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 is the GlobalIPCo patent, trademark and design filing and management system. By using the GlobalIPCo system, S&Z is able to reduce South African patent costs and decrease the time to courier patent certificates..

In 2019 and 2020, S&Z was the #2 South African patent law firm for filing provisional patents (2019, 2020). And, in September 2021, S&Z became the #1 filer of South African patents (total 259 patents for the month). Today, S&Z files about 50% of all South African patents.

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

2. Best for patent litigation

If you have a patent litigation matter, the go-to firm is Adams & Adams. These firms have been responsible for litigating 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 engaged by South African regulators as the expert witness in intellectual property litigation. S&Z’s intellectual property valuations and royalty rate determinations are typically accepted by SARS and SARB.

Anthony van Zantwijk of S&Z has been appointed as the transfer pricing / valuation expert in five high-profile litigation matters involving billions of Rands.

5. Best for drafting chemical inventions

Roy Taberer is highly recommended for drafting chemical patents. He recently left Rademeyer Attorneys and has opened 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 offers the only online DIY filing system that is 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 a try.

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 resident patent attorneys. GlobalIPCo also offers the most affordable European regional phase patent filings worldwide. GlobalIPCo’s filing system is integrated with the South African and European Patent Offices’ systems, and the company also licensing its patent management system to other South African patent law firms.

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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