Our Intellectual Property Group provides clients with a full range of legal services relating to the acquisition, enforcement and commercialisation of intellectual property rights.
These services include counsel and handling of transactions in cases involving patents, copyrights, trade marks, designs, licensing, and data security. The partners and associates in our Intellectual Property Group also litigate these issues in courts across Africa. Adams & Adams is the largest IP firm in Africa and is ranked among the leading firms in Intellectual Property in the world.
What is a registered design?
South Africa has many talented designers active in the field of furniture and lighting, cutlery, crockery, textiles, jewellery and wine and product labels. South African designers and their product designs are highly regarded both locally and internationally and many of them have exhibited, and sold their products overseas. Some of the local trend setters are Haldane Martin, Heath Nash, Gregor Jenkin and Anatomy, to name a few. Many local architects have become involved in designing furniture and interiors to complement their designs. Architects Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens are pioneers in this field.
Design protection is an area that is often underestimated and ignored by local designers. Aesthetic and functional designs can be registered in South Africa. Functional designs are designs that have features which are necessitated by the function of the article to which the design is applied and are to a lesser extent relevant for this discussion. Aesthetic designs are however very relevant in the world of designs and can be utilised to obtain strong statutory protection for a period of 15 years.
Adams & Adams Designs Services
The filing and prosecution of design applications, and the enforcement of design rights, are handled by both the intellectual property departments of the firm, but mainly by the Patents Department. A wide range of services are provided in regard to designs, including:
- Preparing, filing and prosecuting design applications
- Litigation on all aspects of design registrations
- Drafting of licences and other agreements