T +27 21 526 2800 | F +27 21 526 2801

Ralph van Niekerk

Patent Attorney

An experienced patent attorney with an aptitude for complex patent prosecution and commercial IP issues coupled with a broad understanding of international IP matters.

Ralph van Niekerk’s interest in high technology companies sees him advising clients on strategic patent and commercial IP issues at Von Seidels.


Ralph is a patent attorney and partner at Von Seidels. His expertise includes patent prosecution, litigation and technology licensing for a broad range of clients. His particular focus is in the ICT, software and electronics industries where he has extensive experience in developing and managing large patent portfolios. His clients range from start-ups and universities to global technology companies.

Ralph holds undergraduate degrees in electronic engineering, computer science and law, and holds a Master of Laws from Stanford Law School. As one of the few practising South African patent attorneys with a United States IP law qualification, Ralph offers clients valuable insight into IP matters in the US.

He is also in charge of quality standards at Von Seidels and spearheaded the firm’s ISO 9001 certification.

Best Lawyers recognises Ralph van Niekerk as ‘Lawyer of the Year’ in Intellectual Property Law South Africa and as a leader in Technology Law (2022).

World IP Review features Ralph van Niekerk as a leading IP practitioner (2021).

The Legal 500 recognises Ralph van Niekerk as a ‘Leading Individual’ (2021).

Managing Intellectual Property recognises Ralph van Niekerk as a ‘Patent Star’ (2021).

Contact Ralph

Direct: +27 21 526 2800


  • 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)
  • Stanford Law School (USA), LLM, Science & Technology (2008)

Focus Areas

> Patent prosecution
> Patent and IP litigation
> Registered designs
> Copyright
> Portfolio management
> Licensing

Affiliations and Accolades

  • Attorney of the High Court, South Africa
  • Patent Attorney, South Africa
  • Fellow, South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law (SAIIPL)
  • Foreign Affiliate, American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA)
  • Member, Licensing Executives Society International (LES)
  • Member, International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys (FICPI)
  • Member, International Trademark Association (INTA)
  • Fulbright Scholarship recipient
  • IP Star, Managing Intellectual Property, Patents (2016 - 2021)