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20 May 2019
Bonang Matheba is one of South Africa's leading media personalities. She launched her own range of sparkling wine called HOUSE OF BNG on 18 March 2019.
Many celebrities extend their brands by venturing into various industries (ie, Pearl Thusi's BLACK PEARL hair product range, DJ Zinhle's ERABYDJZINHLE collection of watches and Cassper Nyovest's THE FAMILY TREE clothing store).
While these endeavours work well, they also create opportunities for individuals to infringe on the IP rights embedded in celebrities' respective ventures.
There are various IP rights that celebrities can use to maintain control over their brand and regulate how their brand is used by others.
Trademarks are often a celebrity's most valuable asset as they help to distinguish between different brands. A trademark can be a name, signature, logo, sound, smell, shape, container or a combination of one or more of these.
Trademark rights can be obtained through registration and allow individuals to prevent third parties from using their brand (trademark) without permission, in perpetuity, provided that they renew the registration every 10 years.
A domain name is an internet address to a website. While domain names are a separate right from trademarks, they tend to infringe on a trademark owner's IP rights. It is recommended that trademark owners:
There is also a plethora of domain name extensions to choose from, including:
Copyright is an exclusive right which protects original works of authorship, such as sound recordings, musical works, published works, literary works and artistic works.
Copyright exists automatically in the material expression of creative ideas, provided that certain requirements are met. It is impossible to register copyright in South Africa, except for films.
As copyright is a multi-faceted field of IP law, IP attorneys should be consulted to assess whether a piece of work is eligible for copyright protection.
Registered designs protect a product's appearance (ie, the well-known Louis Vuitton and Hermes patterns on clothing items) and entitle a holder to preclude others from copying and selling items which embody their registered design.
Finally, those planning to launch a venture are advised to:
The greater variety of IP rights that are obtained, the more it will deter copycats from infringing on IP rights, which could ultimately tarnish a brand's reputation.
For further information please contact Koketso Molope or Luyanda Ntuli at KISCH IP by telephone (+27 11 324 3000) or email (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org). The KISCH IP website can be accessed at www.kisch-ip.com.
The materials contained on this website are for general information purposes only and are subject to the disclaimer.
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