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Intellectual Property Law
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Another small business has complained of Woolworths copying its product – this time it's a nutrition bar. But the retailer has denied the claims, saying it started developing its product years before ever meeting the entrepreneur, Fin24 reports. Last week Woolworths was in the spotlight after founder and designer of Ubuntu Baba baby carriers Shannon McLaughlin blogged about how the retailer copied her product.
Woolworths is to remove a baby carrier product from its stores, following a meeting with a business owner who claimed the retailer had copied her idea, according to a Fin24 report. This comes after founder and designer of Ubuntu Baba baby carriers Shannon McLaughlin outlined in a blog post that the retailer copied her product idea.
The design of a baby carrier that is not only suitable for the baby but comfortable for the mother as well is at the centre of a dispute between its designer, Shannon McLaughlin, and Woolworths after she discovered the exact design being sold at the retail giant's online shop in December 2018. McLaughlin, who is accusing the retailer of stealing her design and concept, described Woolworths’ conduct as ‘completely unethical’, says a TimesLIVE report.
Pepkor, the owner of Tekkie Town, is having difficulty persuading Judge Siraj Desai, of the Western Cape High Court, that the ‘fools gold’ allegedly paid to the founders of Tekkie Town had nothing to do with the current trademark case against Mr Tekkie.
World football federation Fifa has been stripped of all its SA trademarks and is now forced to hand over documents that could expose corruption and millions in kickbacks at the highest levels of government and the country’s local soccer authority. In what City Press describes as a world first, Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) Judge Van der Westhuizen issued an attachment order in favour of former football administrator Leslie Sedibe.
Telecommunications giant Vodacom is still prepared to negotiate with Please Call Me inventor Nkosana Makate on whether to compensate him a share of revenue that the service has generated. This, notes a Moneyweb report, emerged from Vodacom’s affidavit filed this week in response to Makate’s latest application at the Constitutional Court, which seeks clarity on last year's groundbreaking order that compelled the company to enter into in good faith compensation negotiations with him.
Ackermans was recently successful in what Werksmans Attorneys’ Janine Hollesen calls a precedent-setting trademark dispute with Truworths (Pepkor Retail (Pty) Ltd v Truworths Ltd) which was heard by the SCA. In an analysis in The Star, Hollesen notes that the trademark at the centre of the dispute was ‘The Look’.
SA company Trio End Street has been interdicted from using a fake BMW logo on its car rims and wheels, and thus infringing on the trade mark of the German company, says a report in The Star. The mother company of BMW SA – BMW AG – holds the trade mark to the logo. However, it emerged that Trio End Street, trading as Golden West Tyres & Wheels, was using the logo on its rims.
Media24 Books appeal to the SCA after the Western Cape High Court threw out its copyright action against Oxford University Press‚ which it claimed had copied its English-Afrikaans children’s dictionary, was dismissed with costs by Judge Malcolm Wallis‚ sitting with four other judges. A TimesLIVE report says the case – thought to be only the second dictionary copyright row to have come to court anywhere in the world – had its roots in 2011‚ when Media24 started work on a new Aanleerderswoordeboek.
The Supreme Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by Yuppiechef Holdings that another online company‚ Yuppie Gadgets‚ infringed Yuppiechef’s trademark, says a BDlive report. The trouble started when Urban Gadgets decided in 2011 to change its name to Yuppie Gadgets‚ prompting Yuppiechef to launch its application.
The Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) has issued a final interdict against veteran documentary producer Sylvia Vollenhoven in terms of which she may not distribute or broadcast the documentary Project Spear, commissioned by the public broadcaster, notes a Pretoria News report. The SABC was due to broadcast the documentary in September 2012, but gave various reasons for not doing so, including that it would open the broadcaster to defamation claims as there were allegations that could not be substantiated.
While many brand-holders adopt an aggressive approach and pursue criminal action against so-called counterfeiters under the Counterfeit Goods Act, the Criminal Procedure Act provides very useful procedural tools with which to flush out counterfeit kingpins â€“ ironically with the assistance of their own partners in crime, says Adams & Adams Attorneysâ€™ Jan-Harm Swanepoel, in an analysis in Business Day.