Region: South Africa

LOTTO mark held to be generic

In <i>On-line Lottery Services (Pty) Ltd v National Lotteries Board</i>, the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa has held that the trademark LOTTO, which is owned by the National Lotteries Board, was generic. The decision illustrates that a registration certificate is simply a first-glance proof of right, even after substantial use of the mark.

10 September 2009

SWARTLAND is a valid trademark for wine, says court

The Western Cape High Court has restrained a producer and exporter of wine from infringing the registered trademark SWARTLAND through the manufacture, marketing, selling or exporting of wine incorporating the mark. The court also dismissed the respondent's application for expungement of the mark on the grounds that it had become capable of distinguishing the applicant’s goods.

25 June 2009

FOAM-O held to infringe famous OMO mark

In <i>Unilever Plc v Salma Traders</i>, the High Court of South Africa has considered whether the use of the trademark FOAM-O by Salma Traders in respect of detergents infringed Unilever Plc's OMO marks under Sections 34(1)(a) and 34(1)(c) of the Trademarks Act. The court concluded that Salma had infringed the OMO mark under Section 34(1)(a), but, regrettably, did not make a finding under Section 34(1)(c).

04 March 2009

Infringement found despite non-use of registered mark

In <i>Golden Fried Chicken (Pty) Ltd v Soulsa CC</i>, the High Court has injuncted Soulsa CC from infringing the registered mark SOUL. The case is a reminder of the strength of registered trademark rights in South Africa. It also raises questions as to the circumstances in which a rights holder can enjoy a period of exclusivity with regard to a mark when that mark that has remained unused for almost a decade.

26 February 2009

New IP legislation on publicly financed R&D enacted

The new Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Financed Research and Development Act has been enacted. It is based on the principle that intellectual property constitutes an important component of the assets of a business enterprise, reflecting the rewards to be gained from investment in research and development. The act expressly applies to all South African universities and to 10 research bodies.

18 February 2009

Koo baked beans’ packaging worthy of protection, says ASA

The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa has ordered Emirates Industries to withdraw the packaging of its Mister Bean baked beans product on the grounds that it exploited the advertising goodwill, and imitated the packaging of, Tiger Food Brands Intellectual Property Holding Company (Pty) Ltd's Koo baked beans.

10 February 2009

Sun International obtains transfer of ‘’

In <i>Sun International v Blue Chip Accommodation</i>, an adjudicator at the South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law has ordered that the domain name '' be transferred to Sun International, the owner of the SUN CITY trademarks. The decision illustrates that it is not a defence to claim that the use of the domain name will benefit the complainant.

14 January 2009

Political challenges for trademarks in South Africa

With an election promised next year, the complex debate surrounding the famous springbok emblem still in the news and now a dispute over the name of a political party, <i>WTR</i> spoke to some of South Africa's leading trademark practitioners to assess the Rainbow Nation's IP policies – and what the future could hold.

03 December 2008

ANC sues rival party over trademark application

The ANC, South Africa's ruling party, is today taking rival party Congress of the People to court over its name which the ANC argues is "confusingly similar" to a name in which it has rights.

20 November 2008

Aunt Caroline image is protectable, says ASA

In <i>Tiger Food Brands Intellectual Property Holding Company (Pty) Ltd v Jadwats Wholesalers (Pty) Ltd</i>, the Advertising Standards Authority has held that the Aunt Caroline image on the plaintiff's rice product was worthy of protection. Among other things, the ASA ruled that the defendant's product imitated the packaging of the Aunt Caroline product to an extent likely to result in a loss of advertising value.

18 November 2008

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