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Ralph van Niekerk
Patent Attorney

Ralph is a Director of Rouse Africa and is based in South Africa. He is a registered South African Patent Attorney and handles IP rights and commercial IP matters in Africa.

Ralph is a Director of Rouse Africa. He is an experienced South African Patent Attorney with an aptitude for commercial IP issues coupled with a broad understanding of international IP matters.

Ralph’s knowledge of the African and international IP landscapes sees him advising clients on strategic IP issues.

Ralph’s 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 valuable insight into IP matters in Africa for US and international clients. 

Professional qualifications

  • BEng Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (2003), Stellenbosch University, South Africa
  • LLB (2007), University of South Africa
  • LLM, Science & Technology (2008), Stanford Law School, United States
  • Attorney of the High Court, South Africa
  • Patent Attorney, South Africa 


  • Managing Intellectual Property, 2015: Named as an 'IP Star’
  • IAM Patent 1000, 2015: Listed as ‘Recommended’
  • Legal 500, 2015: Recognised as an IP Attorney
  • Chambers Global 2015: Recognised as a ‘Ranked Lawyer’
  • Fulbright Scholarship recipient

Professional memberships

  • American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA)
  • International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys (FICPI)
  • Licensing Executives Society (LES)
  • South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law (SAIIPL)
  • International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI)