With an entrenched history in Africa, we have, for the last 147 years, assisted clients from small to large businesses in all sectors, in safeguarding their intellectual property rights. While acknowledging our established past, we continue to offer relevant and innovative IP services across Africa, an ever-changing and developing landscape that requires specialist knowledge to succeed.
With its own nuances and differences from area to area, doing business in Africa requires on the ground experience and the ability to adapt to the way in which it is done. Our success comes from this and our highly skilled professionals who operate with integrity while partnering clients on their journey to success.
As the intellectual property partner of choice across Africa, serving as a gateway to the region for multi-nationals, regional entities and local companies seeking to enter African markets, we are able to fulﬁl our clients’ needs while continually growing our personalised IP offering.
With 18 directors, more than 92 dedicated support staff and global representation via an established network of trusted agents, we are well positioned to successfully help clients from start-ups to large corporations.
Our professionals and staff offer a skillset of unrivalled expertise, and our commitment to our clients means we remain leaders in the competitive African market.
How it began
In 1874, KISCH IP began trading under the name Kisch and Harsant General Merchants – later becoming DM Kisch Inc. Its founder, Daniel Montague Kisch, was a man of enterprise, enthusiasm and perseverance, originally from Cambridgeshire, England.
Daniel left England for the shores of South Africa in 1858. From 1868 to 1873, Daniel prospected on the goldﬁelds of Tati, along the Umfuli River and elsewhere in Mashonaland (modern-day Zimbabwe). He explored the area, hunted, and spent time with Paramount Chief Lobengula. In 1873 Daniel visited England and married Rebecca Spier, a Londoner. The couple travelled by Union Line Steamer to South Africa and, during the voyage, befriended Cecil John Rhodes, the South African politician before settling in Pretoria in 1874.
Notable patents and trade marks
The firm registered some notable patents, including one filed on behalf of Dr Werner von Siemens, one on behalf of Thomas Alva Edison and one for Guglielmo Marconi. DM Kisch also acted in South Africa’s first legal case involving a patent when he represented Dr Von Siemens regarding an invention relating to the separation of gold by means of electricity.
Engineering projects and roles
In 1888, Daniel wrote to the Secretary of State, applying for the position of Ingenieur van Electrische Werken en Verlichting (Engineer of Electrical Works and Lighting) of the South African Republic.
He had already undertaken engineering projects in Pretoria during the 1870s and by now was the owner of the Pretoria Engineering Works.
Charles Kisch takes the reins
In 1894 Daniel’s son, Charles Herbert Moses, joined his father’s firm. Unfortunately, Daniel’s health deteriorated and, en route to Europe for medical treatment, he died on board the steamer Umhloti. He was 58 years old.
Daniel’s businesses in Johannesburg and Pretoria were left to Charles. After the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902), Charles closed the Pretoria office and the firm began to concentrate on intellectual property law from its new head office located in the Victoria Building in Johannesburg.
Peter Kisch joins the firm
Peter Kisch, Charles’ son, graduated from London University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1933, returning to South Africa to join the firm. He qualified as a patent agent two years later and was appointed as a partner in 1938.
On the outbreak of World War II, Peter joined the Royal Air Force and served as a pilot from 1939 to 1945, attaining the rank of squadron leader.
New partners and incorporation
In 1954 Dux Truter joined the firm to train as a patent agent and Dennis Greyvensteyn joined to take control of the Trade Mark Department. Some years later, AC (Adrian) Couzyn joined the firm to train as a patent agent, and CG (Peter) Rattray, a qualified patent agent and attorney, became a partner.
A few years later Dennis Greyvensteyn, Dux Truter and Adrian Couzyn became partners. In 1971 Peter Kisch retired, ending the Kisch family’s control of the firm which had spanned almost 97 years.
Kisch IP Today
In 2015 Dm Kisch Inc. Re-branded As Kisch Ip. Today The Kisch Ip Group Of Companies Consists Of Dm Kisch Inc., Kisch Africa Inc., And Kisch Global Ltd. Our Vision Is To Be The Most Respected Ip Law Firm In South Africa And Africa. We Continue To Be Known For The Specialist Capabilities And Expertise Of Our 16 Skilled Partners
And Dedicated Support Staff, Activities Across Africa, And Worldwide Representation Via A Network Of Dedicated Agents. We Have Offices In Johannesburg,
Pretoria, And Jersey (Channel Islands)
PROUD PAST, BRIGHT FUTURE
In 1874, the business that is today known as KISCH IP began trading under the name Kisch and Harsant General Merchants – later becoming DM Kisch Inc. Its founder, Daniel Montague Kisch, was a man of enterprise, enthusiasm and perseverance.