Finweek English Edition - - Intellectual property -

HERE’S HOW TO DO IT… IT’S IM­POR­TANT TO know that the reg­is­tra­tion of a for­mal busi­ness – whether a close cor­po­ra­tion, a private com­pany or any other for­mat – doesn’t au­to­mat­i­cally pro­tect you against the use of a trade­mark by some­one else. Ac­cord­ing to Eric Parker’s Road Map to Busi­ness Suc­cess, that’s one of the rea­sons why the pro­tec­tion of trade­marks, copy­right, de­signs and patents should be of se­ri­ous con­cern. Reg­is­tra­tion of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty (IP) is done at the De­part­ment of Trade and In­dus­try’s Com­pa­nies and In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Reg­is­tra­tion Of­fice (Cipro). And though you can do it your­self, Parker and other in­dus­try ex­perts rec­om­mend that IP spe­cial­ists should rather do so. Cipro it­self ad­vises the pro­tec­tion of IP when a busi­ness cre­ates value by means of an idea, process, trade­mark or prod­uct so that other peo­ple are pre­vented from mak­ing money from it. Briefly, reg­is­tra­tion in­volves the fol­low­ing: Trade­marks in­clude brands such as Co­caCola or Col­gate, slo­gans like “Just do it”, lo­gos like the Nike tick and even a de­sign shape, like the small Coca-Cola bot­tle. Af­ter you’ve reg­is­tered it no­body may use it or any­thing sim­i­lar to it. De­sign reg­is­tra­tion can be done for some­thing you’ve cre­ated to pre­vent oth­ers from copy­ing its shape, style, ap­pear­ance, pat­tern, or­na­men­ta­tion or struc­ture. Pa­tent reg­is­tra­tion pre­vents oth­ers copy­ing your in­ven­tion, which could be an in­no­va­tive prod­uct or process or a new tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tion to a prob­lem. Pa­tent pro­tec­tion means that the in­ven­tions can’t be com­mer­cially man­u­fac­tured, used, dis­trib­uted or sold with­out the owner’s ap­proval. Copy­right doesn’t ap­ply to ideas, but to the way the work is writ­ten down or recorded. In SA, sev­eral univer­si­ties are in­volved in IP and they guide busi­nesses from re­search and de­vel­op­ment to reg­is­tra­tion, of­ten in co-opera- tion with skilled pa­tent at­tor­neys. It’s also a good idea to con­sult the SA In­sti­tute of In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Law (SAIIPL), which was formed in 1954 and has about 140 pa­tent at­tor­neys, agen­cies and other spe­cial­ists among its mem­bers. Var­i­ous web­sites that pro­vide gen­eral in­for­ma­tion con­cern­ing IP at an in­ter­na­tional level and in SA and of­fer spe­cific IP ser­vices could also be vis­ited. Some use­ful web­sites in­clude: • • • • www. • • • • • • www.werks­ • • www.bow­

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