Principles of Evidence (4th ed) by P.J. Schwikkard & S.E. Van der Merwe – Reviewed by FWB’s Louis Rood

The law of evidence is fundamental to the effective functioning of a judicial system in a constitutional state. The authors of this magisterial book set the context: “Courts normally have to make a finding concerning the existence or non-existence of certain facts before pronouncing on the rights, duties and liabilities of the parties engaged in a dispute. In this process of … Read More

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No Luck for Lucky Star at the SCA

Last year the Western Cape High Court heard a matter between Lucky Star and Lucky Fish whereby Lucky Star, who used its registered trade mark in respect of canned fish goods, alleged that Lucky Fish was using a trade mark that was confusingly similar to its own and, therefore, was guilty of trade mark infringement. The High Court dismissed Lucky … Read More

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The sting of the “Green Scorpions” in tackling environmental crime

The National Environmental Management Act seeks to protect the Constitutional right to an environment that is not harmful to one’s health or wellbeing. The Act recognises that everyone has the right to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through measures that prevent pollution and ecological degradation; promote conservation; and secure ecologically sustainable development and … Read More

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New credit provider registration threshold set at nil as from 11 November 2016

Under the National Credit Act, credit providers that have a total principal debt owed to them exceeding R 500 000.00, under all outstanding credit agreements (other than incidental credit agreements), must register as a credit provider. Last month, however, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, announced that as from 11 November 2016, the new credit provider registration … Read More

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Adwords battle comes to an end

The Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed security fencing company Cochrane Steel’s appeal to overturn the high court judgment on South Africa’s first Google Adwords case last week confirming that the use of a trade mark as a keyword in a Google Adwords system does not constitute unlawful competition or passing off. The high court was faced with the case involving … Read More

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Protecting yourself from that pesky online harasser

In today’s digital age, experiencing online harassment and cyberbullying is as common as catching a cold during winter. The Protection Against Harassment Act provides recourse to individuals who experience online and other forms of harassment. Harassment includes a broad spectrum of conduct including the following: watching, pursuing or accosting, loitering outside of or near the building where one lives, works, … Read More

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Cartel conduct now a criminal activity

The South African Minister of Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel, announced last month that any cartel conduct, including price fixing, market allocation and collusive tendering, now constitutes criminal activity. The amendments to the Competition Act giving effect to this announcement came into effect on 1 May 2016. The effect of the amendment is that any person who participates in cartel conduct … Read More

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Draft International Arbitration Bill Published- could South Africa become the venue for international arbitrations?

On 28 April 2016, the Government Gazette published the draft International Arbitration Bill and its explanatory memorandum. The Bill is due to be introduced to Parliament and if it becomes an Act, it will replace the old Arbitration Act and will govern all international arbitrations seated in South Africa. This will include commercial and investment arbitrations. The Arbitration Act, however, … Read More

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SCA rules that courts have a discretion to order the demolition of unauthorised/illegal building works on application by a neighbour

BSB International Link CC owned a property in Parkmore, Gauteng and its neighbour, Readam South Africa (Pty) Ltd, had a problem with the building works that BSB had undertaken. Readam argued that BSB proceeded without the prior approval of building plans by the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality (the municipality) as required by the National Building Regulations and Building Standards … Read More

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Is this transaction protected under Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008?

Often a question posed as the weary consumer, but are you getting the right answer? Today’s scenario: You wish to enter into an Installment Sale Agreement to purchase a new car. The seller and/or institution, who is assisting with the closing, advises that the National Credit Act 34 of 2005 and the consumers related rights provided therein are applicable to … Read More

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The compensation ordered for the developer of ‘please call me’ a reminder to companies to regulate internal intellectual property policies

The Constitutional Court recently handed down judgment in the case concerning the compensation for the use of the idea of developing the Please Call Me messaging system for Vodacom, which resulted in generating billions of rands. Mr. Makate –who claims he developed the mechanism – was a trainee accountant employed by Vodacom during 2000 when he was involved in a … Read More

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Enforcing a South African maintenance order in a foreign country

The Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders Act allows a parent living in South Africa to claim maintenance from a parent living in a foreign country and vice versa. South Africa, however, only has reciprocal enforcement agreements with Australia, Botswana, Canada, Cocoa Islands, Cyprus, Fiji, Germany, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Isle of Jersey, Isle of Man, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, New … Read More

Environmental licenses and permits now automatically available to the public

The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has recently made environmental licenses automatically available to the public. Unlike the previous position, licenses will now become available without having to submit a request in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA). This announcement from the DEA came after the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) pushed to have environmental licences … Read More

The Copyright Infringement Judgment – Moneyweb v Fin24

Judgment was recently granted out of the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) in favour of Moneyweb against Fin24 for copyright infringement. The court found that three of the seven articles published by Fin24, were in part original works of Moneyweb and that Moneyweb had shown that one of the articles had in fact infringed Moneyweb’s copyright. Where the articles fell short … Read More

ARIPO Developments

There are currently 19 States which are party to the Lusaka Agreement and therefore members of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO). These are: Botswana, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. ARIPO patents, utility models and industrial designs are governed by … Read More