Friday, 3 February 2012

Friday's bobs - South Africa

Nolwazi Gcaba
It has just come to the attention of Afro Leo that a friend and former colleague Nolwazi Gcaba has been appointed as Chairperson of Spoor and Fisher. The position has been held by IP heavyweights Owen Dean and more recently Charles Webster. Hearty congratulations!

Other good news from the same firm is that Tshepo Shabangu has taken up a second term as president of the SAIIPL. Afro Leo has always felt that one year is not enough to make a real difference and this unprecedented move is very good news as well as recognition of Thsepo's work to date.

Derick Swart and Jeremy Speres of the new Stellenbosch technology firm Floor Swart Inc have also been active recently. They represented Royal Salt in a packaging dispute against Swartkops (SEEPO v SEESO - trade mark infringement and passing off) that was heard in the Eastern Cape High Court in the student town of Grahamstown. Their client's clean sweep in a thorough judgment can be found here. The lesson of the case, neatly put by Noseweek editor Hans Muhlberg, writing for Moore Attorneys:

"colour [ed - in this case orange] can be important distinguishing feature, use your trade marks in the form they're registered, and don't be a smart arse [ed- use of MARINA®SEESO®is not use of MARINA SEESO]".

Last evening's LES rendezvous was pretty good fun. The keynote speaker was light hearted and  informative. Behind the rhetoric that is almost mandatory from a government official is someone who seems intent on making NIPMO work. His obvious passion is dosed with a good understanding of the framework the office finds itself in which left Afro Leo optimistic that it may just work, albeit in time.

Finally, Afro Leo has heard through the ant line that the ASA is making progress in securing funds. It's not official and nor have actual amounts been pledged. However, the intent is apparently there.



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