Region: South Africa

Consumer Protection Act to benefit both mark owners and consumers

The Consumer Protection Act, which comes into full operation in October this year, contains important provisions relating to the use and registration of business names. In broad terms, it seeks to prevent the use of business names which may mislead consumers into thinking that one business is endorsed by, or associated with, another. The provisions of the act on business names should thus be welcomed by trademark owners.

16 July 2010

'.za' domain name space to undergo major overhaul

Sweeping changes are being introduced with a view to harmonizing the registration and management of domain names across all of the South African domain name extensions. As part of the proposed changes, any party that wishes to offer domain name registrations under '' will have to undergo a registrar accreditation process.

07 July 2010

Significant ruling on geographical place names for services issued

In <i>Century City Apartments Property Services CC v Century City Property Owners' Association</i>, the Supreme Court of Appeal has ruled that the mark CENTURY CITY for services in Classes 36, 41 and 42 had become a sign which may serve in trade to designate the geographical origin of services. The court thus ordered that the trademark registrations for CENTURY CITY be revoked.

20 January 2010

Application for cancellation dismissed in golfers' playoff

In <i>South African Junior Golf Association v The Registrar of Companies</i>, the Western Cape High Court has dismissed the South African Golf Association's application for the cancellation of the South African Junior Golf Association's trademark SOUTH AFRICAN JUNIOR GOLF ASSOCIATION. Among other things, the court stated that the two bodies did not render the same service.

01 December 2009

Joining forces: South Africa's new combined approach to IP

After a summer of criticism over the fraudulent behaviour of some staff members, the South African IP office is now embarking on a major structural overhaul. As <i>WTR</i> discovers, this may prove to be a bright idea worthy of the world's attention.

24 November 2009

Ambush marketers dealt another blow in FIFA Case

In <i>Fédération International de Football Association (FIFA) v Metcash Trading Africa (Pty) Ltd</i>, the High Court has upheld FIFA's claim that Metcash Trading Africa (Pty) Ltd was competing unlawfully with it by selling a lollypop bearing the trademark ASTOR 2010 POPS, together with the partial depiction of a South African flag and depictions of soccer balls.

22 October 2009

Caterham principles are not retrospective in effect, says court

In <i>Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research v Theatre Mayo Clinic Company (Pty) Ltd</i>, the High Court of South Africa has held that the applicant was not entitled to rely on the landmark 1998 Caterham decision because the alleged unlawful conduct of the respondents commenced prior to 1998. The decision established that Caterham is not retrospective in effect.

20 October 2009

Trademarks 'unaffected' by fraudulent activity, claims South African IP office

The South African Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office has told <i>WTR</i> that recent fraudulent activity relates to company name reservations and the identity of company directors, and has not affected trademark applications and registrations.

05 October 2009

Puma defeated in 'copycat' shoe case

In <i>Puma AG Rudolf Dassler Sport v Global Warming (Pty) Limited</i>, the Supreme Court of Appeal has dismissed Puma AG Rudolf Dassler Sport's appeal against a decision of the High Court in a case involving Global Warming (Pty) Limited's use of a stripe device and the words 'DT New York' on a sports shoe. The case raises serious questions as to the protection available to device marks in South Africa.

28 September 2009

Registrant forced to relinquish domain name despite rights in mark

In <i>Masstores (Pty) Ltd v Dore (Revolutionary Marketing CC)</i>, an adjudicator at the South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law has ruled that the registration of '' was abusive despite the fact that the registrant had been using the trademark GARDENMASTER for longer than the complainant.

24 September 2009

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