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With an entrenched history in Africa, we have, for the last 145 years, assisted clients from small to large businesses in all sectors, in safeguarding…
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KISCH IP | South Africa | 4 May 2020

Patent rights for vaccines and research against COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across the globe, companies are scrambling to find a cure and be the first to own patent rights to a vaccine against the virus. In South Africa, the Patents Act does not define an invention but rather lists a number of exclusions as to what could constitute a patentable invention. In particular, the act specifies that a scientific discovery is not an......
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KISCH IP | South Africa | 13 Apr 2020

Copyright infringement and reverse engineering of computer programs

The Copyright Act defines a 'computer program' as a set of instructions fixed or stored in any manner and which, when used directly in a computer, directs its operation to bring about a result. From this definition, it is apparent that source code forms the subject matter of copyright protection as a computer program. However, the owner of the copyright in a computer program cannot object if......
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KISCH IP | South Africa, USA | 17 Feb 2020

Conditional acceptance of trademark applications

Trademark applications are examined by the Office of the Registrar of Trademarks approximately eight to 10 months after their date of application. This article discusses several possible conditions that examiners often prescribe for accepting trademark applications and which applicants must therefore consider before filing.
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KISCH IP | South Africa | 25 Nov 2019

Relationship between cannabis and trademark law

A trademark will not be registered, or can be removed from the register, if it is inherently deceptive or likely to deceive or cause confusion, contrary to law, against good morals or likely to offend anyone. This article provides insight into the contrary to law provision, particularly insofar as it relates to the controversial discussion regarding the partial legalisation of cannabis in......
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KISCH IP | South Africa | 11 Nov 2019

The power of part marks

Copycat products imported into South Africa often replicate well-known brands. In such cases, an analysis must be undertaken to determine whether the owner of the legitimate well-known brand can sue based on various grounds. In this respect, although word marks are often seen as the most important because they are a brand's primary name, from an enforceability perspective, filing a part mark......
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KISCH IP | South Africa | 30 Sep 2019

Patentability of living things – a South African approach

Patent protection of living organisms – and the substances derived therefrom – has long been an area of confusion and controversy in South Africa. However, there has been a recent move towards clearer boundaries regarding what constitutes patentable subject matter in relation to living things.
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KISCH IP | South Africa | 23 Sep 2019

Who should you institute infringement proceedings against?

What should a company do when its distributor terminates their supply and distribution contract stating that it is more economical for it to acquire the products from another company? If the first company has a registered patent for the products that the other company is manufacturing, it can institute infringement proceedings. However, the question then becomes against whom should it......
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KISCH IP | South Africa | 16 Sep 2019

Who takes the cake? Copyright over baked goods

Professional and amateur bakers are often inspired by the extravagant and intricately designed cakes shown on TV shows. However, this begs the question of whether bakers can reproduce these cakes (or at least try to) without getting into trouble. Perhaps surprisingly, the answer is probably no, as these creations may be subject to copyright protection. Therefore, as with all copyright......
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KISCH IP | South Africa | 9 Sep 2019

Copyright conundrum: what you need to know when rebranding

Many corporates and start-ups that enlist third-party graphic designers to create logos or corporate identities during a rebrand are unaware of the legal implications of contracting third parties and thus often find themselves in costly and time-consuming litigation.This is because, under South African law, a third-party graphic designer commissioned to design a corporate's logo will own the......
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KISCH IP | South Africa | 2 Sep 2019

Nedbank and IT entrepreneurs in developing patent saga

Two IT entrepreneurs recently applied for an interdict to prevent an asset management company from using (ie, infringing) their invention. The case has raised many questions regarding the validity of certain patents, including what protections are afforded to entrepreneurs. Young entrepreneurs in particular are encouraged to follow this case earnestly to ensure that they are well acquainted......
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