World Trademark Review 1000 – The World’s Leading Trademark Professionals has awarded a gold ranking to the Intellectual Property (IP) team at Bowmans in Kenya for the fifth consecutive year. The WTR 1000 is considered the definitive resource for those that seek legal trademark expertise. This year’s publication identifies the trademark industry’s leading lights in 72 jurisdictions around the world. The WTR 1000 recommends whom they consider to be the best of the trademark scene and only those delivering top-quality services make the cut. The WTR 1000 commends John Syekei, a partner in the Bowmans Kenya IP Practice, saying, "Dynamo John Syekei is in charge here. He earns praise for getting things done quickly and to the highest standard, and his results speak for themselves. He draws a great deal of support from senior associate David Opijah, an IP, technology, data privacy and e-commerce expert with impressive contentious and transactional nous.” John Syekei says there has been a rapid increase in the number of major IP disputes finding their way into Kenyan courts in recent times. He adds that while many of these have been trademark disputes, there is an increasing number of complex trade secrets, unfair competition, passing off and design disputes being filed by local and foreign corporates. Mr Syekei explains, "The growth in IP litigation matters can be attributed to the fact that local and foreign IP owners are now confident that they can get well-reasoned judgments from local courts. In addition, the increase in investment by local and foreign corporates, as well as the increase in competition driven by a strong economic growth in the East African region, means that owners of IP assets are taking all the necessary measures to prevent infringement and enforce their IP assets. Enforcement briefs, which are contentious matters where the owner of an IP asset goes to court, for instance, to obtain injunctive orders against an infringer, are keeping us . . .
The Bridge on the N4 that crosses the Groot Marico River has been damaged due to recent storms in the region during December. Liam Clarke commercial manager of Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concessionaire, operator of the N1N4 toll route, explains that one side of the bridge is damaged. For safety reasons, traffic restrictions on the bridge were introduced from 8am Friday, 13 January 2017. These temporary restrictions will continue until further notice. “Bakwena has implemented a manual stop/go system. Vehicles will be able to use only the one side of the bridge that isn’t damaged. This is to enable Bakwena to assess the full extent of the damage. Only then can we establish what further action is required and how long remedial work may take. We are confident the bridge is in no immediate danger to road users. Restricting traffic to one side of the bridge will reduce the amount of traffic and wear and tear on the bridge per hour. This is in interest of the safety of road users,” says Clarke. This option was determined as the most effective by Bakwena’s team of engineers. They also considered the alternative of completely closing the bridge. “However, closing the bridge altogether would have meant a 36km detour for motorists. “We call on motorists to exercise caution and restraint while we assess the damage. A more detailed announcement will be made as soon as the extent of the damage and works required is evaluated,” concludes Clarke. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
In April the Western Cape will play host to a first of a kind exhibition – The Property Buyer Show – aimed at first-time residential buyers and property investors looking to expand their portfolio. This innovative exhibition is designed to walk buyers through the property buying process – and includes the finance zone, property zone, and a packed programme of seminars in the first-time buyer theatre and the property investor theatre. “The Western Cape’s housing market has outperformed the national average and shown double-digit growth, with demand driven by a large migration of homeowners from other provinces who are attracted to Cape Town’s unique lifestyle offering and economic stability,” explains Richard Stubbs, Event Director at Spintelligent, Clarion Events. “The visitor experience will include opportunities to discuss affordability and interact with the lenders, see new developments and agent listings, compare prices, understand rental returns and make decisions about their purchase.” The show, which will take place from 8 to 9 April at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, aims to create a transactional platform for buyers to engage with the residential property sector, showcasing the latest developments within the Western Cape, while at the same time educating and informing property investors about building wealth through a property portfolio with a series of seminars and workshops presented by successful investors and property thought leaders. “Our goal with the show is to provide a one-stop shop where all property buyers can efficiently compare property options and make informed decisions,” says Richard. So who should exhibit at this show? “We are appealing to businesses within the financial services industry, namely, banks, specialist lenders, bond originators and wealth managers; property providers, such as estate agents, developers, portals and brokers; and all additional services involved in the property market such as insurance . . .
As someone who relishes a challenge, Carla Oberholzer is in the right frame of mind to make a charge for the title at the first major national classic of the South African road cycling season early next month. The 29-year-old professional from Clarens in the Free State finished runner-up in last year's 102km Bestmed Berge en Dale Championship and is hoping to go one better on February 4 when the event is hosted by the Cradlestone Mall in Muldersdrift on the West Rand. "It is always good to improve on the previous year's results," she said, "but Kim le Court will be back to defend her title and the race could really go either way." The pair both race for Demacon Ladies in SA, while Oberholzer will link up with Bizkaia-Durango when she jets off to Europe later in the season. She said she felt the route suited her style of riding. "As long as the racing is hard, I'm happy," she said. "I always enjoy the Berge en Dale as the early climb ensures that the racing starts early on. "The rest of the route remains undulating, which keeps you on your toes, and the finish is always a challenging one." Oberholzer - a physiotherapist by trade - said her strength was her ability to endure suffering, while she was also working hard to improve her sprinting. Like so many of the country's top riders, she said she would be using the Berge en Dale Championship to get into perfect condition for the following week's SA Road Championships in Wellington. "It will be my last race before SA champs, which is my immediate goal. It will give me an indication of my form. "I will not be tapering for the race and will, therefore, not go in with a fresh set of legs." Following the nationals, Oberholzer said her focus would shift to the European season where she would be racing from April to June. "If all goes well, I hope to be selected to race the Giro Rosa in Italy in July." She said her main goals for the tail end of the year would be to gain selection for . . .
Entries for the third year of the ground-breaking SA Taxi Foundation Art Awards close on 13 February 2017. “We’ve already received some very interesting entries but would like to remind artists who are still working on their ideas that there is less than a month left in which to submit their pieces,” says SA Taxi Foundation director, Lishani Letchmiah. “We know from reactions to the first two Awards that artists are intrigued by the opportunity to mix fine art and graphic design and, as the Awards have progressed, we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of artists participating as well as an evolution in the type of work being submitted. “2017 should, therefore, produce remarkable work on a significant scale.” The brief for this year’s Awards is ‘my Africa’. The SA Taxi Foundation Art Awards is a watershed initiative, in that it requires artists to produce an original work that can also be interpreted as a decal on minibus taxis. The ten taxis that for six months each carry a decal from a finalist effectively become mobile art galleries. The Awards are therefore a leader in the global trend towards mobile art. By taking art to the streets where the majority of South Africans can be exposed to it, the Awards broaden art’s impact on the society of which it is both an expression and a reflection. Also, by encouraging the cross-over between fine art and graphic design, the Awards open doors for fine artists into the world of commerce. They help artists become comfortable working to a brief and proving to the world of business which, as a major consumer of the arts is a major market for them, that they have the skills to put creativity to work as a brand ambassador. In addition, by collaborating with minibus taxi operators in moving the art around the community, the SA Taxi Foundation Art Awards help to position the minibus tax industry as a patron of the arts and, therefore, as an important contributor to the psychological and emotional . . .
University of Johannesburg coach Richard Das Neves will be aiming to instill in his squad the lessons learned from last year when the Varsity Cricket tournament takes place at the end of the month. Semifinalists a year ago, UJ will join seven other teams in Potchefstroom as they vie for the title of Varsity Cricket Twenty20 champions, with a trip to the Red Bull Campus World Cricket finals one of the major incentives. A year ago, UJ swept aside all before them in the preliminary games, before suffering a shock defeat at the hands of University of Western Cape in the semis. Das Neves said he started planning for this year's event immediately after last year's week, but knew nothing could be taken for granted. The tournament runs from January 30 to February 4 with the Joburg students opening their campaign against NMMU-Madibaz. The UJ coach said they were not placing any special emphasis on that match. "Every game is important," he said. "It is always good to start well and build momentum. But as we found out last year, it's not how you start but how you finish." Das Neves said the Varsity Cricket tournament was a priority and they were busy preparing as best they could. However, he said the registration of students was ongoing at this stage and that there was no clarity yet on their final squad for the tournament. "We tried our best to have continuity from 2016, but some of last year's team are ineligible or have completed their studies and we'll most likely have a lot of first years. "I will only know the full situation once everyone is registered." Besides these curveballs, Das Neves said some players were involved in provincial matches this month which would limit their preparations. Despite the degree of uncertainty, the UJ mentor said key players would be skipper Neels Bergh and his deputy Ryan Rickleton, as well as Ndumiso Mvelase, Jayden Broodryk and Matt Varner. UJ, he added, had been performing well in the Gauteng . . .
Cape Town-born Enver Larney has, for the past 25 years, been hard at work capturing intoxicating scenes from around the world, oil on canvas. An impressionist in the traditional sense, Larney’s medium format work is all achieved in a single sitting and in the open. His collection of thousands of canvases completed this way is an investors dream, as his work is hugely popular and therefore extremely scarce to come by and extremely rare. After more than 50 one-man shows exhibited globally since 1972, his works appear in many collections and institutions the likes of the Chase Manhattan Bank, New York, the Musee d'Affiche, in Paris, as well as countless private collections around the world. After much deliberation Larney has finally decided to make prints of his works, all of which are available to order in order that these images be viewed and appreciated by a wider audience through Fine Art America. These last few years he’s travelled to Mount Ararat, in Eastern Turkey, to the Gulf Region, to Indonesia as well as to Italy, Central and South Africa. Previous painting expeditions have had him travel from the wilds of Tasmania, to Washington State, California and the Sonoras in the USA. His works are created in the traditional way, capturing sunlight as medium reminiscent of Alfred Sisley, Berthe Morisot, van Gogh, and those early impressionists who were able to achieve this level of immediacy with oils. In this regard Larney has very few contemporaries. Recently he painted in Provence, France, where he visited St. Paul de Mausole, the clinic where Vincent van Gogh recovered at St. Remy after his breakdown, due to Paul Gauguin's controversial departure from Arles. The more than twenty canvases completed there spoke of a distant time, when the challenges of en plein air painting were met in this honest and direct way. Not since Vincent's death, however, had a singular painter achieved this in Provence. It was Larney's private tribute to a fellow artist . . .
Seven new signatories were added to The Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter, also informally known as the “Joint Declaration” in 2016. New participants include the American Fiber Manufacturers Association (AFMA), the Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BPGMEA), the Flexible Packaging Association (FPA), the Ghanaian Plastics Manufacturers Association (GPMA), the Myanmar Plastics Industries Association (MPIA), the Indonesian Olefins, Aromatics and Plastics Association (INAPLA), and the Vietnam Plastics Association (VPA). “We’re excited to welcome each of these new partners, who bring perspectives from countries in Asia and Africa, on types of plastic not previously represented in our Joint Declaration,” said Steve Russell, Vice President, Plastics, American Chemistry Council, at the 27th Global Meeting on Plastics and Sustainability in Hanoi, Vietnam. At the meeting, delegates also agreed that going forward the group will become the “Global Plastics Alliance.” Delegates from 17 countries and four continents participated in the Global Meeting – making this the largest and best attended meeting to date. “Addressing marine litter issues effectively requires that we bring local, regional and global stakeholders together,” said Karl-H. Foerster, Executive Director of PlasticsEurope. “Broadening our fold helps us find new partners and opportunities to tackle this very serious problem.” “Plastic producers from around the world are coming together to keep used plastic out of the environment, and to further improve the sustainability of these energy and resource efficient materials. The strong participation at this meeting demonstrates that this industry is committed to providing solutions to ensure a more sustainable future,” said Callum Chen, Secretary General of the Asia Plastics Forum. “Together, as a united, global industry, we’re involved in hundreds of marine litter prevention . . .
Everything you want and need to know about renewable energy and the future of energy development and growth in Africa comes under the spotlight at Energy Revolution Africa 2017. This co-located event to African Utility Week will be hosted for the first time in Africa in Cape Town from 16 to 18 May 2017. Located at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, Energy Revolution Africa will provide a dynamic meeting place for solution providers, consultants, renewable energy producers and the African and global energy minds of the future. The vast majority of the over 1 billion people living in Africa are unserved by traditional grid supply. This energy landscape is changing as consumers, independent power producers and other stakeholders elect to change the way in which energy is generated and distributed. Green innovations and disruptive technologies are making it possible to quickly roll out integrated microgrid solutions. “In this context it made sense for us to move with the market and introduce a platform focused on the future of green energy”, said Evan Schiff, event director of African Utility Week and Energy Revolution Africa. Focusing on community scale projects and innovation in the sectors of renewables, future technology, microgrids, energy efficiency and energy storage, Energy Revolution Africa will showcase the latest technology, practical solutions and examples from successful community and commercial projects. “It will be a powerful opportunity for new energy purchasers and large power users, from commercial property developers and the agricultural sector to mines and metros as well as anyone interested in the exciting opportunities and technologies that are emerging in a fast growing renewable technology sector.” Schiff said. The programme for Energy Revolution Africa 2017 includes a three-day Energy Revolution Africa strategic programme as part of the sessions, three days of focused Continuing Professional Development (CPD) . . .
2017 has begun with a bang for Pietermaritzburg based public relations agency UrbanHouse Media who welcome not only three companies to their expanding client stable but also a new member to their team. Following two successful years of managing public relations for The Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre, the largest and busiest conferencing centre in the southern hemisphere, UrbanHouse Media has been appointed to manage the mega-hotel’s social and digital media marketing strategy in 2017. Further adding to their client base, UrbanHouse Media will also be working with Pietermaritzburg-based, award-winning shop fitting specialists and light steel frame company, Shospec, and also with The Hillcrest Advice Bureau and Bursary Fund (HABandBF) as part of UHM’s CSI portfolio. The HABandBF are a KZN-based NPO providing underprivileged students, wanting to attend university, with financial support. To complement the company’s growth, UHM welcomes Accounts Manager Nicola Chapple to their team. Nicola has worked in the UK as a Digital Communications Manager for nine years and is passionate about effective communication within a fast-paced media industry. For more information about UHM and their clients visit www.urbanhousemedia.co.za. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .