Next Generation Partners

Intellectual property in South Africa

Adams & Adams

At Adams & Adams, the ‘outstanding‘ trade marks and patents team ‘provides thorough and pragmatic advice on all trade mark prosecution and enforcement matters‘. Firm chairperson Kelly Thompson ‘provides phenomenal support in relation to trade mark opposition and infringement matters across the African continent‘, and Janice Galvad oversees patents and designs matters. Dario Tanziani  leads the patents and designs renewals and recordals side of the practice, and Nicky Garnett is the key contact for the firm’s African patents and designs work. Nolwazi Gcaba heads up the trade mark renewals section; Godfrey Budeli fronts anti-counterfeiting; and Nishan Singh and Steven Yeates are key names for trade mark litigation and prosecution respectively. Consultant Mariëtte du Plessis, Darren Olivier, Dale Healy, Alexis Apostolidis, Russell Bagnall, Sophia Smallbones and Darshan Moodley are star names in the department.

Practice head(s):

Kelly Thompson; Janice Galvad; Steven Yeates; Nishan Singh; Nolwazi Gcaba; Dario Tanziani; Nicky Garnett; Godfrey Budeli

Other key lawyers:

Mariëtte du Plessis; Darren Olivier; Alexis Apostolidis; Russell Bagnall; Dale Healy; Sophia Smallbones; Darshan Moodley; Gérard du Plessis


‘Kelly Thompson is extremely responsive and takes a pragmatic and commercially focused approach to all that she does. Her calm and considered style makes working with her a real pleasure.’

‘Adams & Adams’ intellectual property practice is very responsive. Their collaborative approach and their ability to build consensus is unique and refreshing. Clients feel like they are part of a team with Adams & Adams and the relationships created are strong and authentic.’

‘Knowledgeable, communicate well, efficient.’

‘The service received is certainly tailored to our industry, which is ideal.’

‘Collaborative approaches, friendly, professional, easy to work with.’

‘They do a good job responding as an organization. Even if one person is out, others step in.’

‘Steven Yeates does a particularly good job. He is responsive and very knowledgeable. Easy to work with.’

‘The trademark team is very reliable, efficient and cost sensitive. Communication is uncomplicated and always clear and precise.’

Key clients



Intel Corporation



FirstRand Bank




Robert Bosch GmbH




Work highlights

  • Successfully represented National Brands as owner of the Salticrax trade mark before the Supreme Court of Appeal, in trade mark opposition proceedings against Cape Cookies concerning the latter’s registration of the trade mark SnackCrax.
  • Representing UK-based company Pro:Direct and Pro:Direct Soccer in litigation against a South African entity incorporated as Pro Direct Soccer (Pty) Ltd, which created a website using the client’s name.
  • Acting for Intel in ongoing trade mark infringement proceedings in Uganda.

Spoor & Fisher

Spoor & Fisher is well known for its specialist expertise in intellectual property law. The firm fields experience across all areas of IP, advising on patents, copyright, trade marks, commercial IP, litigation, domain names and registered designs, to name a few areas. Dirk Hanekom oversees the patents team, Mohamed Khader leads the anti-counterfeiting team, and Marco van der Merwe  heads the trade marks team. IP litigation expert Eben van Wyk is well versed in handling trade mark disputes, and Dina Biagio is very experienced in advising on patent work. Tyron Grant specialises in biotech patent matters, while John Foster  advises on copyright and unlawful competition claims. Charles Webster and Carl van Rooyen are highly regarded practitioners in the IP space. Zama Buthelezi, Chyreene Truluck and Merlene Engelbrecht are also singled out for their contributions. Hugh Moubray has retired from practice.

Practice head(s):

Marco van der Merwe; Dirk Hanekom; Mohamed Khader

Other key lawyers:

Eben van Wyk; Dina Biagio; Charles Webster; Carl van Rooyen; John Foster; Tyron Grant; Zama Buthelezi; Merlene Engelbrecht; Chyreene Truluck


‘Always ready, very creative answers and quick solutions, transparent fees.’

Key clients

Anglo Corporate Services South Africa (Pty) Limited

Tiger Food Brands Intellectual Property Holding Company (Pty) Ltd (“Tiger Brands”)

Distell Ltd

My Light Holdings (Pty) Ltd t/a Shimansky

The United States Polo Association

Brand Quantum International (Pty) Limited

Nelson Mandela University (“NMMU”)

Deere & Co.

The Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne (CIVC) of Épernay

De Wetshof Estate (Wine Estate)


ENSafrica‘s intellectual property practice ‘provides a world-class service‘ and ‘an unparalleled level of efficiency in navigating through the complex and ever-evolving world of intellectual property‘, and the team garners praise for its ‘in-depth knowledge of patent laws and regulations‘. Practice head Gaelyn Scott has a strong reputation for her expertise in advising on strategic portfolio and brand management, the enforcement of intellectual property rights and IP disputes. Waldo Steyn  leads the commercial IP group, and counts licensing and franchising as core strengths. Joanne van Harmelen specialises in pharmaceutical, life sciences and biotechnology patents matters. Rowan Forster focuses on assisting agrochemical sector clients with trade mark and patent issues; he co-leads the trade mark prosecution team with the ‘detail-oriented and extremely professionalIlse du Plessis. Liézal Mostert and Tevin Jones are also singled out for their contributions.

Practice head(s):

Gaelyn Scott

Other key lawyers:

Rowan Forster; Joanne van Harmelen; Ilse du Plessis; Waldo Steyn; Liézal Mostert; Tevin Jones


‘Approachable and friendly team with an impressive reach across Africa.’

‘Ilse du Plessis is a pleasure to deal with.’

The team’s level of professionalism and dedication surpasses all expectations. From the very beginning of the patent application process, they demonstrated an exceptional understanding of my needs and a keen attention to detail.’

What truly sets them apart is their commitment to delivering a thorough and comprehensive service. The team’s ability to think creatively and strategically proved invaluable. Their proactive approach and insightful suggestions truly showcased their expertise in the field.’

The team was an absolute delight to work with. Their friendly demeanor, combined with their prompt and clear communication, fostered a positive and collaborative environment.’

Their professionalism, combined with their creative thinking and friendly approach, has made them an unrivaled force in the field of intellectual property law.’

Waldo Steyn shows an exceptional level of efficiency and professionalism. His attention to detail and commitment to excellence were evident in every aspect of our collaboration. His ability to simplify complex legal matters was truly remarkable. Whenever we encountered obstacles or challenges, he approached them with a fresh perspective and provided innovative solutions. His resourcefulness and adaptability truly set him apart. His exceptional qualities as a legal professional, combined with his friendly and approachable nature, make him a true asset to the firm.’

‘The practice has leading experts handling our matters in a professional manner with confidence.’

Key clients

Altron TMT Proprietary Limited


Adcock Ingram Healthcare (Pty) Ltd



Central University of Technology (CUT)

Ceva Animal

Christian Laboutin


Cirque du Soleil

Conde Nast / Advance Legal

Core Computer Group

Cricket South Africa

Dr Reddy’s



Ferrero Group / Soremartec


Korridor Holdings

Kganya Brands

Hilton Hotels





Life Healthcare

MTN Group


Ninety One

Omnia Group Proprietary Limited

Ram Couriers




South African Airways

South African Reserve Bank


Teva Pharmaceuticals

Tiger Food Brands Intellectual Property Holding Company


UPL group

Weir Minerals

Work highlights

  • Advised Altron TMT SA Group Proprietary Limited on the IP aspects of a sale of business and a related “safety-net” licence to a counter party.
  • Assisting Omnia Group with multinational patent filing and portfolio management.
  • Assisted the UPL group of companies with filing over 1100 trade marks in multiple jurisdictions as well as maintaining the UPL in-house trade mark database.

Von Seidels

Von Seidels‘ intellectual property practice has a solid track record in representing clients from the pharmaceuticals, engineering, life sciences, biotechnology, software and oil and gas industries in patents, trade mark and copyright matters. Erik Van Der Vyver leads the firm’s patents team, while Claire Smedley oversees the trade marks group. Ralph van Niekerk is a key name for patent litigation and technology licensing work, and assists software and electronics companies with patent portfolio management. Simonne Moodie specialises in trade mark matters, and also advises on domain name registrations and copyright licensing. Llewellyn du Toit handles medical and pharmaceutical patents matters, and has niche expertise in plant breeders’ rights. Rowan Joseph, Gunther Roland, and Cronje Jackson are key practitioners in the department.

Practice head(s):

Erik van der Vyver; Claire Smedley

Other key lawyers:

Ralph van Niekerk; Rowan Joseph; Gunther Roland; Simonne Moodie; Llewellyn du Toit; Cronje Jackson

Key clients

University of the Free State

Stellenbosch University



Villa Crop Protection

Fratelli Martini

The Jane Goodall Institute Global

Channel Technologies FZE

Specsavers B.V.



Work highlights

  • Advised the University of the Free State on patent protection matters and the filing of an international PCT patent application for multinuclear metal complexes.
  • Assisted Stellenbosch University with filing patent applications for polymers used in antimicrobial coatings and polymers used for nanodisc formation to facilitate membrane protein studies.
  • Represented Villa Crop Protection against Bayer before the Constitutional Court of South Africa in a patent infringement matter based on the doctrine of unclean hands.

Webber Wentzel

The ‘strong and capable‘ team at Webber Wentzel is well-known for advising on transactional and commercial IP matters, and assists clients from the healthcare, TMT, pharmaceutical, financial services and energy sectors, among others. Practice head Leanne Mostert ‘is always at the forefront of new IP developments‘, and TMT expert Peter Grealy is ‘generous with his advice and a problem solver‘. Tim Ball has experience in handling patent litigation for general pharmaceutical companies, and Carla Collett is a key name for advising on the monetisation of IP and data assets, copyright and trade mark litigation, and high-value commercial IP transactions. Bernadette Versfeld is very well known for her specialist focus on all areas of intellectual property law.

Practice head(s):

Leanne Mostert; Peter Grealy

Other key lawyers:

Bernadette Versfeld; Tim Ball; Carla Collett


‘The people are leading experts in their respective knowledge areas but have the ability to explain complex matters in such a way that anyone can understand it. No task is too small to take on and their attention to detail, even for small projects, are amazing. They are extremely efficient but never lose their people focus. ’

‘Leanne Mostert is innovative and understand how legal matters should align with the real world. ’

‘The team are exceptionally experienced.’

‘Peter Grealy is probably the most experienced and knowledgeable person in media law in the country. Carla Collett is really great; she understands the media area very well and is responsive, quick, and solutions orientated.’

‘Strong and capable team that always delivers excellent work in a timely manner. ’

‘Bernadette Versfeld always provides excellent and informed advice. Her response times are quick and efficient. She is very dependable and knowledgeable in her field.’

‘Bernadette always makes time for us and is speedy in responding.’

Key clients


Heineken International B.V

Ethos AI Fund

LA Group Investment Pty Ltd

Remgro Management Services

Akzo Nobel N.V

WMG Management Europe Limited



Haribo GmbH/ Rigo Trading

Work highlights

  • Acted as IP counsel to Sanlam on the formation of a joint venture with Allianz across 29 African jurisdictions to create the largest insurance group on the African continent.
  • Advising Heineken on the IP aspects of its proposed acquisition of South African wine and spirits maker Distell Group Holdings Limited, valued at ZAR 40.1 billion.
  • Representing an individual in bringing a compulsory licence application under South African patents against Vertex Pharmaceuticals, concerning Vertex’s cystic fibrosis drug Trikafta.


KISCH IP houses ‘a great team with excellent knowledge of the IP business.’ Julia Stephens leads on trade mark work, while Lindy Lowne-Hughes heads the patent renewals group. Mercia Fynn focuses on IP commercialisation, and Masi Mtshali leads the anti-counterfeiting team. Andrew Papadopoulos is a key contact for IP litigation, and Adelhart Krüger specialises in contentious and non-contentious patent work, as well as having niche expertise in advising on unlawful competition and copyright matters for engineering clients. Tammi Pretorius is noted for her trade mark expertise.

Practice head(s):

Julia Stephens; Lindy Lowne-Hughes; Mercia Fynn; Masi Mtshali

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Papadopoulos; Adelhart Krüger; Tammi Pretorius


The level of service is very high.’

Mercia Fynn is extremely professional, polite and friendly.’

Each individual I have worked with at KISCH is a capable IP lawyer.’

Moore Attorneys

Boutique law firm Moore Attorneys assists clients from the education, banking, entertainment, manufacturing and media sectors with a wide range of contentious and non-contentious trade mark matters. The team has also been kept busy advising on licensing issues, commercial transactions and enforcement matters. Firm founder and managing partner Shane Moore specialises in representing clients from the food and beverage, sports, fashion and entertainment and media sectors. Moore heads the practice with litigation expert Kyle Dalton and Shannen Koekemoer, who focuses on trade mark work. Keegan Hyde brings expertise in patent prosecution.

Practice head(s):

Shane Moore; Kyle Dalton; Shannen Koekemoer

Other key lawyers:

Keegan Hyde


‘The team at Moore Attorneys are highly experienced in trade mark law and have been able to assist us with trade mark registrations locally and internationally. Their billing is very competitive.’

‘Their lawyers are always available and responsive and are willing to provide initial feedback on matters without being formally briefed. Shane Moore and Shannen Koekemoer have been a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Bridgestone South Africa

Telesure Investment Holdings

Hirt & Carter Group

Pick n Pay Retailers

PG Group

Mondi Limited

KAP Limited

Afrisam South Africa

Imperial Logistics / DP World

West Pack Lifestyle

Work highlights

  • Advised Kasada Capital Management on the acquisition of the Cape Grace Hotel and the rights to the Cape Grace brand at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

Werksmans Attorneys

Werksmans Attorneys’ team of ‘consummate professionals‘ works in tandem with the firm’s wider litigation and commercial departments, and is well known for advising on domain name disputes, cross-border transactions, IP portfolio management and the protection of IP rights. Practice head Janine Hollesen specialises in IP law; Donvay Wegierski leads the department’s foreign trade mark division. Dannielle Fiff and Monique le Roux are also praised for their contributions.

Practice head(s):

Janine Hollesen; Donvay Wegierski

Other key lawyers:

Dannielle Fiff; Monique le Roux


‘The intellectual property team is of the highest possible calibre! Not only are they diverse but they work as a collective and ensure your needs as a client are always met by going above and beyond.’

Very authentic professionals.’

‘Janine Hollesen and Donvay Wegierski have a wealth of knowledge. They are both powerhouses who consistently deliver. They have always been meticulous when providing opinions and advice and even just day to day assistance. It is always a pleasure working with them and their team members because you know you receive quality work on time (if not before agreed deadlines) and from a team that are not only professional but just great people.’

Key clients

Monster Energy Company

Petredec Holdings Pte. Ltd

Acorn Holdings Proprietary Limited

Shoprite Checkers Proprietary Limited

Beijing Automobile Group Co. Ltd.

Pioneer Foods and Ceres Fruit Juices (“Pioneer”)

Various South African wineries including Boschkloof Wines, Du Toitskloof Wines Klein Constantia Winery (Pty) Limited; Tokara Winery; Groot Constantia

Les Grands Chais De France SAS

Iwayini Company (Pty) Limited

Energy Beverages

Reign Beverage Company

Garmin Switzerland GMBH (“Garmin”)

Swartland Winery

Quantum Foods Proprietary Limited

Various divisions of Pepkor and associated companies

Clover S.A Proprietary Limited

Spier Wines

Ceres Fruit Juices (Pty) Limited (merged with Pepsico Inc)

South African Rugby Union

Pick n Pay (Pty) Limited

Karsten Boerdery

Hungry Lion

Professional Provident Society (PPS)

Santam Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisting Petredec Holdings Pte. Ltd with its global IP portfolio.
  • Assisted the firm’s commercial team with conducting an IP due diligence exercise in various jurisdictions for Vivo Energy Investments B.V.
  • Assisted Acorn Holdings with its global IP portfolio.