Erik van der Vyver

Patent Attorney

An experienced patent attorney with an aptitude for electronic and computer implemented inventions and patent litigation.

Erik currently heads up the patent division at Von Seidels.

About Erik van der Vyver

Erik is a South African patent attorney and one of the founding partners at Von Seidels.

With his background in electronic engineering and computer science he advises a large number of established technology companies and tech start-ups on their local and international patent acquisition, prosecution and enforcement strategies.

Erik has a thriving patent drafting practice focusing on software, mobile technologies, mobile apps, electronic commerce, banking, telecommunications, and digital signal processing and related technologies.

His other areas of expertise include:

  • advising on the international transfer of intellectual property rights and preparing applications to the South African Reserve Bank for offshore IP transfers;
  • advising companies on strategically aligning their intellectual property portfolios with a view to acquiring international investments;
  • obtaining granted patents for traditionally more difficult technologies (such as software) in the most challenging international jurisdictions (USA, EPO, China etc.);
  • drafting intellectual property based agreements including licensing, manufacture, research and development agreements; and
  • renewable energy technologies.


Erik is the immediate past president of the South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law (SAIIPL) and is a part-time lecturer in Intellectual Property Law at the University of Cape Town.

World IP Review features Erik van der Vyver as a leading IP practitioner (2023).

The Legal 500 recognises Erik van der Vyver as a ‘Leading Individual’ (2023).

Managing Intellectual Property recognises Erik van der Vyver as a ‘Patent Star’ (2023).

Focus areas

  • Patent prosecution
  • Patent litigation and enforcement
  • Registered designs and utility model applications
  • Copyright
  • Portfolio management
  • Licensing


  • Stellenbosch University, BEng Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (2003)
  • University of South Africa, LLB (2007)
  • South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law, Qualified Patent Attorney (2007)

Affiliations and accolades

  • Attorney of the High Court, South Africa
  • Patent Attorney, South Africa
  • Fellow, Immediate Past President, South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law (SAIIPL)
  • Member, International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI)
  • Member, International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys (FICPI)
  • Member, International Trademark Association (INTA)
  • IP Star, Managing Intellectual Property, Patents (2016 - 2023)
  • Recommended Individual, IAM Patent 1000 (2021 - 2023)

Featured in

The Inventor Edition

What is an inventor? Who is an inventor? And why is it important to identify the inventor/s? There is a common misconception under the…

Von Seidels Awarded

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

Another US Patent

Kit Vaughan, CEO of CapeRay, said: “We acknowledge the contribution of our patent attorneys Érik van der Vyver and Stephen

SA’s First AI Inventor

SA is the first country in the world to award a patent in the name of an artificial intelligence (AI) as its inventor. The patent was published in…