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At Judin Combrinck Inc., we strive to keep abreast of the latest legislation, business trends and topical issues. Read the latest news, views and opinions from our law firms accomplished team of lawyers.

2013 Articles

Madiba - Embracing a legacy

December 2013 - With his arms open wide to embrace a nation, the towering new statue of Madiba at the Union Buildings in Pretoria is a remarkable sight. Goldman Judin Inc. takes immeasurable pride in being a small part of this legendary monument, as we acted for project leaders Koketso Growth. The 9-metre bronze statue of Nelson Mandela, the first truly democratically elected president of South Africa, was unveiled during the Day of Reconciliation Celebrations on 16 December 2013.

R8 million, 9-metre statue of Nelson Mandela unveiled at Union Buildings - Times Live, Sapa, Sapa-AFP | 16 December, 2013 12:46

Read the article here: http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2013/12/16/r8-million-9-metre-statue-of-nelson-mandela-unveiled-at-union-buildings

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2013/12/16/r8-million-9-metre-statue-of-nelson-mandela-unveiled-at-union-buildings

No Copy Kat

In November 2013, Goldman Judin Inc. celebrated a sweet victory for a client in a trademark tussle with a famous chocolate brand. We acted for United Arab Emirates company, Iffco, against Nestlé. The case was to decide if our client’s wafer treat, Tiffany Break, was too similar to the competitor’s Kit Kat snack.

s judgement in this article.Nestlé loses Kit Kat court case - By ZELDA VENTER, Saturday Star
Chocolate lovers who want to “have a break” and “have a Kit Kat” will buy the Nestlé-produced wafer chocolate, and will not confuse it with the wafer snack, Tiffany Break.


This is according to a Pretoria High Court judgment, which found that the company manufacturing the Tiffany Break chocolate was not infringing on the decades old trademark belonging to Nestlé.


Nestlé asked the court to find that United Arab Emirates company Iffco, which distributes the Tiffany Break, infringed on its trademark rights as the four-fingered and two-fingered wafer chocolates appeared to be similar.


This, Nestlé said, could confuse the consumer into believing the two products were somehow related. They also objected to the fact that the word “break” appeared on the wrapper, claiming consumers could associate it with Kit Kat.But Judge Andre Louw was not persuaded by these arguments and turned down Nestlé’s application.


Kit Kat, which has been around for more than 50 years, comes in a predominately red-and-white wrapper, while Tiffany Break has a blue wrapper with red-and-white writing on it. The latter’s four-finger snack comes out in a 31g wafer and is about R2 cheaper than the 45g four-finger Kit Kat.
Judge Louw said consumers could not confuse the packagings, as they were not similar.


He was also not convinced that, upon opening the packaging, consumers of the Tiffany Break would confuse it with Kit Kat. He said there was no doubt that Nestlé’s Kit Kat wafers were well known.

Non - Competition Agreements in the Era of Social Media

13 December 2013 - An excellent article written by a leading US law firm prompted me to prepare this note for the benefit of our clients to remind them of the importance of directly addressing the use of social media in their non-competition and non-solicitation agreements with their employees.

A plethora of cases have been heard in the United States with some interesting judgments resulting. There is no one thread that can be drawn from all of these cases and the cases are limited to their own discrete set of facts. Whilst South African courts, correctly in my respectful opinion, are, with limited exceptions, ruling that there is no difference in the way the “brick and mortar” law is to be applied in the world of social media, it still makes business sense to deal specifically with the use of social media in non-competition and non-solicitation agreements with employees in order to avoid costly litigation and also to properly comply with good corporate governance.

Prepared by J. Michael Judin of Goldman Judin Inc.
Michael may be contacted on +27 (0) 83 300 5000 or at michael@elawnet.co.za

The above should not be construed as legal advice. Professional advice should therefore be sought before any action is taken based on the information displayed above. We disclaim any responsibility for positions taken without due consultation and no person shall have any claim of any nature whatsoever arising out of, or in connection with, the contents of the above against us and/or any of our directors and/or employees.

Beware When Sending Text Message to Driver of Car

 

11 December 2013 - “South Africans should urgently and immediately take note of the judgment of the New Jersey Superior Court of Appeals (in the United States of America), which expanded the concept of duty for texters by identifying specific conditions under which the sender of the original message may be held responsible, along with the driver, for an accident caused by the distracted driver. “ So writes Pamela Sakowicz Menaker in her article dated November 27, 2013, when she summarises the decision of the court in Kubert v Best.

 

Protecting Intellectual Property Apps That You Are Developing

11 December 2013 - I recently read an outstanding article published by the US law firm of Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, PC (“CBS”).

This article reminded me of the importance of reminding our clients of the importance of protecting their intellectual property when developing an app.

Many South Africans have developed, or are presently developing, an app and South Africa will no doubt contribute greatly to the massive amount of development which is occurring and will continue to occur, in this ever-growing field. By way of example, CBS remind people that:

  • if there is a process or method embodied in the app, it may be something worth patenting
  • the app may have a name that should be protected by a trademark
  • the app may have terms used in connection with it that should be protected by a trademark
  • the app developer may treat the app’s source code or other aspects of the app’s development as a “trade secret;
  • the content of the app itself should maybe be protected by copyright–if original (e.g. the app’s graphic, textual, images and artwork, database elements and software code)

Cleaning Up Your Facebook

10 October 2013 - As existing clients, and potential clients, are furiously tweeting and posting online, it is important for all litigators to understand that those tweets and posts are discoverable in litigation, often with disastrous consequences.

Cyber Risk Insurance and Cyberattacks

14 August 2013 - In his excellent article leading US attorney Jose Umbert, under the rubric New Trends To Watch In Cyber Risk Insurance, writes as follows:

“Although specific cyber risk insurance policies are becoming increasingly common, claims related to data breaches continue to be submitted under commercial general liability policies. Some recent decisions addressing these claims provide helpful guidance for practitioners in this area.

It is well known that over the last few years, there has been a significant increase of data breaches, that is, incidents compromising the security of data stored electronically by an organization. This has been accompanied by the development and growth of specialty cyber insurance products specifically designed to address these, and other, cyber-related risks confronting businesses today.

Notwithstanding the expansion of cyber risk insurance, policyholders continue to submit claims arising out of data breaches under their traditional CGL policies. This is due to a variety of reasons, including that the agreed-upon limits of liability under the insured’s cyber risk policy turn out to be insufficient to cover the losses resulting from the data breach; an exclusion or other provision precludes or limits coverage for the particular claim; or the company simply did not purchase cyber liability coverage.

Therefore, CGL policies continue to play a significant role in ascertaining the scope of coverage available for third-party claims arising out of data breaches.

 

Do company directors, prescribed officers and committee members inherit personal liability?

Johannesburg, 27 May 2013 - Hardly a week passes without my being asked by a client or others whether a person will inherit personal liability for past debts or obligations if accepting a Board appointment, appointment as a prescribed officer or joining a committee of a company.

It was therefore with great interest that I received an excellent article written by Bo Thomaeus of the prestigious Swedish law firm of Gärde Wesslau
Advokatbyrå, under the rubric Inherited Personal Liability Revisited.

The rising threat of trade secrets theft

Johannesburg,11 March 2013 - Writing in JD SUPRA Law NEWS, Michael Vollkov writes that one of the drawbacks of a global economy is the rise in trade secret theft. In the absence of a seamless global enforcement infrastructure foreign actors have had little fear of being caught and suffering any consequences. When competition gets tough, some bad actors –foreign governments or company employees – like to steal trade secrets in an attempt to catch up in the market place. 

Cyberliability Policies against Cybersecurity Incidents

In their excellent article Adrian Azer and Miriam Smolen of the Washington, DC law firm of Gilbert LLP wrote as follows: On February 12, 2013, President Obama issued an executive order detailing his plan to improve critical infrastructure cybersecurity. [1] See Executive Order – Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity, http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/02/12/executive-order-improving-critical-infrastructure-cybersecurity (February 12, 2013). In the Executive Order, President Obama notes that it is the policy of the United States to “maintain a cyber environment that encourages efficiency, innovation, and economic prosperity . . . .” The Executive Order states that this policy can be achieved “through a partnership with the owners and operators of critical infrastructure to improve cybersecurity information sharing and collaboratively develop and implement risk-based standards.”

Corporate governance for multinational corporations with subsidiary companies in South Africa

Johannesburg,15 March 2013 - A perennial issue for multinational corporations with subsidiary companies in South Africa is whether to apply the Corporate Governance policies and rules of the group to the South African subsidiary or whether King III, South Africa’s corporate governance code and report applies to such subsidiaries.

 

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