Trademarks, Designs and Intellectual Property
Our intellectual property lawyers specialise in protecting trademarks and designs through global registration. You can trust us to protect your intellectual property assets, including your brand.
Brand protection is a core concern for any business. Our firm has a specific passion for protecting intellectual property (IP) – and the firm’s founder was awarded a Certificate of Merit for outstanding achievement in intellectual property law by the University of the Witwatersrand.
We focus primarily on global trademarks and designs, including:
- trademark protection, both locally and abroad via our global agent network
- trademark licensing, Franchising
- IP structuring for tax and other fiscal incentives
- externalisation, which involves exporting IP to tax and finance-friendly jurisdictions.
Global trademark registration
A trademark is deemed an intangible asset and can be registered anywhere in the world. The country where a trademark is first registered is considered the fiscal jurisdiction for the purposes of taxation on any profit or royalties derived.
South Africans face high taxation and few fiscal incentives for registering trademarks locally. Instead, they can benefit by registering trademarks in a country such as Ireland – a member of the Madrid Protocol that offers a ZERO percent tax rate on global royalty revenue derived from trademarks.
The Madrid Protocol is a global treaty offering reciprocal protection to over 90 member states, among them the United States, the UK, European Union member countries, China and Australia. Registration with the Madrid Protocol requires registration in a member country.
Similarly, a European Union trade mark (EUTM) offers protection throughout the EU, subject to registration in an EU member state.
As well as mitigating taxation, global trademark registration can facilitate access to funding for research and development, which is far more readily available in countries like Ireland than in South Africa.
Why use our global registration services?
Unlike non-practising agents offering trademark searches and registrations, our practising IP attorneys are legal specialists, bound by professional ethics. They can guarantee the privacy and safety of your IP.
We understand the legal and commercial ramifications of IP registration and offer tax-efficient IP structuring.
In addition, we have the expertise to advise on and expedite global registrations. Our solid relationships with a network of agents abroad ensure a smooth process for our clients, preventing unnecessary delays and costs associated with rejections, conditions and oppositions.