Queen Mary Journal of Intellectual Property

The protection of indigenous terms and expressions by the Merchandise Marks Act in South Africa

ES Nwauche *

Keywords: indigenous terms and expressions, expressions of folklore, Merchandise Marks Act, trade marks, geographical indications, South Africa

Abstract

This article reviews the recent protection in South Africa of a number of indigenous terms and expressions including ‘Rooibos Tea’ through the Merchandise Marks Act as a context for exploring the capacity of the Merchandise Marks Act in effectively protecting expressions of folklore in the light of the framework of the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Act 2013, which also protects indigenous terms and expressions.

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