Intellectual Property

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Practical Guidance Intellectual Property Law is a convenient online reference tool that covers all legal aspects relating to creations of the intellect. From understanding key terms to identifying the different forms of intellectual property and how these can be protected and enforced, users are provided with all the step-by-step guidance as well as the practical aids needed to properly and effectively navigate the field of intellectual property law in South Africa. The scope of this practice area ranges from traditional types of intellectual property such as, trade marks, copyright, patents and designs to more unique types such as plant breeders' rights and domain names.

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Expert Contributors
Allison Williams

Allison is an intellectual property and commercial lawyer based in Durban.

She has extensive experience in intellectual property law, including the registration and enforcement of trade marks globally, copyright, passing off and unlawful competition, franchising, domain name dispute resolution and transactional IP work, such as due diligences, licensing, assignments and IP structuring.

Allison has practised in the field of intellectual property law for 18 years. She has managed the global trade mark portfolios for a number of local clients and has filed and enforced trade marks locally for a number of global clients. She is listed as a recommended intellectual property lawyer in Legal 500, 2015.

Allison was selected as one of the 3 finalists in the Business Women’s Association’s 2015 Regional Business Achiever Awards in Kwazulu-Natal (professional category).

Allison has been a fellow of the South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law (SAIIPL) since 2002. She has served on the SAIIPL’s trade mark and copyright law committees. She has also been a member of the International Trade Mark Association and Licensing Executives Society for many years.

Allison has written articles for the China Law Journal and has authored the South African Chapter for “Getting the Deal Through”.

Allison completed her BCom LLB degrees at the University of Natal, Durban in 1994.  She started her articles in the Durban office of Deneys Reitz in 1995. Allison was admitted as an attorney in 1997, when she started specialising in intellectual property law. She qualified as a trade mark practitioner through the SAIIPL in 2000, after passing specialist exams.  Allison was appointed as a director of Deneys Reitz in 2001 and worked in the Johannesburg office until she resigned at the end of 2008. She pursued her career as a director and head of intellectual property in other Johannesburg law firms, before joining Norton Rose Fulbright in January 2014.

Likonelo Magagula

Likonelo is an intellectual property lawyer based in Johannesburg.

She heads up the intellectual property department. She specialises in intellectual property prosecution enforcement and advisory. Likonelo joined the practice in 2008. She is a Fellow of the South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law (SAIIPL). She holds a BA Law, LLB and LLM in Commercial law.

Likonelo’s experience comes from a broad range of intellectual property matters including transactional matters, copyright opinion work and litigation, trade mark clearance searches and filing (throughout Africa and globally), formal oppositions before the Registrar of Trade Marks and trade mark rectification and infringement proceedings in the High Court.

Likonelo has been involved in mergers and acquisitions from an intellectual property perspective, furnishing advice and conducting due diligence exercises, advising on and drafting licence agreements, advising on and drafting security arrangements and other transactional matters which affect IP rights.

Likonelo has represented various global companies and blue chip clients, including the e-commerce global technology company Alibaba Holdings, Accolade Wines, Afrisam (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, Bridgestone and Firestone Group of Companies, Consol Glass, Diageo PLC, Growthpoint Limited, the Industrial Development Corporation, Prudential, Sharp Middle East FZE, Transnet Engineering and Visa International Association.

Likonelo was listed as one of the recommended intellectual property Lawyers in PLC Private Equity Cross-border Handbook 2010 and in The Legal 500 Rankings 2015.

Darren Margo

Darren commenced his professional career qualifying as a patent attorney, specialising in the drafting and prosecution of patent applications, and conducting patent searches. He also prepared opinions on novelty and infringement matters in the fields of patent, design and copyright law. He soon found that his interest lay in the commercial aspects of intellectual property (“IP”), and he became involved in the drafting of commercial agreements having IP as basis (typically: licence agreements, supply and distribution agreements with IP as basis, assignment of copyright agreements and confidentiality agreements). Darren continued to immerse himself and practice in these areas when he joined Adams & Adams patent attorneys.

Darren was then invited to join Deloitte and Touche, where he was involved in the investigation and assessment of taxpayers’ technologies and activities, with an eye to maximising R&D income tax deductions, and opinion work related to the same. Since then, he also enjoyed acting as advisor both to the National Treasury – on issues of legislative drafting in the Income Tax Act – and to the SA Revenue Services and the Department of Science & Technology – on issues of interpretation of income tax legislation, and its practice. Darren also has a particular interest in the exchange control issues that arise in transactions having IP as basis.

In 2009 Darren established a specialist IP firm and tax consultancy, Margo® Attorneys, Inc. where he and his team continue to practice in these specialised disciplines. He also attends to the registration and maintenance of high-profile trade mark, patent and design cases in South Africa and internationally. Collectively, Darren has conducted technical and legal work for a number of clients across a spectrum of industries, including the pharmaceutical, petrochemical, electronics, explosives, cosmetics, weapons and telecommunications industries, amongst others.

Intellectual Property. Table of contents.

  • Understanding intellectual property 
  • Application and registration process of trade marks
  • Protection for well-known trade marks
  • Enforcement
  • Rectification of the trade marks register
  • Permitted use and transfer of a trade mark
  • Offences under the Trade Marks Act
  • Treaties and conventions


  • Works protected by copyright
  • Infringement of copyright
  • Assignment and licensing of copyright
  • International copyright
  • Films and performers' rights
  • Requirements for patent protection
  • Application and registration process
  • Enforcement and revocation
  • Licensing, assignments and related issues
  • Registered designs
  • Application and registration process
  • Enforcement and revocation of designs
  • Licensing, assignments and related issues of designs
  • Types of unregistered intellectual property
  • Protecting unregistered intellectual property

  • Various intellectual property agreements
  • Intellectual property in the context of M and A transactions

  • Counterfeit Goods Act
  • Merchandise Marks Act
  • Domain name dispute resolution
  • Company names and trade marks
  • IP and the Consumer Protection Act
  • Protection of traditional knowledge
  • IP rights from publicly funded research and development
  • Advertising
  • Plant breeders' rights

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