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Sara-Jane Pluke, Managing Partner

Sara-Jane Pluke

Managing Partner

Exco

Languages

English, Afrikaans

Practice areas

  • Intellectual property
  • Patent litigation
  • Patent services
  • Regulatory investigations and enforcement
  • Technology, Media and Telecoms

Practice notes

Sara-Jane heads up our Intellectual Property department and is a member of our firm’s managing executive committee. Having run her own boutique Intellectual Property (IP) law firm from 2010, she is a specialist in the field. Prior to opening her own law firm, Sara-Jane trained at one of South Africa’s top IP law firms and served as senior corporate counsel at two multi-national, blue-chip companies from 2004 2009, during which time she was a member of both companies’ executive committees being responsible for wide-ranging global IP, commercial, regulatory, and strategic matters.

Whilst she represents a diverse spectrum of local and international clients on wide-ranging IP matters, some of Sara-Jane’s successes include:

  • Representing a major telecommunications client, Neotel (now Liquid Telecom), in successfully defending a competitor complaint brought by iBurst in the Advertising Standards Authority tribunal (now the Advertising Regulatory Board), against Neotel’s use of the colour Orange as its brand face. She is currently representing a local manufacturer (Bliss Brands) of cleaning and laundry products against a large multinational competitor (Colgate-Palmolive), where the matter started out in the ARB, progressed to the High Court of South Africa, proceeded to the Supreme Court of Appeal and has now landed in the Constitutional Court. The matter involves trade marks, packaging, labelling and passing-off elements that have culminated in a novel constitutionality argument in so far as the ARB’s authority over non-members is concerned.
  • Representing a leading motor vehicle replacement parts organisation, Grandmark International, against a trade mark and design infringement action instituted against it by BMW, where certain declaratory, interdictory and ancillary relief was brought by BMW. The court’s ruling in this matter had the effect of changing the legal interpretation of Section 35 of the Designs Act, 195/1993, as amended. As a result of this judgment, Sara-Jane advises various international intellectual property forums in discussions around trade mark and design protection and enforcement.
  • Advised and assisted a number of automotive replacement parts organisations in lobbying the Competition Commission and the DTI for the implementation of a Voluntary Code of Conduct for the automotive industry of South Africa, which Code has now been passed.
  • Assisting a multinational pharmaceutical company in an Equity Equivalent Investment Program being approved before the Department of Trade and Industry.
  • Advising clients on cross-border protection and enforcement of IP, in accordance with South African Reserve Bank Exchange Control Regulations.

 

heads up our Intellectual Property department and is a member of our firm’s managing executive committee.  Having run her own boutique Intellectual Property (IP) law firm from 2010, she is a specialist in the field.  Prior to opening her own law firm, Sara-Jane trained at one of South Africa’s top IP law firms and served as senior corporate counsel at two multi-national, blue-chip companies from 2004   2009, during which time she was a member of both companies’ executive committees being responsible for wide-ranging global IP, commercial, regulatory, and strategic matters.
Whilst she represents a diverse spectrum of local and international clients on wide-ranging IP matters, some of Sara-Jane’s successes include: