Using Our Powers for Good

Superman’s parents reminded him to use his powers for good before they shuttled him off to planet Earth (Some of our lawyers think they’re superheroes too). Our professionals recognise that they have the power and the assets to be able to improve the lives of fellow South Africans and a social obligation to assist deserving citizens by means of education support and pro-bono work.

Secretarial Training Centre | At Adams & Adams our goal is to improve the productivity, performance and capability of the people we train. The Adams & Adams Secretarial Training Centre was opened in 2002 with the aim of equipping men and women, most from previously disadvantaged backgrounds, with essential secretarial skills and knowledge. Twelve students are appointed each year to undergo a training curriculum of 9 months. Most will eventually be employed by the firm.

University of Pretoria – IP Centre | In 2008 the Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria and Adams & Adams established the Centre for Intellectual Property Law (UPIP) with the express purpose of creating a synergy between the academic resources and expertise in the Faculty of Law and the practical legal experience and strength of Adams & Adams. The UPIP serves as a platform for the promotion and development of IP Law in Africa by advancing and disseminating knowledge in respect of intellectual property. To this end, the Centre is engaged in research, presentation of the LLM in IPL, supervision of research students at both LLM and LLD level and the development and presentation of short courses on IP law.

WIPO Inventor Assistance Programme | Adams & Adams has become the first southern African Intellectual Property Law Firm to join the international Inventor Assistance Program. The Inventor Assistance Program (IAP), a WIPO initiative in cooperation with the World Economic Forum, is the first global programme of its kind. It matches developing country inventors and small businesses with limited financial means with patent attorneys, who provide pro bono legal assistance to secure patent protection. After a pilot phase in three countries – Colombia, Morocco and the Philippines – the IAP is now officially part of WIPO’s programmes.

Pro-Bono Contributions | Our professionals are engaged on a number of pro-bono matters, particularly in the advancement of the preservation of heritage and culture. Among many others, we currently assist with the following matters:

Lumkani Fire Detection: Our client developed an early fire detection device for use in densely populated townships. The device, once installed in dwellings, operates using heat sensors which signal an alarm when a rapid rise in temperature is detected.  The device, once the alarm has been triggered, transmits radio frequency signals to other devices in the area, thus setting off the alarms in each dwelling in the area warning residents to seek safety. We are assisting client to register the trade mark LUMKANI Logo.

Sam Nzima: We are assisting Sam Nzima in preserving and protecting his legacy and copyright in the famous Hector Peterson photograph that he took in 1976. This includes monitoring use of the photograph by third parties; identifying infringing use of the photograph and/or people who may wish to use the photograph (“users”); engaging with the users to stop infringing use; setting up a licence agreement for use and/or continued use of the photograph to ensure that Nzima is compensated for use of his copyright.

Steve Biko Foundation: The foundation is a community development organization inspired by the life and legacy of Steve Biko, a well-known Apartheid activist. The foundation recognises the link between economic realities and human dignity and through its programmes seeks to advance economic development by empowering individuals and communities to develop sustainable livelihoods. We have assisted the Foundation with a number of legal matters, most recently with an urgent interdict to stop an auction of the autopsy report of the late Steve Biko. The interdict was granted in client’s favour. The case received media attention and was important because it was about preserving our history and doing the right thing.

The Stroke Survivors Foundation: The foundation was established by George Scola and Nicole Murray who both had a stroke in their thirties and found that there was virtually no support stroke survivors, especially for your stroke survivors. They started the foundation with a goal to create awareness, education and support to other stroke survivors and their families. They started the GLOVE initiative which is in support of international stroke day on 29 October. Participants are required to wear a glove on their dominant hand and not use it the whole day. This will give them a sense of what stroke survivors go through. We are assisting client register its GLOVE trade marks.

Ekasi Entrepreneurs: This client is a non-profit company that runs an academy to train, mentor and develops township entrepreneurs to run their businesses successfully. They also provide township entrepreneurs with access to market and with opportunities. We are assisting client with registration of its trade mark, see attached.

My Smart Library: This client has established a programme that works with retired teachers in township communities to help learners in grade 8 – 12 with homework after school. They use community halls for these homework sessions and have the support of provincial and municipal government and the leadership in the various communities. We are assisting client register its trade mark #MySmartLibrary Logo.