Claire Smedley

Trademark Attorney

Claire is a partner and the head of our trade mark practice.

About Claire Smedley

Claire is an experienced trade mark attorney and the head of trade marks at Von Seidels.

Claire’s main fields of expertise include trade mark searches, prosecution, and enforcement of trade marks throughout Africa. She assists clients by protecting their brands with tailor-made filing strategies throughout Africa, taking into account their specific marketing and legal requirements and manages large trade mark portfolios in this region.

With several years of experience working in Africa, Claire has valuable local knowledge of country-specific legislative requirements and issues across this continent.

She is also a qualified South African trade mark practitioner and has over ten years’ experience in filing, prosecution and maintenance of local trademarks.

Claire assists clients in many different sectors, including gaming, electronic, automotive, financial and telecoms industries.

She has been an active member of the International Trademark Association (INTA) Trade Mark Office Practices in Africa Committee since 2015. She also regularly attends and actively participates at the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) Administrative Council meetings and working groups.

World Trademark Review features Claire Smedley (née Brown) as a Leading Trade Mark Professional (2022)

Focus areas

  • Filing strategies in Africa
  • Trade Mark searches, Africa and South Africa
  • Trade Mark filing and prosecution throughout Africa
  • Trade Mark filing and prosecution in South Africa
  • Portfolio maintenance and management


  • University of South Africa, LLB (2010)
  • South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law, Qualified Trade Mark Practitioner (2015)

Affiliations and accolades

  • Attorney of the High Court, South Africa
  • Fellow, South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law (SAIIPL)
  • Committee Member: INTA Trade Mark Office Practice: Africa
  • Member, International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI)
  • WTR 1000: Ranked in Individuals (2018-22)

Featured in

Von Seidels Awarded

“Patent Firm of the Year – South Africa” recognition during Managing Intellectual Property’s awards ceremony held last night in London.

INTA AM 2022

Our INTA team is excited to be flying to Washington D.C. for the in-person INTA Annual Meeting. We really look forward to reconnecting with our…

WTR 2022 Rankings

Von Seidels and all 5 of our trademark partners are recognised by WTR, the world’s leading directory for trademark professionals.

Von Seidels is in Tier 1

We are excited to share that our firm has moved up to Tier 1 for trade marks in IP STARS (Managing IP) 2022 firm rankings for South Africa.