Mariëtte du Plessis

Mariëtte du Plessis

Mariëtte du Plessis


Trade Mark Attorney


  • Specialisation

    • All aspects of trade mark litigation, including trade name infringement, passing off and unlawful competition, as well as company and close corporation name objections
    • Copyright litigation
    • Domain name registrations and objections

  • Bio

    Mariëtte du Plessis is currently a senior partner in the Trade Mark Litigation section of the Trade Marks Department. has been a partner in the firm of Adams & Adams since 1997 and an experienced top-tier ranked IP attorney with 30 years of experience in IP. She served on the Minister of Trade’s Standing Advisory Committee on IP for a number of years. She was the chairlady of the Trade Mark Litigation section in 2009 and has chaired the Design Committee and initiated the firm’s sponsorships for The Design Indaba, The Loeries Advertising Awards and South African Music Awards (SAMAs) to raise awareness of IP amongst creatives and performing artists in South Africa and currently serves on the firm’s African committee.

    Mariëtte specialises in all trade mark, copyright, advertising law and domain name related disputes throughout Africa, as well as regulatory advice. She represents high profile South African and international clients in their trade mark and copyright matters throughout Africa. Her key clients include MasterCard International Inc, Google LLC, Disney Enterprises Inc, Avon Products Inc, Sun International Limited, ABSA Bank Limited and National Brands Limited. She is also a Senior Adjudicator for domain name disputes.

    She was the first African trade mark practitioner to be appointed to the INTA Board and served on the board from 2006 to 2008. She has given lectures on trade marks in Malawi and Tanzania as part of a WIPO initiative.

    She served as a Council Member on the Board of the South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law (SAIIPL) for many years and was the President in 2007.  She served on and chaired the Copyright and Trade Mark Law committees of SAIIPL for many years. She has served on numerous INTA committees including Africa Legislative Analysis committee (and chaired it), PDA Council, OAPI/ARIPO committee and currently the Trademark Enforcement Policy Advocacy Subcommittee of the INTA Enforcement Committee. She is also currently on the Marques Trade Mark Team and serving on the Working Group on the Improvement of the ARIPO.

    She has a particular interest in IP aspects of the arts, design and advertising, with a focus on educating young creative talents to protect their IP. She regularly lectures on IP at advertising and design schools. She has written numerous articles on a wide range of IP related topics in South Africa and published articles in World Trade Mark Review, Marques newsletters and local publications, including De Rebus, the leading publication for attorneys in South Africa. She has also presented talks on IP at many South African conferences. She has been quoted in newspaper articles and interviewed on radio and television.

    Mariëtte has been internationally recognised in peer-selected reviews such as:

    Managing Intellectual Property Law(MIP) Top 250 Women in IP 2017 and 2018; MIP IP Stars 2016 – 2018; Chambers Global Guide Legal Rankings: South Africa 2013 – 2017; Stand out lawyer : Global survey of senior in-house counsel by Acritas Stars 2017; Who’s Who Legal: Sports & Entertainment 2016; Woman in Business Law/Leading Worldwide Trade Mark Practitioners 2016; Euromoney IP Star 2016 Finalist; Who’s Who Legal : Trademarks 2013 – 2017; Corporate LiveWire’s Legal Awards Finalist 2016; The Best Lawyers in South Africa 2016 8th Edition; Client Choice Awards Finalist 2016; The Best Lawyers in South Africa 2015; Euromoney’s Expert Guides: Women in Business Law – Leading Practitioner Nominee 2014; Top Women Award Finalist 2013; InterContinental Finance Magazine (ICFM) 2013 – Leading Lawyer 500 Award Winner; SAIIPL Special Achievement Presidential Award (2012).

  • Academic

    • BLC – University of Pretoria | 1984
    • LLB – University of Pretoria | 1986

  • Qualifications

    • Admitted Attorney | 1989
    • Qualified trade mark practitioner | 1991

  • Credentials

    • Women in Business Law Guide – Leading Trade Mark Practitioner, Worldwide | Current
    • International Trade Marks Association (INTA) Trade Mark Policy Advocacy Enforcement Committee – Member | Current
    • International Trade Marks Association (INTA) Board – Director | 2006-2008
    • International Trade Marks Association (INTA) Legislative Analysis sub-committee (Africa & Middle East) – Chairlady | 2002-2003
    • International Trade Marks Association (INTA) External Relations Committee and PDA Council – Vice-chairlady | 2004-2005
    • International Trade Marks Association (INTA) Trade Mark Office Practices Committee, OAPI/ARIPO Sub-committee – Member | 2006-2013
    • South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law (SAIIPL) – President | 2007
    • South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law (SAIIPL) – Council Member | 2003-2008
    • South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law (SAIIPL) Trade Mark Law, Copyright Law and ADR Committees – Member & Past Chairlady
    • Trade Mark Law Committee of Marques – Member
    • Who’s Who Legal Ranking: Sports & Entertainment | 2017
    • Who’s Who Legal Ranking – Trademarks | 2017
    • Best Lawyers: Intellectual Property Law – South Africa | 2018
    • Acritas Stars database – Most outstanding lawyers they have worked with | 2018
    • Who’s Who Legal – Trade Marks | 2018
    • Legal 500 – Recommended IP Practitioner | 2018
    • Chambers Global: Ranked Band 2 Lawyer | 2016 – 2018
    • MIP IP All Stars | 2017, 2018
    • Global IP Stars – Top 250 Women in IP: Trademarks | 2017, 2018
    • Finance Monthly – Lawyer of the Year: Sports and Entertainment South Africa (Shortlisted) | 2017