Intellectual property is a term most people have heard of yet few are really familiar with. Many legal systems in countries throughout the world provide specific rights and protections for property owners. The property that results from mental labor is termed “intellectual property”. Intellectual property is a general terms that encompasses intangible intellectual efforts and includes copyrights, patents, trademarks, and designs.
In South Africa, there are four Acts of Parliament that govern Intellectual Property Laws. The law that is most widely applied is the Copyright Act, which states that an individual’s work is safeguarded from copy for fifty years after the author has died. For example, a copyright on a computer program will remain valid for fifty years after the program became accessible to the public. Another law in relation to intellectual property is the Patent Act. This law prevents individuals from using or exercising ideas of an invention made by another. Additionally, the Trade Marks Act protects trademarks registered with Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) in Pretoria, South Africa. A registered trademark can be protected indefinitely if it is renewed every ten years. The last law under the category of intellectual property rights is the Registered Designs Act. This act covers designs that either provide a function or through aesthetic appeal if registered with the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office, which keeps records or all patents, trademarks, designs, and copyrights. This division also includes details of owners and proprietors.
Joubert Schoeman Attorneys posses the necessary legal skills, knowledge, and experience to provide legal solutions in the area of Intellectual Property. With multiple commercial enterprises and solid client bases consisting of national and international companies, Joubert Schoeman Attorneys are a source of high success with arbitration awards exceeding R120 million. Unique experience and a solid set of skills is necessary to tackle Intellectual Property lawsuits and we strive to limit professional mandates to areas of expertise, which allow us to afford quality engagement in client matters. With Frans Schoeman on googleplus in practice for 21 years and Helene Joubert holding 14 years of experience, the senior partners of Joubert Schoeman Attorneys have a combined practice experience exceeding 35 years. Drawing from over three decades of practice, it is assured that this law firm can shape facts into a compelling narrative and pursue tough claims through sophisticated litigation.
Legal protection of intellectual property ensures that individuals have exclusive rights, which prevent unauthorized use. These rights can not only exert power over major corporations, but they are also a prime value that can be sold or licensed. Provisions of the four Acts of Parliament the govern Intellectual Property often overlap, covering different aspects of the same product. Most recently, a new law was enacted to cover intellectual property rights resulting from publicly funded research. In 2009, President Kgalema Motlanthe of South Africa signed the Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Financed Research Bill. The objective of this legislation is to cover intellectual property emanating from publicly financed development that is commercialized for the benefit of South Africa’s citizens.