Home » Trade Marks » ADEC “steals” ANC colours

ADEC “steals” ANC colours

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ADEC logo

Today on IPcopy we have a guest post from Tyrone Walker of Moore Attorneys on the subject of political party logos in South Africa. This post has been reproduced with the permission of the author. 

The African Democratic Change (“ADEC”) party was officially launched on 1 December 2017 in South Africa. A representation of its logo is depicted right.

The African National Congress (“ANC”) member of Parliament, Makhosi Khoza, left the ANC to start this new political party in South Africa. She left the ANC earlier this year after speaking out against corruption within the ANC, which is the ruling party in South Africa.

The ANC believes that ADEC has appropriated the ANC’s colours into its logo. A depiction of the ANC logo can be seen below:


The ANC has stated that “undoubtedly the ADEC has taken this decision with the possibility of contesting the national elections in 2019 and thus intending to confuse voters who rightly associate the colours with that of the ANC. This undermines the spirit of free and fair elections. Accordingly, the ANC has briefed it’s legal team to lodge an objection with the Independent Electoral Commission against this blatant mischief.”

This will be a very interesting case to follow in South Africa where a large portion of the population is uneducated and illiterate and hence the argument of confusion.

However, there are a number of factors that will count against the ANC in terms of their objection with the IEC and any future trade mark opposition:

  1. A number of political parties in South Africa utilise the colours black, green and yellow in their political party logo.
  2. There is an argument that the ANC and its logo is so well known (over 100 years in existence) that a member of the public would not make the mistake of voting any other party on the ballot paper/sheet.
  3. There are a number of other elements in the logo that differentiates the ADEC logo from that of the ANC logo.

We will keep you updated in the next few months on the developments of this matter.

Tyrone Walker  8 December 2017

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