Article: Dti responds to French Rooibos trademark matter | SA News

Here’s an interesting business and current affairs article: Dti responds to French Rooibos trademark matter | SA News.

I’m going to ask you just one fairly open question: What is your take on this trademark issue? Reflect on the article and how it relates to what you have learnt so far in Business Studies.

6 thoughts on “Article: Dti responds to French Rooibos trademark matter | SA News

  1. South Africa should fight hard to keep the rooibos trademark in South Africa! South Africa’s exports of rooibos to France will decrease since France will have no more demand to import rooibos from South Africa. This will lower exports and thus South Africa will have less foreign currency as a result. South Africa’s exchange rate is also likely to fall due to this. If South Africa manages to keep the rooibos trade mark it will be beneficial to them but it will be inconvenient for France as they will need to still import rooibos from South Africa.

    • In theory, you are correct. We also need to remember though that rooibos is a “unique shrub indigenous only to South Africa” and so France would still have to import rooibos from SA. However, should France hold the trademark, then this could negatively impact our exports (as you pointed out).

  2. South Africa should defend it’s trademark! Free trade is beneficial to both countries, and it should be protected. Dishonesty on either side disrupts free trade, causes a loss on both sides. One side will obviously suffer loss in demand; the other will receive a small gain in one area, but will be outweighed by the loss of free trade. Trade might still go on, but it will be interspersed with hostility, suspicion, and high tariffs. This great loss on both sides caused by one act of dishonesty. This dishonesty must be crushed with justice. Justice will always win in the end anyway.

    • There are certainly sound arguments in favour of free trade. Bear in mind though that this isn’t necessarily a case of dishonesty – trademarks are legal in nature, although South Africans are likely to object (even just based on patriotism!). Our exports of rooibos may well be less profitable, although French demand could increase.

      One point interesting to note here is the positive involvement from government. Often when we think of government and business, we have a negative view of the state’s role (taxes, restrictions etc). In this case though, we see the government and business working towards similar objectives.

  3. Ideally, Rooibos shouldn’t be made a trademark, since it is but a type pf plant. However, due to it growing only in South Africa, some effort needs to be made to protect it from being trademarked in other countries, because that could, among others, cause uncertainty about the nationality of Rooibos to arise. My opinion on this matter is that action be taken against Rooibos being made a French Trademark.

    • Good input! As you indicate, the fact that rooibos is seen as a South African product (even perceived as a brand, perhaps) has several positive effects for local industry. The product might be seen as more exclusive and promote greater interest in SA overall.

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