Region: South Africa

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

Domain name parking may constitute abusive registration

In <i>Mxit Lifestyle (Pty) Ltd v Steyn</i>, the alternative dispute resolution body for '.za' domain names has found for the first time that domain name parking can constitute an abusive registration in certain circumstances. The decision also confirmed that the relevant date for showing such rights to a name or mark is the date of the complaint, and not the registration date of the disputed domain name.

05 November 2008

Lizard device held to infringe Lacoste’s crocodile mark

In <i>Lacoste SA (formerly La Chemise Lacoste) v Long Chang Trading CC</i>, the High Court has enjoined Long Chang Trading CC from infringing Lacoste SA's registered crocodile device mark. Among other things, the court found that Long Chang's lizard device presented more than one of the essential particulars of Lacoste's mark.

24 October 2008

CAL-C-VITA held to be misleading

In <i>Woodin v Bayer (Pty) Ltd</i>, the directorate of the Advertising Standards Authority has held that the packaging of Bayer (Pty) Ltd's Cal-C-Vita Immune Protector product was misleading. Among other things, the directorate concluded that consumers could reasonably expect the product to contain calcium. The predominance of the trademark CAL-C-VITA on the product's packaging enhanced the likelihood of confusion.

15 October 2008

Jenni Button restrained from using her own name

In <i>Button v Jenni Button (Pty) Ltd</i>, the High Court (Cape of Good Hope Provincial Division) has granted an order enjoining Jenni Button, a well-known South African clothing designer, from making use of the trade name Jenni Button for the purposes of conducting business within the retail clothing trade in South Africa. Button was also directed to pay the costs of the application.

03 October 2008

Citroën car aficionado ordered to transfer ‘’ domain name

A South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law adjudicator has ordered a Citroën car enthusiast to transfer the domain name '' to Automobiles Citroën, the well-known French automobile manufacturer, despite finding no evidence that the domain name was registered in bad faith.

24 July 2008

Draft legislation to protect traditional knowledge proposed

The South African Department of Trade and Industry has published the draft Intellectual Property Amendment Bill 2007, which aims to incorporate traditional knowledge protection. Among other things, the bill establishes a national framework to administer the protection system, including a National Council for Traditional Intellectual Property with appropriate responsibilities, duties and functions.

16 June 2008

Pick 'n Pay is crocked by Crocs

In <i>Pick 'n Pay Retailers (Pty) Ltd v Commissioner of South African Revenue Services</i>, the High Court has refused to set aside a warrant for the seizure of Crocs shoes imported by Pick 'n Pay Retailers (Pty) Ltd. Among other things, the court held that the magistrate had correctly found that there were reasonable grounds for believing that an act of counterfeiting had taken, was taking or was likely to take place.

10 June 2008

Unlock unlimited access to all WTR content