Mariëtte du PlessisPartner | Trade Mark Attorney

Areas of Specialisation
  • Trade Mark Litigation
  • Trade Mark and Copyright Infringement
  • Passing off
  • Unlawful Competition
  • Company Name Objections
  • Advertising Law Disputes and Advice
  • Recordal of Chain of Ownership for Copyrighted Works
  • Registration of Copyright (in all African countries where it is possible)
  • Copyright Assignment Agreements
  • Domain Name Registrations and Complaints
  • Management of Trade Mark Portfolios
  • Regulatory Advice

Mariëtte du Plessis is currently a senior partner in the Trade Mark Litigation section of the Trade Marks Department. She has been a partner in the firm 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 African and the Marketing committees.

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. 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 also a Senior Adjudicator for domain name disputes.

She served as a Council Member 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 received a Presidential Award in 2012.

She has served on numerous INTA committees including Africa Legislative Analysis committee (and chaired it), PDA Council, the OAPI/ARIPO sub-committee and currently the Law Firm Management sub-committee. She is also currently the secretary of the Marques International Trade Mark Team and serves on the Working Group on the Improvement of ARIPO.

Mariëtte has a particular interest in IP aspects of the arts, design and advertising, with a focus on educating young creative talents to protect their IP. She regularly lectures on IP at advertising and design schools.

She has written numerous articles on a wide range of IP related topics in South Africa and published articles in World Trade Mark Review, Marques newsletters and local publications, including De Rebus, the leading publication for attorneys in South Africa. She has also presented talks on IP at many South African conferences. She has been quoted in newspaper articles and is regularly approached for interviews by local newspapers, radio and television stations.

Academic Record

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


  • Admitted Attorney | 1988
  • Qualified Trade Mark Practitioner | 1992



  • International Trade Marks Association (INTA) OAPI/ARIPO 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
  • Legal Practice Council (LPC) – Member
  • South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law (SAIIPL) – Fellow
  • 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
  • South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law (SAIIPL) – Member Education Committee
  • The Association of European Trade Mark Owners (MARQUES) Trade Mark Law Committee of Marques – Secretary


  • Who’s Who Legal Ranking – Sports & Entertainment | 2016 – 2018
  • Who’s Who Legal Ranking – Trademarks | 2016 – 2020
  • Woman in Business Law Experts Guide – One of the World’s Leading Trade Mark Practitioners|2016 – 2017
  • WTR 1000 – Individuals: Enforcement and Litigation | 2019
  • WTR 1000 – Leading Trade Mark Professionals – Top Tier | 2017
  • Acritas Stars database – Outstanding Lawyers in South Africa| 2018 – 2020
  • Best Lawyers: Intellectual Property Law – South Africa | 2016 – 2019
  • Best Lawyers in South Africa | 2015
  • Chambers Global – Ranked Band 2 Lawyer | 2016 – 2019
  • Chambers Global – South Africa Trade Marks | 2013 – 2019
  • Legal 500 – Elite Leading Individuals: Intellectual Property | 2020
  • Legal 500 – Recommended Lawyers: Intellectual Property | 2020
  • Legal 500 – Recommended IP Practitioner | 2018
  • Managing Intellectual Property Law (MIP) Top 250 Women in IP |2017 – 2018
  • MIP Global IP Stars – Top 250 Women in IP: Trademarks | 2017 – 2018
  • MIP IP Stars – Trademarks| 2017 – 2019
  • Client Choice Awards Finalist | 2016
  • Corporate LiveWire’s Legal Awards Finalist | 2016
  • Euromoney IP Star Finalist | 2016
  • Euromoney’s Expert Guides: Women in Business Law – Leading Practitioner Nominee | 2014
  • Finance Monthly Global Awards – Sports and Entertainment Lawyer of the Year: South Africa (Shortlisted) | 2017
  • InterContinental Finance Magazine (ICFM) – Leading Lawyer 500 Award Winner | 2013
  • SAIIPL Special Achievement Presidential Award | 2012
  • Top Women Award Finalist | 2013

contact details

4 Daventry Road, Pretoria, South Africa

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We have offices in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban, please contact your nearest office for any legal enquiry or assistance.