Snake-oil salesmen throughout history have tried to take advantage of consumers' anxieties over a new disease by selling fake cures. Dubious products likely emerged during the Black Death - the bubonic plague that raged across Europe and Asia in the 1300s.And now, with the global coronavirus pandemic, there will likely be scores of products emerging that are meant to either protect or "cure" you. Already in SA there are those who are trying to cash in on the panic. According to Bernadette Versfeld, a partner at law firm Webber Wentzel, the trademarks Covidban, Corona Guard and Corona Care were applied for at the South African Trade Marks Office between March 3 and March 16 in the pharmaceutical-goods category. One of these products is described as an antiviral sanitiser."Not a complete surprise. There are always opportunists rushing to register a trademark and this time they are seeking to benefit from the biggest news story of our time," said Versfeld. The Trade Marks Office, ...

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