Commercial IP

Spoor & Fisher’s Intellectual Property Commercial Practice focuses on helping clients to leverage their intellectual assets effectively. The department is divided into a patent and technology group and a trade mark and copyright group.

Patent and Technology Transactions

Our team has more than 25 years' combined experience negotiating successful technology and strategic collaborations and exits, such as:

  • sales and “stage gated” exits
  • licensing
  • co-development arrangements and research agreements
  • joint ventures and strategic alliances, and
  • supply and distribution agreements

With extensive experience in these transactions, and the particular industries in which they arise, we add value not only in crafting and negotiating the agreements, but also in establishing the business terms. In many instances this involves assisting our clients with:

  • confidentiality agreements and regimes
  • investment structuring
  • corporate structuring, and
  • intellectual property transactional due diligence investigations and audits.

Tax is an ever-present consideration in any commercial transaction involving intellectual property. In South Africa there are further complexities with:

  • exchange control restrictions
  • competition law, and
  • specific legislation which impacts on the ownership and transfer of State-funded research.

Trade Mark and Copyright Transactions and Advisory

Our trade mark and copyright team provides clients with strategic counselling and transactional advice on matters involving trade marks, copyright, advertising, internet and consumer law. We handle business transactions focused on brands and other creative content, including:

  • franchises
  • licenses
  • trade mark and copyright transfers;
  • joint ventures
  • distribution agreements
  • exchange control advice and applications
  • competition law
  • software licensing and development agreements
  • film production, book publishing and sponsorship agreements
  • film and music rights and clearances
  • due diligence investigations
  • website usage and privacy agreements.

Our internet and copyright advisory practice also advises on IT contracts, domain name registrations, issues impacting online copyright, promotional competitions, privacy legislation and film rights, stage rights, and music rights.

Patent and Technology Advisory

Our Patent and Technology Advisory Practice helps our clients leverage their intellectual property, defend against the claims of others, establish a competitive position, and ultimately, provide value to investors and shareholders. Our attorneys have specialised technology backgrounds and particular experience in the fields of chemistry and chemical processing, biotechnology and life sciences, physics, electronics and software, materials science and clean technology. We:

  • identify the areas in which intellectual property protection is most critical to achieving the company's business objectives;
  • set intellectual property policies and standard operating procedures;
  • develop of intellectual property strategies, and management of intellectual property portfolios
  • determine the most effective methods of protecting, leveraging and monetising intellectual property, and
  • identify strategies to avoid issues with third-party patents.

Venture Capital

Venture capital plays a crucial role in the successful commercialisation of many early-stage technologies. Spoor & Fisher represents start-up companies seeking venture capital funding and venture capital funds considering new investments.

We are actively involved in advising venture capital funds on legal matters surrounding the formation and management of start-up technology companies. Our clients include venture capital funds and start-ups in Africa, Europe and the United States.

More Information


The Team

BA LLB. Attorney of the High Court of South Africa.

Tshepo Shabangu BProc LLB MIur Comp. Attorney of the High Court of South Africa and Notary Public.
Dina Biagio BSc (Physics), BSc Eng (Elec) (cum laude) LLB. Patent Attorney, Attorney of the High Court of South Africa.

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Spoor & Fisher Jersey: new Zambia trade mark, patent and design charges effective 20 August 2014

- 2014-08-26

ARIPO Working Group meeting on the amendment of the Banjul Protocol

- 2014-08-21

Tshepo Shabangu to represent the LSSA at the IBA

- 2014-08-18

Spoor & Fisher counsel among the Who’s Who Legal for 2014

- 2014-08-08

Patent developments between Europe and North Africa - Validation of European patents imminent in Morocco and Tunisia

- 2014-08-01