Mariëtte du Plessis

Mariëtte du Plessis

Mariëtte du Plessis


Trade Mark Attorney


  • Specialisation

    • All aspects of trade mark litigation, including trade name infringement, passing off and unlawful competition, as well as company and close corporation name objections
    • Copyright litigation
    • Domain name registrations and objections

  • Bio

    Mariëtte du Plessis is currently a senior partner in the Trade Mark Litigation section of the Trade Marks Department. She has been a partner of Adams & Adams since 1997 and is an experienced top-tier ranked IP attorney with 30 years of experience in IP. She served on the Minister of Trade’s Standing Advisory Committee on IP for a number of years. She was the chairlady of the Trade Mark Litigation section in 2009 and has chaired the Design Committee and initiated the firm’s sponsorships for The Design Indaba, The Loeries Advertising Awards and South African Music Awards (SAMAs) to raise awareness of IP amongst creatives and performing artists in South Africa. She currently serves on the firm’s Africa IP committee. She was the first African trade mark practitioner to be appointed to the INTA Board and served on the board from 2006 to 2008. She was involved in lectures on trade marks in Malawi and Tanzania as part of a WIPO initiative.

    Mariëtte specialises in all trade mark, copyright, advertising law and domain name related disputes throughout Africa, as well as regulatory advice. She represents high profile South African and international clients in their trade mark and copyright matters throughout Africa. Her key clients include Mastercard International Inc, Google LLC, Disney Enterprises Inc, Avon Products Inc, Sun International Limited, ABSA Bank Limited and National Brands Limited. She is the client relation partner for many of the firm’s top local and international clients. She has been involved in a number of high profile cases over the years.  In the case of Pioneer Foods (Pty) Ltd v Bothaville Milling (Pty) Ltd, she successfully represented the respondent in the case up to the Supreme Court of Appeal. It is regarded as the “road map” for passing off cases in South Africa. She is a Senior Adjudicator for domain name disputes.

    She served as a Council Member on the Board of the South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law (SAIIPL) for many years and was the President in 2007.  She served on and chaired the Copyright and Trade Mark Law committees of SAIIPL for many years. She has served on numerous INTA committees including Africa Legislative Analysis committee (and chaired it), PDA Council, OAPI/ARIPO committee and the Trademark Enforcement Policy Advocacy Subcommittee of the Enforcement Committee. She is also currently on the Marques Trade Mark Team and serves on the Working Group on the Improvement of the ARIPO Treaties.

  • Academic

    • BLC – University of Pretoria | 1984
    • LLB – University of Pretoria | 1986

  • Qualifications

    • Admitted Attorney | 1989
    • Qualified trade mark practitioner | 1991

  • Credentials

    • Women in Business Law Guide – Leading Trade Mark Practitioner, Worldwide | Current
    • International Trade Marks Association (INTA) Trade Mark Policy Advocacy Enforcement Committee – Member | Current
    • International Trade Marks Association (INTA) Board – Director | 2006-2008
    • International Trade Marks Association (INTA) Legislative Analysis sub-committee (Africa & Middle East) – Chairlady | 2002-2003
    • International Trade Marks Association (INTA) External Relations Committee and PDA Council – Vice-chairlady | 2004-2005
    • International Trade Marks Association (INTA) Trade Mark Office Practices Committee, OAPI/ARIPO Sub-committee – Member | 2006-2013
    • South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law (SAIIPL) – President | 2007
    • South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law (SAIIPL) – Council Member | 2003-2008
    • South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law (SAIIPL) Trade Mark Law, Copyright Law and ADR Committees – Member & Past Chairlady
    • Trade Mark Law Committee of Marques – Member
    • Who’s Who Legal Ranking: Sports & Entertainment | 2017
    • Who’s Who Legal Ranking – Trademarks | 2017
    • Best Lawyers: Intellectual Property Law – South Africa | 2018
    • Acritas Stars database – Most outstanding lawyers they have worked with | 2018
    • Who’s Who Legal – Trade Marks | 2018
    • Legal 500 – Recommended IP Practitioner | 2018
    • Chambers Global: Ranked Band 2 Lawyer | 2016 – 2018
    • MIP IP All Stars | 2017, 2018
    • Global IP Stars – Top 250 Women in IP: Trademarks | 2017, 2018
    • Finance Monthly – Lawyer of the Year: Sports and Entertainment South Africa (Shortlisted) | 2017
    • Acknowledged in the Acritas Stars database as a stand out lawyer in South Africa | 2019