What we do
We specialise in intellectual property and related matters with a team of skilled lawyers.
We have extensive experience in representing and assisting clients in advertising disputes, including representing clients before the Advertising Regulatory Body of South Africa, where we have represented clients, successfully, over many years.
We assist our clients in the commercialisation of intellectual property, and in a vast range of commercial aspects, such as confidentiality, research and development (R&D) collaboration, restraint of trade, technology transfer, the sale of intellectual property, licensing (including franchising) and joint venturing, contract law, tax, accounting, exchange control and competition law.
Our services further include intellectual property due diligence investigations, audits and valuations, corporate and intellectual property structuring, brand selection and management methodology.
(and Close Corporations)
The Companies Act 71 of 2008 impacts extensively on and has far reaching implications and consequences for businesses operating in South Africa. As such, it is imperative that businesses has a comprehensive understanding of the act and its operation. Bouwers is well placed to provide advice and support in this process.
We have in depth experience in intellectual property related competition law issues as provided for in the Competition Act (89 of 1998), including:
Merger control notification
Exemptions and compliance
We are well placed to assist with product and service related, consumer protection issues, such as those provided for in terms of the Consumer Protection (68 of 2008).
Our experience extends to potential design, manufacturing, distribution and marketing related products and service risks and liabilities.
We have extensive experience in all aspects pertaining to the enforcement and protection of copyright in South Africa and internationally. Our expertise includes the registration of cinematography films, copyright assignment agreements and license / user agreements as well as providing advice on all aspects of copyright such as the protection, enforcement and exploitation of copyright.
We assist clients with legal requirements and our services include a comprehensive range of intellectual property related corporate and commercial services, such as corporate and intellectual property structuring.
We are able to assist clients to lodge objections withor defend objections lodged with the Registrar of Companies (Companies Tribunal) in which objection is raised to the registration of company names on the basis that they are objectionable.
We have extensive experience in all aspects pertaining to design protection in South Africa, Africa and internationally, including design searches, registrations and maintenance as well as related litigation.
Dispute resolution has become an important alternative mechanism to litigation for resolving disputes. Dispute resolution is governed primarily by contractual provisions although increasingly by legislative provisions as well. We can assist clients to identify and execute the best means of dispute resolution, including mediation, arbitration or litigation proceedings.
Dispute resolution support spans over many sectors and includes:
Negotiations and other informal conciliation, mediation and arbitration processes
Effective litigation in any South African court or forum
Labour dispute resolution
We are well placed to assist clients with domain name registrations and dispute resolution proceedings relating to domain registrations, cyber-squatting, cloaking, and the like.
Exchange Control and South African Reserve Bank Applications
Cross border intellectual property related transactions are subject to South African exchange control regulations. Bouwers has extensive experience in all aspects pertaining to cross border intellectual property transactions and the exchange control implications and requirements for such transactions, including Reserve Bank applications and the intellectual property valuations therefor.
Franchising, which is a form of licensing of trade marks, trade dress, copyright in manuals and know-how, the franchise concept, patents and more, continues to garner success as a successful business model for new business ventures as well as a model for expanding a successful business concept.
With the adoption of the Consumer Protection Act in 2008, emphasis is placed on this business model with the inclusion of detailed requirements and protection mechanisms for franchisors and franchisees.
We are well placed to assist clients and provide them with comprehensive advice on all franchisee related matters, including assisting in litigation that may be required.
Bouwers provides a comprehensive range of litigation services relating to all aspects of intellectual property, including resulting from passing off, infringement of statutory rights (i.e. trade mark, patent, design and copyright related rights), unlawful competition, counterfeiting, contravening the Merchandise Marks Act (17 of 1941) / Counterfeit Goods Act (37 of 1997), breach of agreement, enforcement of user and license agreements, revocation and expungement proceedings, franchising and copyright infringement matters.
Bouwers has vast experience in all aspects pertaining to patents in South Africa, Africa and internationally, including Paris Convention, PCT and non-Convention applications. Our experience extends to patent searches, applications, restorations, revocations and renewals as well as patent litigation.
Bouwers has on many occasions dealt with all legal aspects pertaining to private and publicly financed research and development (“R&D”), including in-house, contract and collaborative R&D, the R&D outcomes and the exploitation thereof. Our experience extends to all aspects of the Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Financed Research and Development Act (51 of 2008).
We have further assisted with the accounting, financial reporting & taxation related aspects of the creation, procurement and protection of the internally developed and externally procured R&D outcomes and the associated IP, including the International Financial Reporting Standards and its Accounting Standards (“IFRS” & “IAS”) associated international as well as the R&D tax incentives.
Bouwers is able to, in conjunction with our tax advisory partners, assist with all intellectual property related tax aspects in South Africa, in particular the tax implications following the transfer of intellectual property.
Bouwers has in depth knowledge and experience in all aspects pertaining to trade marks in South Africa, Africa and internationally. Amongst others, our experiences extend to trade mark searches, opining on the availability and registrability of trade marks, filing and prosecution of trade marks, trade mark oppositions, renewal and restoration of trade marks, preparation of license / user / assignment agreements (and the recordal thereof) as well as advising on the enforcement and protection of the common law rights that clients may enjoy.
Bouwers has assisted multiple clients with intellectual property valuations and intellectual property related damages quantifications, including the determination of intangible asset and intellectual property related values and damages claims in arbitration and litigation proceedings.