Preventing genericide: Saving your trade mark from falling prey to the public domain

By |2023-01-23T11:39:50+00:00December 1st, 2022|Adams & Adams, Articles, Guides|

Videotape, Escalator, Trampoline, Laundromat[1]. What do all of these words have in common? They were all once legally protectable trade marks which, due to the way in which they were used, have lost their distinctiveness and since become ‘generic’. But what does ‘generic’ mean? A generic trade mark is a word or phrase that

ZAMBIA LAUNCHES ELECTRONIC TRADE MARK REGISTRATION CERTIFICATES FROM 1 SEPTEMBER 2022

By |2022-11-17T13:14:55+00:00September 14th, 2022|Adams & Adams, Guides|

Patents & Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) issued a public notice of 23 August 2022, announcing that effective from 1 September 2022, the Zambian Registry will only issue electronic trade mark registration certificates. PACRA advised that its decision to move away from hard copy (paper) trade mark certificates to electronic certificates, was made with the aim

Ambush marketing and the 2022 Rugby World Cup Sevens

By |2022-11-17T13:15:24+00:00September 9th, 2022|Adams & Adams, Guides|

Ambush marketing and the 2022 Rugby World Cup Sevens With the upcoming Rugby World Cup Sevens being hosted at the Cape Town Stadium (purpose built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup), one cannot help but think back to the FIFA World Cup and the ambush marketing tactics on display before and during the tournament.

I scream, You scream, we all scream for Iceland

By |2022-11-11T13:23:04+00:00August 29th, 2022|Adams & Adams, Guides|

What are the boundaries when it comes to registering the name of a place, country, city or town as a trade mark? This is the question that the Grand Board of Appeal of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is set to decide when it hears its first ever oral appeal in a

SOUTH AFRICA: COPYRIGHT AMENDMENT BILL

By |2022-07-12T11:00:41+00:00July 12th, 2022|Adams & Adams, Guides|

On 12 May 2022, the Constitutional Court[1] heard argument on whether it should confirm the 2021 Gauteng High Court ruling (in the matter of Blind SA v. Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition and others[2]) which declared the Copyright Act unconstitutional for not providing copyright exceptions to allow organizations representing blind and visually impaired persons to make accessible

Choosing a ‘good’ trade mark (a lawyer’s take)

By |2022-06-22T13:15:55+00:00June 12th, 2022|Adams & Adams, Guides|

Thinking of a new brand name? There is a chance that the name you are thinking of using for your new business might not be protectable or that the use thereof can get you into a legal dispute. There is a lot at stake when making this decision. You may find yourself in a

Important trade mark and passing-off finding: Cairns Foods Limited v Netrade Marketing (PTY) Ltd

By |2022-06-10T12:17:50+00:00May 18th, 2022|Adams & Adams, Guides|

This is an appeal decision relating to Cairns Foods Limited and Netrade Marketing, two companies in the business of producing and marketing food products, in particular, fruit jam. Cairns Foods extensively used its SUN and device label trade mark in respect of jam products for over 50 years and has a reputation in the

The Metaverse and trade marks – new world, same rules?

By |2022-05-09T13:19:22+00:00May 9th, 2022|Adams & Adams, Articles, Guides|

In October 2021, Meta shared a video on YouTube entitled “The Metaverse and How We’ll Build It Together — Connect 2021”.[1] Around this time, the company also announced its rebranding from Facebook to Meta.[2] The new company name seemingly signifies its focus on building the Metaverse. In the said video, Mark Zuckerberg refers to “an embodied

South Africa – The Value of a Patent in South Africa (Bayer Intellectual Property GmbH et al v Austell Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd 20 May 2021 CCP

By |2022-03-10T05:26:15+00:00March 5th, 2022|Adams & Adams, Guides|

On 20 May 2021, the South African Patents Court confirmed the rights of a patentee in interim interdict proceedings in circumstances where the patent claim included a non-essential integer. In this matter, and despite the constraints caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, detailed and voluminous affidavit evidence from various parties in different countries and lengthy

South Africa – Agriculture: False and/or Misleading Trade Descriptions that are Registered as Trademarks are on the Chopping Block

By |2022-03-10T05:26:52+00:00March 5th, 2022|Adams & Adams, Guides|

South Africa’s food, alcohol and agricultural laws all contain a similar provision prohibiting the use of false and/or misleading descriptions of the relevant commodity.  These prohibitions extend not only to descriptions that are applied to the labels of these commodities but also extends to the advertising thereof. Under the regulatory framework, inspectors of the

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