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intellectual property (IP)


Exceptionally efficient in dealing with vast and geographically diverse portfolios; ENSafrica is a five-star firm.
World Trademark Review 1000

A world-class IP team with a real African footprint, providing business savvy expertise in a cost-effective manner.

ENSafrica’s IP team is recognised worldwide as a leader in its field in Africa and our practitioners are consistently ranked as experts.

ENSafrica is recognised by top ranking agencies for achieving consistently high standards when working on the African continent. Our most recent accolades are the African IP Team of the Year Award at the 2020 African Legal Awards (for the third time) and the South African Trademark Firm of the Year Award at the 2020 Global IP Awards, presented by prestigious IP publications World Trademark Review (WTR) and IAM.

We are business savvy and recognise that IP does not involve merely registering, maintaining and enforcing IP rights; rather, it is a key driver of a business’s asset value, growth and sustainability. Our focus on collaborating with you to create valuable intellectual property assets to drive your commercial successes is what sets us apart from our competitors. We work hard to obtain a deep understanding of your business and objectives so that we can help you to build your IP assets and create value and growth in your business.

We cover the full spectrum of non-contentious and contentious IP law and have a proven track record in high value, complex work covering multiple jurisdictions in Africa.

One of our key differentiators is that we have a real African footprint, with offices across the continent and on-the-ground knowledge of local legislation, procedures and practices.

In African jurisdictions where we do not have offices, we use a well-established network of carefully chosen IP specialist associates who ascribe to our own client-centric service delivery approach, ensuring consistent quality and timeous delivery.

We are able to offer a co-ordinated, consolidated service for IP projects covering multiple jurisdictions and we pride ourselves on providing you with value by streamlining processes and creating efficiencies.

One of the many benefits is that, no matter how many countries your project spans, you can always interact with a single point of contact.

Our approach is pragmatic and business-focused. We assist in establishing the role of your IP in commercial engagements by gaining a full understanding of the nature of the IP assets that you create and own. We also help you plan how best to protect, enhance and exploit your valuable IP assets.

Our commercial IP offering is unrivalled in Africa and works in tandem with our IP prosecution and litigation teams. It is the largest and fastest growing specialist IP group on the continent.

We are cost-effective; offering world class services with excellent turnaround times at very competitive rates. We are able to cut out the middle man in the countries where we have offices and we have negotiated substantially discounted rates with our network of agents in countries where we don’t.

Our attorneys are all specialists in a particular area of IP law, resulting in efficiencies and lower costs. We offer a competitive pricing model, as well as substantially discounted packages on multi-jurisdictional filings. For time-based work, we have leveraged teams, ensuring that the work is done at the correct level, resulting in favourable rates.

We also offer a variety of complimentary value-added services, including a watch service, gap analyses, client training, monthly newsletters, seminars, data analytics and online access for you to your portfolio via our IP management database.

As Africa’s largest law firm with over 600 specialist practitioners, ENSafrica has the capacity to deliver on your business requirements across all major industries and the continent. We are able to leverage our resources to suit your pricing preferences and deliver within your timeframes.

what we offer

We provide the full spectrum of specialist contentious and non-contentious IP advice across Africa, including:

  • IP commercial, transactional and advisory services
  • Trade marks
  • Copyright
  • Patents
  • Registered designs
  • Domain names
  • Advertising law


Development of innovative plant-expressed diagnostic and therapeutic products for Coronavirus (COVID-19) antigen and antibody testing in South Africa, and establishment of manufacturing and distribution company in Mauritius for global sales.
Strategic trade mark advice on the rebranding of Ninety One Global Ltd following its divestment from Investec Bank Ltd, and related trade mark portfolio management across the world (including in Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Eswatini, European Union, Ghana, Guernsey, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius, Mexico, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Peru, South Africa, Switzerland, United Kingdom, USA and Zambia).
Strategic trade mark advice on the rebranding of Investec Bank Limited’s iconic Zebra logo, and related trade mark portfolio management across the world, including in 35 countries in Africa.
Successfully defending a revocation application brought by a competitor against a South African patent held by a multi-national agrochemical company resulting in the competitor having to amend their product label and narrow the scope of their product registration.
Acquisition of a majority stake in a well-known South African gin brand by a large French alcoholic beverage company. IP aspects of the transaction included dealing with trade marks, copyright and the protection of confidential recipes, as well as exchange control.
Research and development of new sulphur dioxide generating packaging solutions for the fresh produce industry, including new “green” technologies, and the protection and management of IP rights internationally (including in Chile, China, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Italy, Kenya, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, Uganda and USA) covering trade marks, patents, designs and utility models.
Expansion of Hilton Hotels Group’s brand protection in Africa, and related trade mark portfolio management, including in 48 countries in Africa.
Enforcement of patent rights in an innovative cold press juicer, with infringing products (imported and sold by various third parties) removed from the market without costly legal proceedings (South Africa).
IP advice on the USD262-million acquisition of a well-known South African credit bureau by an Anglo-Irish multinational consumer credit reporting company. IP aspects of the transaction included trade marks, domain names, confidential information and copyright relating to software.
Advice for a significant multinational FMCG client regarding securing the services of various influencers, including international sports stars and beauty ambassadors, as well as sponsorship rights to the 2021 British and Irish Lions Rugby Tour to South Africa.