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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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IP Rights perspective: Ubuntu Baba v Woolworths

Posted by on Jan 10, 2019 in Copyright, IPStell, Patents | 0 comments

IP Rights perspective: Ubuntu Baba v Woolworths

Prof Owen Dean discussed the recent controversy about the Ubuntu Baba baby carrier and a similar Woolworths product with Azania Mosaka on 702 Radio to explain how IP rights may find application in similar circumstances. You can read extracts of the interview, or listen to the full interview below, or visit the 702 page.     Follow Share on...

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Copyleft Amendments to Copyright

Posted by on Nov 26, 2018 in Copyright, IPStell | Comments Off on Copyleft Amendments to Copyright

Copyleft Amendments to Copyright

So called “state capture” is a concept which currently dominates current public discourse. It represents the usurpation and domination of the powers of the state by the Zuma/Gupta alliance. State capture, albeit in a different form, has occurred in the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in regard to its custodianship of intellectual property. Beginning in the late nineteen nineties, with the advent to power in Trade and Industry of Minster Alex Erwin, a “third force” has assumed control of this important area of the law with...

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The technical function exclusion in design law

Posted by on Nov 9, 2018 in Design, IPStell | Comments Off on The technical function exclusion in design law

The technical function exclusion in design law

The DOCERAM/CeramTec-case (C-395/16) is the first case dealing with the meaning of the “technical function” exclusion in relation to Community designs. The CJEU’s judgment provides an interpretation of Article 8(1) of Council Regulation (EC) No. 6/2002 on Community designs (the “Regulation”) – and hence, indirectly, also of Article 7(1) of Directive 98/71/EC on the legal protection of designs – which provides that “a design right shall not subsist in features of appearance of a product which are solely...

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Is Plagiarism Unlawful?

Posted by on Oct 16, 2018 in Copyright, IPStell | Comments Off on Is Plagiarism Unlawful?

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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