Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property

Intellectual property (IP) is well established as a significant contributor to enterprise value and economic growth. It is essential for business to act decisively to safeguard this valuable, albeit intangible, corporate asset. With its distinctive and unique approach, The Werksmans Intellectual property team applies cutting edge skills and commercially minded solutions to a wide range of IP and related issues.

Acting for multinationals, large local companies, international sports enterprises and individuals, the Intellectual property team crosses borders in Africa and internationally to register and protect clients’ trade marks, patents, designs, copyright, domain names or, in the case of plant breeders, plant breeders’ rights.

The team is skilled in assessing the size, content and value of clients’ IP portfolios, and in following up with strategic development guidelines and portfolio management. In keeping with current technological advancements, clients enjoy free and direct internet access to the IP portfolios managed on their behalf.

Where clients’ IP rights are threatened, the team conducts litigation, whether in the form of interdicts, injunctions or claims for damages. Team members are also experienced in conducting domain name dispute proceedings.

The team expertly negotiates and prepares agreements on the IP aspects of commercial transactions, such as those involving licensees and franchisees.


  • Registration of IP rights both locally and internationally
  • Purchase, transfer and licensing of all IP rights (including copyrights, trade marks and patents)
  • IP strategic planning and portfolio management
  • Enforcement of trade marks, copyright and other IP rights
  • Litigation and dispute resolution in relation to a diversity of IP issues
  • Due diligence investigations
  • Domain name protection, administration and disputes
  • Anti-counterfeiting advice and actions
  • Licensing and technology transfers
  • Know-how
  • Confidential information
  • Restraints of trade
  • E-commerce and IT law
  • Biotechnology and related protection and rights
  • Sponsorship agreements
  • Trade mark, copyright and patent agreements
  • Franchising
  • Product design protection
  • Commercial agreements relating to IP and franchising
  • Registrability clearance searches
  • Lotteries and gaming through media advertising
  • Constitutional and administrative law aspects of IP
  • Trade mark, copyright and unlawful competition disputes

Contact Janine Hollesen, Head of Intellectual Property.

View our Intellectual Property practice area overview

To view our Intellectual Property practice in Africa, please click here