One need not butcher the words of Erasmus: South Africans take their barbeque “braai” very seriously. Between sunny weather, idyllic surroundings, family and friends, South Africa lends itself to an afternoon braai. Needless to say, a thriving braai economy has emerged, with various competing braai accessories vying for their pound of flesh.
A dispute concerning the intellectual property rights underlying The Braai Jack has sparked recent controversy. The Braai Jack consists of a set of four clip-on feet which attach to an ordinary braai grid, allowing the user to elevate the grid above a coal fire. The inventor of The Braai Jack, who registered a design in terms of the Designs Act, obtained an interdict in the High Court of South Africa against an infringing product manufactured by a 3rd party, who was ordered to cease sale and manufacture of infringing copies, to deliver-up remaining infringing copies and to pay damages based on the amount of infringing copies sold. The defendant was unable to defend the action – his past business relationship with the inventor having merely exacerbated things.
IP protection and enforcement remains both possible and commercially viable in South Africa, despite many concerns globally. Please feel free to get in touch with our firm if you have any questions.