Region: South Africa

‘Alliance’ can acquire secondary meaning as used in particular trading style

In <i>Alliance Property Group (Pty) Ltd v Alliance Group (Ltd)</i>, the Supreme Court of Appeal has upheld an appeal from Alliance Property Group (Pty) Ltd, ruling that Alliance Group Ltd was passing its business off as being associated with that of Alliance Property Group. Among other things, the court held that Alliance Property Group had established a reputation in its name and trading style, as required for passing off.

14 April 2011

Trademark can retain status despite being descriptive geographical indicator

In <i>Group LFE (SA) (Pty) Ltd v Swartland Winery Limited</i>, the Supreme Court of Appeal has ruled that a trademark can retain its trademark status even if it is also a descriptive geographical indicator. The judgment provides an important clarification on the recent decision of the court in <i>Century City</i>, in which the name Century City was stripped of its trademark status as a result of having become a geographical indicator.

01 April 2011

Enforcement agencies tight-lipped over South Africa murder investigation

While South African authorities continue to investigate the murder of customs official Johan Nortje, INTERPOL and the World Customs Organisation have refused to comment on calls for a wider investigation into the crime.

02 February 2011

Murder of customs official warrants investigation, says shocked IP community

As mourners today attend the funeral of the murdered South African customs official Johan Nortje, the IP community is calling for an investigation into the alleged connections between his apparent assassination and the counterfeit gangs he cracked.

21 January 2011

Previous employee ordered to transfer domain name to employer

An adjudicator at the South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law has ruled that the registration of the domain name '' by a previous employee of the complainant, the owner of the POCKETMEDIA mark, was an abusive registration in the hand of the registrant.

17 December 2010

Supreme Court of Appeal clarifies procedure under Counterfeit Goods Act

In <i>Minister of Trade and Industry v E L Enterprises</i>, the Supreme Court of Appeal has clarified the meaning of Section 5(4) of the Counterfeit Goods Act, which sets out the procedure to be followed in the event of a search and seizure without a warrant. Until now, uncertainty over the procedure had caused advisors to recommend a conservative approach, which often meant additional costs and delay.

15 December 2010

Similarity assessment must consider not only classes, but also nature of goods

In <i>A.B.E. Construction Chemicals Limited v DEN Braven SA (Proprietary) Limited</i>, the Tribunal of the Registrar of Trademarks has held that there was a likelihood of deception and/or confusion between the trademark SUPA-ACRYL for goods in Class 1 and the earlier marks SUPER LAYCRYL for goods in Classes 2, 17 and 19.

07 December 2010

Supreme Court of Appeal issues decision on cloning and counterfeiting

In <i>Puma AG Rudolf Dassler Sport v Rampar Trading (Pty) Ltd</i>, the Supreme Court of Appeal has upheld Puma AG Rudolf Dassler Sport's appeal in a case involving counterfeit shoes. This case provides a useful interpretation of the Counterfeit Goods Act and is likely to be welcomed by brand owners, because it clarifies that no cloning is required to get the benefit of protection under the act.

29 November 2010

Glue stick decision stretches ASA Code's established principles

In <i>Henkel AG & Co KGaA v Trefoil Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd</i>, the Final Appeal Committee of the Advertising Standards Authority has held that the get-up of Henkel AG & Co KGaA’s Pritt glue stick qualified as a protectable advertising concept. The committee concluded that Trefoil Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd had changed the packaging of its glue stick with the intention of taking advantage of the goodwill created by Henkel.

12 October 2010

SCA considers inquiry into damages sought in motion proceedings

In <i>Cadac (Pty) Ltd v Weber-Stephen Products Company</i>, the Supreme Court of Appeal has upheld Cadac (Pty) Ltd's appeal against the High Court's refusal of its application for an inquiry into damages. Among other things, the court held that Cadac’s delay in prosecuting its claim had not led to its extinction by prescription.

07 October 2010

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