Having formally left the EU on 31 January 2020, the UK is now in the transition period, which allows it to remain part of the EU intellectual property system until 31 December 2020. That's only a few weeks away. So, how will the UK's departure from the EU affect registered design rights holders in the UK and EU...?
Shamin Raghunandan and Mpho Dzhivhuwo 3 Dec 2020
Let's say "Zoom" becomes a synonym for conducting online video meetings, regardless of the app used - or worse, it becomes a verb. In this way, Zoom will lose its distinctiveness. It will become a generic trade mark, and its owners won't be able to stop others from using "Zoom" to refer to online conferencing services...
Jeanine Coetzer 2 Nov 2020
In order for a trade mark to be registrable, it must be distinctive and capable of distinguishing one party's products from another's. What we often see, particularly in the alcohol industry, is, for example, certain ciders, named after the variety of apple used to make the cider itself. But is this name considered 'distinctive' or 'descriptive'...?
Karen Kitchen 29 Oct 2020
On 31 August 2020, companies in the McDonald's group filed a lawsuit against the Hungry Jack's franchise in the Australian federal court...
Jani Cronjé and Jared de Canha 2 Oct 2020
Following the recent Constitutional Court decision in Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development and Others v Prince and Others 2018, the Trade Marks Office has updated its policy on the registration of cannabis-related trademarks, effective 7 August 2019...
Clea Rawlins 7 Oct 2019
Traditional African jewellery designs have become a prominent feature on the international fashion stage with many fashion brands taking inspiration from traditional African jewellery and showcasing it on a global stage. But does it fall under IP protection...?
Pamela Maluleke 23 Sep 2019
Fans of the award-winning series, Game of Thrones, were eager to watch the premiere of the long-awaited eighth and final season that started on 14 April 2019 and, as is evidenced on social media, has them enthralled...
Mathoto Masetla 3 May 2019
Ackermans has recently been successful in a precedent setting trade mark dispute against Truworths which was heard by the Supreme Court of Appeal. The trade mark at the centre of the dispute was “THE LOOK”...
Janine Hollesen 16 Jan 2017
It's a familiar scene, two players enter the arena. One armed with a red ball, the other seemingly defenceless. But unlike a normal game of dodge ball, more players quickly enter the ring...
Robin Richardson 18 Nov 2016
The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has been blessed for the past few decades by having in its ranks judges who have experience and expertise in the field of Intellectual Property (IP) Law...
Prof Owen Dean 2 Feb 2015
Confusion lies at the heart of trade mark law. By that I mean that the enquiry in most trade mark cases is this: Is there likely to be consumer confusion, given the similarities between the two marks in dispute, and the similarities between the goods or services (for ease I'll simply refer to "goods" in this article)?
Lauren Frizelle 29 Nov 2012
The results of the Interbrand Best Global Brands 2012 survey were announced at an event in Johannesburg on Wednesday 3 October 2012.
Gaelyn Scott 6 Oct 2012
LUXEMBOURG: Europe's top court largely backed Google on Tuesday, 23 March 2010, in its battle against French luxury product maker Louis Vuitton and others which argued trademarks are being violated by the US Internet giant.
For the second time, the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (“ASA”) - first, through its Directorate in January 2009 and now through its Appeal Tribunal - has ruled in favour of Neotel against iBurst's complaint that Neotel's use of the colour orange took advantage of and was designed to exploit the advertising goodwill that iBurst claimed it had in and to the colour orange.
“Tightening up on the control over the advertisement and sale of cigarettes brings South Africa in line with the World Health Organisation's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control,” says Kelly Thompson, trade mark lawyer at Adams and Adams.
While the ruling of the Constitutional Court last week in SAB vs Laugh it Off does reflect, with respect, classical constitutional principles - in particular freedom of speech - from the vantage point of trade mark proprietors, the ruling is cause for concern.
Wim Alberts 29 May 2005
Well known brands have grown over the past 10 years to be the superpowers of the trade mark world - and their potency is increasing. Coca Cola, Nike, Woolworths, Nestle, Castle Lager, BMW, Electrolux, Microsoft - well known brands are the marks we recognise and trust, the household names we grow up with and the signs we aspire to.
Suzaan Laing 1 Dec 2004