Darren Margo

Managing Director

PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS

QUALIFICATION OBTAINED Admitted Attorney (Membership No.: 22119)
QUALIFICATION OBTAINED Registered Patent Attorney
PROFESSIONAL REGISTRATION Registered Tax Practitioner (Registration No.: PR-6073B88)
PROFESSIONAL FELLOWSHIP Fellow Of The South African Institute Of Intellectual Property Law (SAIIPL)
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIP Director & Member of the Licensing Executives Society – South Africa

UNIVERSITY QUALIFICATIONS

INSTITUTION University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
QUALIFICATIONS OBTAINED i. BSc (Chemistry; Applied Chemistry);
ii. LLB; and
iii. BSc (Mathematics)


CAREER BACKGROUND: IN BRIEF

Darren commenced his professional career qualifying as a patent attorney, specialising in the drafting & prosecution of patent applications, and conducting patent searches. He also prepared opinions on novelty and infringement matters in the fields of patent, design and copyright law. He soon found that his interest lay in the commercial aspects of intellectual property ("IP"), and he became involved in the drafting of commercial agreements having IP as basis (typically: licence agreements, supply and distribution agreements with IP as basis, assignment of copyright agreements, confidentiality agreements). Darren continued to immerse himself and practice in these areas when he joined Adams & Adams patent attorneys.

Darren was then invited to join Deloitte and Touche, where he was involved in the investigation and assessment of taxpayers' technologies and activities, with an eye to maximising R&D income tax deductions, and opinion work related to the same. Since then, he also enjoyed acting as advisor both to the National Treasury – on issues of legislative drafting in the Income Tax Act – and to the SA Revenue Services and the Department of Science & Technology – on issues of interpretation of income tax legislation, and its practice. Darren also has a particular interest in the exchange control issues that arise in transactions having IP as basis.

This led Darren to found the specialist IP firm and tax consultancy, Margo® Attorneys, Inc. in 2009, where he and his team continue to practice in these specialised disciplines. He also attends to the registration and maintenance of high-profile trade mark, patent and design cases in South Africa and internationally. Collectively, Darren has conducted technical and legal work for a number of clients across a spectrum of industries, including the pharmaceutical, petrochemical, electronics, explosives, cosmetics, weapons and telecommunications industries, amongst others. Clients served include, amongst others:

  • the CAVI Group of Companies

  • Golden Lions Rugby Union

  • PriceWaterhouseCoopers

  • the Ascendis Health Group

  • Tenova Pyromet

  • Deloitte & Touche

  • the &Beyond Group of Companies

  • Centurion Systems

  • EY Advisory Services


Marius Smit

Associate

PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS

QUALIFICATION OBTAINED Admitted Attorney of the Law Society of South Africa
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIP Associate Member: South African Institute Of Intellectual Property Law (SAIIPL)

UNIVERSITY QUALIFICATIONS

INSTITUTION University of Stellenbosch, Western Cape
QUALIFICATIONS OBTAINED i. BA (English; Political Science); and
ii. LLB.


INSTITUTION University of Southampton, UK
QUALIFICATIONS OBTAINED Post-Graduate Certificate in Information Technology Law


CAREER BACKGROUND: IN BRIEF

Marius commenced his articles of clerkship with the firm in September 2013, and has quickly obtained significant experience in trade mark prosecution, both in South Africa and internationally. Through his involvement in numerous contentious trade mark matters, Marius has assisted with the drafting of opposition papers, letters of demand and negotiated settlements. He has also been active in conducting research on a wide range of topics in the fields of trade mark and copyright law.

Marius has significant experience in conducting and preparing trade mark infringement and registerability search reports, and has shown a particular aptitude for this line of work. He is also adept at conducting trade mark portfolio reviews and identifying issues in large portfolios. Marius has also been involved in the drafting of commercial agreements having IP as basis, including: licence agreements, supply and distribution agreements.

Marius' day-to-day responsibilities include attending to the registration and maintenance of high-profile trade mark cases for a wide range of local and international clients, overseeing all aspects from filing through to grant and renewal. Recently, Marius has also become involved in the registration and protection of domain names, website disputes and takedowns, as well as disputes involving company name registrations.


Natalie Hill


CAREER BACKGROUND: IN BRIEF

Natalie commenced her articles in January 2006 with specialist IP firm DM Kisch, Inc. Whilst there she completed her Practical Legal Training and select IP specialist practitioner exams. Natalie specialised in Trade Mark searches, prosecutions and litigation.  

In mid-2007, Natalie had an opportunity to travel abroad and, upon returning to South Africa, Natalie continued to work in the corporate world where her legal experience enabled her to deal with contractual work as well.   

In January 2017 Natalie decided to take the leap back into the legal world and re-commenced her articles at Margo Attorneys where she deals with both local and foreign Trade Mark prosecutions, Trade Mark searches as well as commercial work. Natalie’s expertise has also seen her skills utilised in the preparation and vetting of agreements across many industries, including the entertainment and media industry.  


Li Clements

Formalities & Compliance

Li keeps our engine-room running. She is responsible for attending to aspects of formalities and compliance for all filings, and ensures that all applications are in good order before submission. She also oversees the management of all prosecutions, office actions and dockets to ensure swift, efficient processing of matters. In addition, Li ensures that the office is managed efficiently.


Jabulile Mello

Assistant

At Margo Attorneys, Inc., we demand of ourselves that all of our records are in pristine order, at all times. Jabulile takes responsibility for this very important task, and she manages our records databases & files. She also oversees our diary systems and hard copy documents management.