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An epistle of the Anton Mostert Chair of Intellectual Property


Hear it on the grapevine – news, analysis commentary and reviews of everything that matters in IP law directly from the Vine Oracle

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Is Plagiarism Unlawful?

Posted by on Oct 16, 2018 in Copyright, IPStell | 0 comments

Is Plagiarism Unlawful?

INTRODUCTION “Plagiarism” is a much misunderstood and misused term in common parlance. In layman’s terms it is generally used to convey the notion of copying or reproducing the work of another in a clandestine manner. Although it is not specifically mentioned or perhaps even considered as an element, by implication it entails such misuse being without permission. It is often used as a synonym for, or in lieu of, “copyright infringement” and it is generally thought to amount to the same thing. Supposedly, being copyright infringement...

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Commissioned works – with special reference to literary works

Posted by on Sep 11, 2018 in Copyright, IPStell | Comments Off on Commissioned works – with special reference to literary works

Commissioned works – with special reference to literary works

There is a common misconception concerning copyright works, namely, that the person who has commissioned the creation of a copyright work also owns the copyright in such a work.  This article will illustrate that, in the absence of an express contractual arrangement, it is only in a limited number of situations that the commissioner of a copyright work will also be the copyright owner of such a work. Copyright protection is provided for by the Copyright Act 98 of 1978 (“the Act”).  The Act determines what types of works are protected,...

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The Plagiarist on Trial – a legal perspective on plagiarism

Posted by on Aug 2, 2018 in Copyright, IPStell | Comments Off on The Plagiarist on Trial – a legal perspective on plagiarism

The Plagiarist on Trial – a legal perspective on plagiarism

In an attempt to circumscribe the range of “nefarious conduct”[1] that may amount to plagiarism, many resort to a discourse on ethical standards,[2] literary technique,[3] institutional values, citation methodology, copyright infringement[4] or theft.[5] Although these discussions, at least in part, approach a grasp on what plagiarism means, none are acceptable from a legal perspective. Moreover, while reliance is placed on moral considerations instead of the law, the intolerable risk remains that cases of plagiarism will be adulterated by...

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Full comments: Copyright Amendment Bill 2018

Posted by on Jul 22, 2018 in Copyright, IPStell | Comments Off on Full comments: Copyright Amendment Bill 2018

Full comments: Copyright Amendment Bill 2018

Following its comprehensive review and comments submitted on the 2015 and 2017 versions of the Copyright Amendment Bill, the Chair of IP law has again submitted comments on the 2018 version. The full text of the Chair’s comments, authored by Proff Sadulla Karjiker and Owen Dean, is available for download here. Download comments   Follow Share on...

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MaXhosa v Zara

Posted by on May 2, 2018 in Copyright, Design, IPStell, Trade Marks | Comments Off on MaXhosa v Zara

MaXhosa v Zara

Prof Owen Dean recently discussed the likelihood of legal action by Laduma Ngxokolo against fashion house Zara for infringement of the MaXhosa by Laduma designs. The interview with Prof Dean was broadcast on 702 radio as part of the Night Talk programme hosted by Gugulethu Mhlungu. You can listen to the interview here.   Featured image source: http://www.maxhosa.co.za/about Follow Share on...

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Full Stop Ahead: Public interest in blocking digital content

Posted by on Feb 1, 2018 in Copyright, IPStell, Trade Marks | Comments Off on Full Stop Ahead: Public interest in blocking digital content

Full Stop Ahead: Public interest in blocking digital content

It makes for the perfect ideological storm when IP law and ICT law meet and the right to freedom of expression stands in the way. Capitalist and socialist, activist and pacifist, pragmatist and idealist: differing legal experts abound in the battle for, or against, IP rights in the digital environment. Two recent developments which illustrate this tension, might serve South Africans well, if observed with care. First, the recent ruling of the General Court of the European Union in Constantin Film Produktion GmbH v EUIPO[i] made it clear that...

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BEPS and Intangibles: How does it impact IP tax structures?

Posted by on Feb 1, 2018 in Copyright, Design, IPStell, Patents, Plant Breeders Rights, Trade Marks | Comments Off on BEPS and Intangibles: How does it impact IP tax structures?

BEPS and Intangibles: How does it impact IP tax structures?

Intangible assets constitute a major value-driver for multi-national enterprises (MNEs). This is even more so for companies that rely on valuable intangibles rather than physical assets to generate financial returns. Intangibles such as patents, design, trademarks (or brands) and copyrights are generally easy to identify, value and transfer and as such attractive for multi-national tax planning structures especially as these rights usually does not have a fixed geographical basis and is highly mobile as a result can be relocated without...

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Commentary: Draft Intellectual Property Policy Phase 1 2017

Posted by on Nov 8, 2017 in IPStell, Patents, Publications | Comments Off on Commentary: Draft Intellectual Property Policy Phase 1 2017

Commentary: Draft Intellectual Property Policy Phase 1 2017

Prof Sadulla Karjiker and Dr Madelein Kleyn recently submitted the following comments to the DTI on the Draft IP Policy Phase 1 2017. The full text of the IP Chair’s commentary may be downloaded here.     Introduction The Department of Trade and Industry published the Draft Intellectual Property Policy of the Republic of South Africa Phase I 2017 (the “2017 Draft IP Policy”).[1] The Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, has invited interested persons to submit written comments on the 2017 Draft IP Policy by 17...

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Copyright in taste? CJEU to decide.

Posted by on Oct 17, 2017 in Copyright, IPStell | Comments Off on Copyright in taste? CJEU to decide.

Copyright in taste? CJEU to decide.

“Whether copyright protection protects tastes has been stirring up emotions in European legal circles for some time. Some say that such protection would be contrary to the idea-expression dichotomy, the notion that ideas and principles underlying any element of a work can never be protected. Others argue protecting taste would negatively affect free competition, among other things. Allowing taste copyright would lead to creative stagnation because when chefs invent new dishes and thus tastes, they always build on already existing...

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Good read: a truly South African novel on copyright law

Posted by on Oct 17, 2017 in Copyright, IPStell, Publications | Comments Off on Good read: a truly South African novel on copyright law

Good read: a truly South African novel on copyright law

It is about time! Great news for those in need of new, good fiction in the courtroom drama sub-genre with a truly South African perspective – the new book The Summit Syndrome has just been published by Authorhouse UK. And the best part – it is set as a copyright infringement case authored by the man who knows how to tell this story very well, Professor Owen Dean. Mixing legal suspense with a character-driven plot “in this dramatic story of treachery, betrayal, love, and an obsession to succeed, a lawyer takes on a complex...

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