI) announced recently that all new trademark applications which are filed at the OAPI Registry need to conform to the latest (11th) edition of the Nice Classification system on the registration of trademarks. OAPI has acceded to a number of international treaties aimed at creating a modern and dynamic framework and to harmonise administrative procedures in the registration of titles. Read more

9 Jun 2017

‘Drop-catching’ defence tested in South African domain name complaint

The practice of drop catching in the South African domain name space (‘.co.za’) was considered for the first time in a dispute concerning the domain name ‘darling.co.za’. The adjudicator ruled that the domain name registration abused the complainant’s rights. Where the domain name in dispute is identical to the complaint’s trademark, the onus is on the registrant to prove that the domain name is not abusive. Read more

23 Sep 2016

CLEARVU is again the subject matter of litigation proceedings

The trademark CLEARVU has again been the subject matter of litigation proceedings. After going head to head in South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal over CLEARVU as a Google Adword, M-Systems Group Ltd recently opposed Cochrane Steel Product Ltd’s application to register the trademark, arguing that CLEARVU was not capable of distinguishing. Read more

Trademark law

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11 May 2018

Counterfeiting in Africa: part two of an A-Z guide

In part two of our A-Z guide to the anti-counterfeiting framework across Africa, we look at problems and solutions from Nigeria to Zambia. Read more

7 Apr 2018

Trump, Brexit and Korean reunification: the political issues weighing on the minds of trademark practitioners

​​​​​​​Research from World Trademark Review reveals the political issues that counsel say could significantly impact enforcement efforts, both now and in the future. Read more

14 Feb 2018

Supreme Court of Appeal's CLEARVU decision: a clearer view of disclaimers and admissions?

In Cochrane Steel v M-Systems, which concerned the trademark CLEARVU, the Supreme Court of Appeal has considered the effect of disclaimers and admissions in South African trademark law. Read more

3 Jan 2018

Amendments to the ‘.za’ Alternative Dispute Resolution Regulations

The Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services has made significant amendments to the ‘.za’ Alternative Dispute Resolution Regulations, including a mandatory informal mediation service to be run by the ‘.za’ domain name authority. Read more

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