If you have a business and wish to keep competitors from using, or misusing, your brand, then you should consider registering a trade mark for your company’s name and logo.
A trade mark can only be protected and defended under the Trade Marks Act, 1993, if it is registered. However, unregistered trade marks may be defended in terms of common law. The registration procedure results in a registration certificate which has legal status, allowing the owner of the registered trade mark the exclusive right to use that mark.
Where do I register a trade mark?
The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) administers the Register of Trade Marks which is the record of all trade marks that have been formally applied for and registered in South Africa.
A trade mark is only registrable if it serves the purpose of distinguishing the goods/services of one trader from those of another trader. Other points to remember include:
How to register a trade mark?
A registered trade mark can be protected forever, provided it is renewed every ten (10) years upon payment of the prescribed renewal fee.
To make the process easier and more successful, then contact your legal adviser, who can lodge a trade mark application on your behalf and ensure all your documentation is correct.
This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Please feel free to contact Brian Kahn for further information or specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)