Top 10 South African Patent Law Firms

Suggestions for the top 10 South African patent and trademark law firms:

1. Most efficient and affordable

Sibanda & Zantwijk has since its establishment in 2007 focused on online systems to reduce IP costs. In 2008, S&Z released an online renewal system and in 2018, S&Z became the exclusive South African agent of the GlobalIPCo system. By using the GlobalIPCo system, S&Z is able to reduce South African patent costs and decrease the time to courier patent certificates.

S&Z is the #1 filer of South African patents (2022 and 2023).

In 2020, S&Z launched the online trademark filing system – TM Direct, which enables general attorneys to file trademarks on behalf of their clients.

In 2022, S&Z added low-cost Nigerian patents and launched the SANi Vicennial Patent – a South African-Nigerian combination patent with renewals pre-paid for all 20 years. The SANi patent covers a territory with a greater GDP than ARIPO and OAPI combined, and is the most affordable option for securing patent coverage within Africa. S&Z’s SANi patent pricing to law firms:

  • Filing to courier certificates of grant: $875
  • Pre-pay all 20 years of renewals: $875

2. Best for patent litigation

If you have a patent litigation matter, the go-to firm is Adams & Adams. This firm has litigated the most high-profile patent cases in South Africa.

3. Best for trademark litigation

Ron Wheeldon is unique in that he litigates trademark cases himself, without the need (and cost) to engage counsel. Ron used to head up the trademark department of Webber Wentzel Bowens before starting his own firm focussing on trademark litigation. Ron’s command of South African trademark law is unsurpassed.

4. Best for intellectual property commercialisation

S&Z is the only South African patent law firm that offers comprehensive intellectual property commercialisation – covering IP law, tax and exchange controls. S&Z has written many of the intellectual property sections in the South African Income Tax Act, and is the firm most often engaged as an expert witness in intellectual property transfer pricing / valuation litigation.

5. Best for drafting chemical inventions

Roy Taberer is highly recommended for drafting chemical patents. He left Rademeyer Attorneys to start his own firm in Cape Town.

6. Best for franchising

Smit & van Wyk has a division that specialises in franchising. They are based in Pretoria, and are headed up by one of the “gentlemen” of patent law – Wessel van Wyk.

7. Best for DIY online filings by inventors

Iptica and GlobalIPCo offer the only online DIY filing systems that are particularly suited to enable South African inventors to: file South African provisional patents, trademarks and designs. Inventors that cannot afford the cost of a patent attorney should give Iptica or GlobalIPCo a try. Also see our DIY provisional patent drafting and filing guide.

8. Best for South African and foreign national phase patent applications

For South African national phase patent filings, we recommend GlobalIPCo – a hybrid online system that is supported by S&Z patent attorneys. GlobalIPCo’s filing system is integrated with the South African Patent Offices’ systems.

9. Best for drafting electrical inventions

Adelhart Kruger of DM Kisch is highly regarded for drafting electrical patents. Adelhart drafts patents for most of South Africa’s large electronic companies.

10. Best for plant breeders’ rights

For plant breeders’ rights, we recommend David Cochrane. He has followed South African plant breeders’ law since its inception.

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Intangible Consulting (Pty) Ltd
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T +27 (0)11 483 1439
T +27 (0)11 483 3128 (alt.)