A Trademark is how a business promotes itself visible in the
marketplace and can be a name, slogan or logo or a combination of these. The best
trademarks are instantly recognizable e.g. Coca Cola, Apple, Microsoft, Nike, etc.
The terms "trademark" and "mark" are commonly used to refer to both trademarks and
service marks. A registered trade mark is legally enforceable and it give you exclusive
rights to use, sell and licence that mark for which it is registered.
What is the
purpose of a trade mark
To distinguish your goods and services from someone else's.
are the benefits to have a trade mark registered:
1. to have the exclusive right to
use your registered trade mark as a brand name for the goods or services. 2. to have
a registered trade mark, which is an Intangible asset and can be sold. 3. to have
your product or service mark protected in the whole of South Africa. 4. to block the
trademark registers and prevent third parties from registering confusingly similar
trademarks. 5. to prevent third parties from registering companies which may have
confusingly similar names – this is a very strong right, enshrined in a statute,
which is an act of parliament. 6. to be a financial or tax benefit in certain cases.
A trade mark could have tremendous value and could also be added to a balance sheet.
of the best advantages is the fact that one is afforded a monopoly in the specific
trademark registration. This gives one the right to sue for infringements or object
to other names as mentioned above.
What does a trade mark registration cost
to register a trade mark is only R 2,495
Using the ™ symbol
As soon as application
is made and the lodgment number issued by the trade marks office, you may use ™ behind
your trade mark. It takes approx 30 days to receive the lodgment number back from
the trade marks office.
Using the ® symbol
Once your trade mark is finally ® registered
it is good business practice to place the ® symbol immediately adjacent to your trade
mark. This puts others on notice to respect your trade mark and aids in protecting
your valuable intellectual property. The symbol ® is used for registered trade marks. How
long will the registration take
The trade mark registration can take anything from
12 to 18 months, all depending on the workload at the trade marks office, thereafter
it is published in the patent journal.
Is it an offence to use the ® if my trade mark
is not registered
Yes How long does a trademark last
This is valid for 10 years, thereafter
it needs to be renewed for another 10 years.
Will my trade mark also be registered
outside South Africa
No, your registration will only be registered and be valid in
How do I know if I can register my trade mark We can search through the
records at the Trade Marks Office. This will provide us an indication of any other
existing trade marks and whether we can proceed with the application. The cost for
such a search is only R 750 and takes approx 30 days.
Can I register my company name
as a trade mark
Yes. A company name registration is separate from a trade mark registration
and by registering such a name will protect this independently from your company
Not sure on how to go about registering your Trade Mark? Call us for free professional
advice on 082 719 2209 or 0861 273 727