Brian Wimpey is an Intellectual property lawyer based in Johannesburg. He is Head of Intellectual Property in South Africa.
Brian read law at the University of the Witwatersrand and completed his BProc and subsequent post-graduate LLB in the early 1980's. He was admitted as an attorney in 1986, and preferring to practice in a specialised field, joined an intellectual property law firm in July of that year. He was elected as a Fellow of the South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law (SAIIPL) in 1991 after passing its specialist exams, and has practised in this field for some 25 years.
Brian was appointed as an equity director of DM Kisch Inc in 1992, and became head of the trade mark department and a member of Exco in 2004. He relinquished these positions in 2008 to assume the Presidency of the SAIIPL after serving on that Institute's Council for several years. During his membership of the Institute, he served on various subcommittees and taught trade mark law to student members. He is currently still teaching final year trade mark law students.
Brian is a senior adjudicator of the ADR-ZA Domain Dispute Resolution Authority.
From 2005 to 2009, he was a lecturer and examiner in respect of the group 1 exams proffered by the Institute. He is currently a lecturer and examiner for the group 2 exams.
His experience comes from a broad range of trade mark and related work, inter alia, trade mark availability searches and trademark filings, litigation in the Supreme Court of Appeal, High Court and before the Registrar of Trade Marks, in respect of unlawful competition, passing off, objections under the Companies Act and the Business Names Act, trademark oppositions and infringements, and to a lesser degree, copyright matters.
Brian has run various interesting high court litigation matters, including, inter alia, representing Google Inc against an organization which attempted to use its GOOGLY trade mark to lever some advantage over the former. He was instrumental in obtaining Supreme Court of Appeal approval for the existence of copyright in pharmaceutical package inserts on behalf of GlaxoSmithKline, and represented the same client in an attempt to enforce the shape of a tablet as a trade mark. He has also represented the Scotch Whisky Association in their endeavours to prevent the manufacture and sale of counterfeit and false scotch whisky.
Since joining the practice, Brain has become more involved in transactional IP, involves due diligence, licenses and related deals. He continues to contribute to the South African chapter of the World Trademark review: Pharmaceutical trademark guide.