Adams & Adams is an internationally recognised and leading African law firm that specialises in providing intellectual property, corporate and commercial services.
With primary office locations in South Africa and branches and associate offices in a number of African countries, our firm’s leadership position as the largest intellectual property law practice in Africa, and one of South Africa’s foremost corporate, property and commercial law firms is reflected in the ground-breaking work we do and the valuable client relationships we have with many of the world’s largest corporations and organisations, as well as small to medium-sized companies.
Our Intellectual Property law practices work with clients around the globe and across many industries to protect, enforce and commercialise their intellectual property. The group offers clients a full range of legal services relating to the acquisition, enforcement and commercialisation of intellectual property rights. These services include counsel and handling of transactions in cases involving patents, copyrights, trade marks, designs, licensing, and data security. The partners and associates in our Intellectual Property Group also litigate these issues in courts across Africa. Adams & Adams is the largest IP firm in Africa and is ranked among the leading firms in Intellectual Property in the world.
Adams & Adams is firmly rooted in Africa – with a tenacious belief in the economic growth potential and spirit of the continent. Our head office in Pretoria, the capital of South Africa, provides the perfect gateway through which our partners, supported by some 700 professionals and staff, render a broad range of legal services to clients in Africa and the rest of the world.
Through our associate offices and long established networks, we serve our global client base throughout the African continent - in matters of intellectual property, commercial law, property and litigation. Adams & Adams regularly hosts a meeting of partners from associate offices throughout the continent– a network meeting designed to maintain relationships, build capacity and share information about updates on intellectual property and corporate & commercial developments across the continent.
Von Seidels is a specialist IP law firm in Africa with a team of over 90 people. We assist clients both locally and internationally in obtaining all forms of IP protection and deals with all IP related commercial activities, including agreements, valuations and litigation.
Our head office is in Cape Town and we have a satellite office in Johannesburg, South Africa. We have offices in ARIPO (Namibia), OAPI (Cameroon) and Nigeria.
Von Seidels OAPI office is based in Cameroon. OAPI (Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle) is a regional IP filing system providing protection in its 17 member countries: Benin, Burkina-Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Togo and Comoros.
Von Seidels ARIPO office is based in Namibia. ARIPO (African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation) is a regional IP filing system with 18 member countries: Botswana, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Our offices cover the majority of the African continent. South Africa, ARIPO, OAPI and Nigeria combined comprise 70% of Africa’s countries. In the rest of Africa we work with trusted agents.
With many years of experience working in Africa, we have vast local knowledge and understanding of country-specific legislative requirements and issues across this continent.
Our firm has established itself as one of the leading IP firms in Africa. Our superior service delivery has resulted in Von Seidels being the only medium sized firm to ever be awarded “South Africa IP Firm of the Year” by Managing Intellectual Property.
High quality legal work as well as professional, timely advice is important to us. We are committed to adding value to our clients’ businesses through sound legal advice and effectively managing clients’ IP assets.
Von Seidels is the first IP firm in Africa to be ISO 9001 certified for service quality.
Established in 1998, de Chalains is a leading IP firm with its Head Office in close proximity to the High Court and Trade Marks & Patents Office in Pretoria, the Nation's Capital. The Raison d'être was simple- to create a unique firm by providing our clients with astonishing levels of service excellence at affordable rates.
This mantra encapsulated a commitment to nurturing and caring for our clients trade mark and patent portfolios in the most streamlined and cost effective manner. This focussed proactive approach provided a solid base from which to develop and evolve into the 21st Century as an award winning full service IP boutique offering clients a refreshing and authentic alternative to much older and larger firms culminating in Managing Intellectual Property (MIP) recognising the firm for eleven consecutive years as a leading light for trade mark prosecution in South Africa.
Moreover, the firm's professional staff were originally members of large well known South African IP firms and have all honed their skills and craft over many years developing extensive experience and expertise in different facets of IP law and, in particular trade mark procurement and enforcement. Being lean, nimble, adroit and dynamic presupposes a degree of flexibility and agility exemplified by our total commitment to personal services tailored to suit our clients specific needs and budget requirements.
Since inception, the firm has gained a formidable reputation for accurate, swift and thorough service across the African continent with advice dispensed in a straight forward understandable manner without unnecessary jargon and legalese. The firm remains dedicated to building and maintaining long lasting mutually beneficial working relationships with clients whilst simultaneously ensuring high quality service at reasonable cost.
Spoor & Fisher handles the filing, registration, prosecution and enforcement of trade marks, patents, designs and copyright. Clients also choose us to draft agreements for their commercial intellectual property (IP) transactions and to negotiate the best terms. Our intricate knowledge of over 80 different IP laws and practices across our core geographical regions - Africa and the Caribbean - means that we create and implement robust protection strategies. Where we do not have offices and where we cannot file directly, we work with carefully selected local associates.
Consistency in quality and record-keeping comes with having Spoor & Fisher as a single point of contact to manage entire IP portfolios. We work directly with corporates - global companies to small businesses - their main legal advisors as well as inventors. Clients from across the globe, including Africa-based businesses, have asked us to help protect and enforce their IP assets in their chosen markets.
Spoor & Fisher is responsible for the African and/or Caribbean intellectual property portfolios for some of the largest global brand owners across all main industry sectors.
We are pioneers for IP in Africa in particular - our lawyers have written the leading text books - including Dean & Dyer: Introduction to Intellectual Property Law - drafted laws and been involved in several of the most important cases in Africa.
1920 saw the creation of Spoor & Fisher in South Africa by founding members, Alfred Leonard Spoor and Len Fisher. With a growing business across Africa and limited local communications to support our business needs, the firm expanded in 1977 with the opening of an office in Jersey, Channel Islands. Jersey was chosen because of its excellent telecommunications and infrastructure. Jersey, being so close to Europe, gave us easy access to many clients, as well as straightforward travel links to Africa, the US and Asia. Although the historic issues that existed in South Africa have disappeared, our Jersey office is now well-established.
Validity and enforceability of international registrations in African countries through to long response times from local registries are examples of the concerns and challenges that international brand owners face when looking to protect their trade marks across such a vast continent with numerous laws and practices. Similar issues exist in the Caribbean. We work with companies to ensure that, as a minimum, their house trade marks are protected in African countries that are known as counterfeiting hotspots, those with strong economic markets where their goods and services are available, and countries where their brands are being manufactured. Our trade mark search, formalities and prosecution teams manage trade mark portfolios at all stages.
Similar issues exist for patentees who wish to protect their inventions across such vast regions with numerous laws and practices. Our team of registered patent attorneys and professionals handles not only the drafting and analysis of patent and utility model specifications but also the filing, prosecution and renewal of applications across Africa and the Caribbean. We also work with local South African-based patent owners to assist with their patent portfolios in other countries. Clients rely on our multi-disciplinary expertise and experience to handle their patent matters across all technical disciplines. We have six main patent teams including biotechnology and life sciences, chemistry, chemical engineering and pharmaceuticals, electrical, electronics and software engineering, mechanical, civil and mining engineering, patent agency filings and patent enforcement. Our specialists also form part of our multi-disciplinary teams covering various industry sectors including clean technology, gas, oil and energy, food beverage and FMCG, healthcare, therapeutics and medical technologies, mining and resources, and nanotechnology.
Designs involve substantial investment. Registering designs prevents the blatant copying of a design and should often be used with other forms of IP protection such as patents and trade marks. Although a registered design only safeguards the appearance of an article and offers a limited form of protection, it is beneficial to register. A product may be the subject of both patent and design protection - patents and registered designs should not be viewed as mutually exclusive. Our designs team has the necessary technical and legal qualifications as well as experience in the preparation, filing, prosecution and renewal of design applications across Africa and the Caribbean.