What is a Trademark?

A trademark is a unique mark which distinguishes your goods or services from other. Trademarks are registerable in terms of the South African Trademarks Act No 194 and is subject to certain requirements.

Why should I register a trademark?

If you are in the process of building a reputation for your brand competitors may try to imitate your product. To ensure that the public does not confuse your goods or services with those of your competitors, registering a trademark is a cost-effective way of protecting your brand and reputation.

Duration of Trademark protection:
Once a trademark is registered in South Africa, it needs to be renewed every 10 years to stay in force.

What to do?
IP attorneys would require you to provide them with a copy of your intended trademark (name or slogan, or logo). IP attorneys would also require details of all products or services that you intend applying the trademark to. Trademarks are registered at the South African Trademarks Office and a separate foreign trademark registrations should only be obtained if you wish to market your product in foreign countries as well.

How do I know if someone else has registered the same trademark?
In order to be considered registrable, your trade mark must be capable of distinguishing your goods or services from those of your competitors. IP attorneys can conduct searches through the records at the South African Trademarks Office.

Company names and trademarks
A company name registration is independent of a trade mark registration. By registering and enforcing a registered trademark, competitors may be prohibited from using your registered trademark.