SOUTH AFRICA – Imprisonment of counterfeiters

Published Date: July 4, 2023

In following on the successful operations shutting down a manufacturing plant of counterfeit oil and lubricant products in 2022 (previous publication at:, our Anti-Counterfeiting team assisted the Police and the National Prosecuting Authority to achieve successful criminal convictions of the Accused persons. Both the Accused persons were convicted for contravening the Immigration Act and the Counterfeit Goods Act.

The court imposed 120 days direct imprisonment sentence, as well as a further 4 years imprisonment sentence wholly suspended, on condition that the Accused persons will not contravene the Counterfeit Goods Act during the period of suspension.

As their bail applications were successfully opposed after their arrest, both the Accused persons would have served more than 12 months in prison once the term of direct imprisonment has been fully served. In addition, the further suspended term of imprisonment will deter the Accused persons from committing further acts of dealing in counterfeit goods.

This outcome is most welcome as it will send a strong message to the counterfeiters that our criminal courts will not tolerate this unlawful conduct.

Brandholders are advised to consult their legal representatives regarding sentencing options available when collaborating with the State in criminal cases. Our Anti-Counterfeiting Team consist of highly experienced intellectual property attorneys and the team also has an ex-State Prosecutor with several years’ wealth of experience in advising clients on Criminal Procedures and gathering the required evidence to ensure successful criminal prosecutions of offenders.

Adams & Adams

Related News & Insights

Mozambique: Accession to Vienna Agreement Establishing an International Classification of the Figurative Elements of Marks

Aug 14 2023 | Africa Ip updates, | Mozambique,

On 13 July 2023, Mozambique’s Minister of Foreign Affairs deposited the instrument of accession, s...

South Africa: The Netball World Cup, a protected event in South Africa

Aug 14 2023 | Africa Ip updates, | South Africa,

The 2023 Netball World Cup was hosted in Cape Town, South Africa from 28 July to 6 August 2023.  It...

South Africa: The fate of plant-based meat alternatives

Aug 14 2023 | Africa Ip updates, | South Africa,

For those who may not be aware, in the last year, the plant-based food industry has come under fire ...