Country: Republic Of South Africa
Capital: Cape Town
Member: Wipo, Wto, Berne Convention, Pct, Paris Convention, Commonwealth Of Nations, Brics, G77, G20, G8+5, Southern African Custom Union
The IP affairs in South Africa are looked after by the Companies & Intellectual Property Commission (CIP)
The Geographical Indications affairs in South Africa are looked after by:
· the Department of Trade & Industry.
· the Department of Agriculture.
· GI is a source indicator informing consumers about a product’s origin from a certain place.
· GI confirms certain special characteristics inherent to the product.
There is no specific law on Geographical Indications in South Africa as yet, hence the following laws are applicable:
· Trademarks Law
· Trade Practices Act
· Merchandise Marks Act
· Liquor Products Act
1. Appellations of Origin
2. Geographical Indications
Gis are protected as Collective & Certification marks.
Geographical Indications are not protectable if:
· They are immoral or against public order;
· GIs likely to mislead the public with respect to the place of origin of the goods;
· Trademarks containing or consisting of GIs likely to cause confusion as to the quality of the goods not originating from the territory indicated;
· They are confusingly similar to a trade mark for which rights had been acquired before the GI is protected in its country of origin;
· GIs that indicate the place of origin of use of the wines & spirits originating in a region other than the place of origin
· GIs which are not or have ceased to be protected in their country or territory of origin
· Gis which have fallen into disuse in their country or territory of origin
Following can apply for registration of GIs:
· Natural / Legal persons carryin on activities as producers in the defined Geographical Area
· Groups of Producers
· Other competent authorities
Applications to contain the following:
· the name, address and nationality of the natural person or legal entity filing the application, and the capacity in which the applicant is applying for registration;
· the geographical indication for which registration is sought;
· the geographical area to which the geographical indication applies;
· the goods for which the geographical indication applies;
· the quality, reputation or other characteristic of the goods for which the geographical indication is used; and
· any other particulars as may be prescribed.
Once the application is received, it is formally examined. The application is then scrutinised regarding compliance with all the requisites. Once the application is found to be compliant with all the formalities and the requisites, it is advertised for objections from interested third parties.
If there is no opposition post filing of the application, or the opposition is unsuccessful, the applicant’s GI is registered.
Only producers registered & carrying on activities within the indicated geographical area are allowed to use GI in the course of trade & commerce.