In Memorium of an Extraordinary Life


25 February 1931 – 28 June 2020

Dr Hans Helmut Hahn, or just Hans as he was to all of us at Hahn & Hahn, his friends and his clients was born in Germany in 1931 during the turbulent times of a depression, His father, WA Hahn, was born and educated in the United Kingdom and after World War I relocated to Germany where he became a Patent Agent and was transferred to the Hague in the Netherlands when Hans was 3 months old and grew up as a young child until the outbreak of World War II.

In 1948 the Hahn family left for South Africa to start a new future. Hans was 17 years old and for the first two years the family eked out a frugal existence and Hans helped out his father who was qualifying as a Patent Agent in South Africa wherever he could, doing patent drawings and searches at the patent office, and taking on translations and odd jobs to finance his studies. Hans then worked for the CSIR and completed his M.Sc whereafter he spent 1954 to mid 1957 overseas doing his doctorate in Karlsruhe, Germany.

In that time the firm of WA Hahn Patent Agent had grown and with his father’s health deteriorating Hans returned to South Africa and in 1960 passed his Patent Agents Examination and was registered early in 1961. The name of the firm was changed to Dr.W.A.Hahn and Dr.H.H.Hahn, later abbreviated to Hahn & Hahn where he was a partner until 2007 and an active consultant until his death. Hans was a doyenne of the Intellectual Property profession in South Africa and until recent years was a fixture on many committees and attended IP conferences in South Africa and around the world and was well known amongst his peers.

In addition to having a doctorate in Chemical Engineering and being a Patent Agent Hans was a polyglot and a sworn translator between English, Dutch, German, French and Afrikaans.

On a personal level, Hans was an avid art collector and the walls of Hahn & Hahn are adorned with art works acquired by Hans over the decades and will remain a reminder of him.

Hans also appreciated the great outdoors and founded the Morning Sun Nature Reserve and Mashovhela Lodge which he frequently visited and invested in the local community.

Hans was much loved by all at the firm and will be missed by all. Rest in Peace Hans Helmut Hahn.