Name: Ron Wheeldon
Firm Name: Ron Wheeldon Attorneys
Jurisdiction: South Africa
Practice Area: Trademark Law

Telephone: +27 11) 646 6666
Fax: 086 558 9988

View website

Professional Biography:

Leaders in Law endorses Ron Wheeldon as our exclusively recommended Trademark Law expert in South Africa. If you wish to get in touch with Ron, please use the contact information provided above.

Ron Wheeldon Attorneys is a boutique law firm concentrating on trade mark and copyright law and situated in Johannesburg’s Bohemian Greenside hub. We believe in being hands on, approachable and affordable while bringing the very best expertise to bear on brand and trade mark issues important to businesses. We enjoy what we do and we enjoy people. As Ron is a pilot, air show performer and fan of warbird aircraft, we have been asked over and again to help with aviation law issues and have built up considerable expertise in these over the last 10 years.

Practice Areas

Your organization’s tradename or brand is a calling card, an advertisement, and, ideally, one way in which the public always will remember you. However, if business owners and organization leaders don’t do some research before selecting a name or brand, that may spawn legal issues stemming from trade mark infringement

I have often been struck in practice by the prevalence of the notion, held by many traders, accountants and even attorneys that, if they, or one of their clients, wish to place a name on a product, or conduct a service business under a name, all they need to do is apply for a company name and, if it is granted by the Companies Office, they then proceed to use it, often in direct conflict with registered trade mark rights or common law rights of reputation. What many people fail to appreciate is that the granting of a company or close corporation name does not imply that the Registrar of Companies has checked the trade mark register, or any register at all other than his own and, while the right conferred is to use the name as the name of the corporation, no right is conferred to use the name as a trade mark.

  • Trade Mark Searches – Trade mark searches are the first step to making sure your trade mark application is successful and the money that you invest into your brand’s creation is not wasted.
  • Trade Mark Registration – You can use your proposed trade mark without registering, but if you do, you’re leaving your brand, reputation, goodwill, and business vulnerable. That’s why registering your trade mark should be one of the first things you do.
  • Trade Mark Clearance – This is the first step to making sure your trade mark application is successful. If your chosen mark already exists (or there is one very similar to it), your application will be rejected. However, working with our staff during this vital stage of the process will ensure your chosen trade mark is unique.
  • Trade Mark Assignments – A trade mark assignment is a common occurrence when a business is sold, or a group of companies undergoes a reorganisation. When assigned the rights, title, and interest in the trade mark is transferred to the new legal owner, either in its entirety or partially.
  • Trade Mark Enforcement – The first step to ensuring the strength of your trade mark is to make sure it is registered correctly for the products or services in which you trade. Once this is done, you can take action against others for trade mark infringement. The second is to be vigilant. The act of registration doesn’t stop conflicting applications. It’s down to you to prevent the use and registration of any trade marks which are the same or similar to your own.
  • Domain Name Acquisition – Your online marketplace is massively competitive, so having a domain name that gives your brand a tactical advantage is worth its weight in gold. Domain name acquisition is rarely as easy as it seems, and in our increasingly digital world it is absolutely crucial you get the best possible domain name.

Case Experience

Well we recently saw our first major court appearance this year, when Ron and advocate Bert Bester, SC had to go to Durban to defend our client Salomon and its local distributor from an effort to punish it for seizing counterfeit shoes some time ago which upset the importer of those counterfeits. We were delighted to find that the court agreed with our arguments and not only struck the matter from the roll but also awarded our clients costs on the attorney and client scale. Thanks to Bert for his meticulous preparation and to our opponents for fighting their corner as hard as they could but remaining civilised with it.