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Adams & Adams

Work +27 12 432 6000

Mariëtte Du Plessis

Work +27 12 432 6378
Adams & Adams

Work Department

Trade Marks


Partner Practice Areas: Trade Marks; Trade Marks — Enforcement; Trade Marks - Advertising Law Service; Litigation; Litigation — Trade Marks Specialities: Litigation relating to Trade Marks, Passing off, Unlawful competition, Copyright, Counterfeit goods, Domain names, Company/Close Corporations/Business name objections.


Mariëtte du Plessis is currently a senior partner in the Trade Mark Litigation section of the Trade Marks Department. She 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 the client relation partner for many of the firm’s top local and international clients. She has been involved in a number of high-profile cases over the years.  In the case of Pioneer Foods (Pty) Ltd v Bothaville Milling (Pty) Ltd, she successfully represented the respondent in the case up to the Supreme Court of Appeal. It is regarded as the “road map” for passing off cases in South Africa. She is a Senior Adjudicator for domain name disputes.

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 received a Presidential Award in 2012.

She has served on numerous INTA committees including Africa Legislative Analysis committee (and chaired it), PDA Council and currently the OAPI/ARIPO sub-committee of and Subcommittee of the INTA TOPC Committee. She is also currently the secretary of the Marques International Trade Mark Team and serves on the Working Group on the Improvement of ARIPO.

Mariëtte 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 is regularly approached for interviews by local newspapers, radio and television stations.




International Trade Marks Association (INTA OAPI/ARIPO 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

South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law (SAIIPL) – Member Education committee

Trade Mark Law Committee of Marques – Secretary

Managing Intellectual Property Law (MIP) Top 250 Women in IP 2017 and 2018

Who’s Who Legal Ranking: Sports & Entertainment | 2017, 2018

Who’s Who Legal Ranking – Trademarks | 2017, 2018

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 | 2016-2018

Legal 500 – Recommended IP Practitioner | 2018

Chambers Global: Ranked Band 2 Lawyer | 2016 – 2019

Chambers Global Guide Legal Rankings: South Africa Trade Marks 2013 – 2018

Who’s Who Legal: Sports & Entertainment 2016

MIP IP 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

Woman in Business Law/Leading Worldwide Trade Mark Practitioners 2016

Euromoney IP Star 2016 Finalist

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)

Legal Practice Council – Member

Acknowledged in the Acritas Stars database as a stand out lawyer in South Africa


BLC – University of Pretoria | 1984

LLB – University of Pretoria | 1986

South Africa

Intellectual property

Within: Leading individuals

Mari√ętte Du Plessis - Adams & Adams

Within: Intellectual property

Adams & Adams¬†operates a considerable IP practice and leads the market in South Africa and across the continent. The firm advises some 240 of Fortune 500 companies and has experienced growth in engagements from software companies. It represented Novartis in opposing the registration of the trade mark Curida in class 5 by Cipla Medpro. The team is 'extremely responsive and cost effective', is 'excellent in working with the various countries in this region' and has 'the premier IP practice in South Africa' according to a client.¬† Russell Bagnall¬†is a market leader in patent litigation, as are¬†Danie Dohmen¬†and¬†Alexis Apostolidis.¬†¬†G√©rard du Plessis¬†is recommended for trade mark litigation, while Simon Brown, who provides 'an outstanding service', and¬†Samantha Copeling, who is 'kind and knowledgeable', are noted for trade mark prosecution. Mari√ętte Du Plessis¬†¬† is 'direct, strategic and patient' and Kelly Thompson¬†and Darren Olivier¬†are also recommended.

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