A TM registration (trademark registration) may be done by a qualified trademark attorney or trademark practitioner. When a trademark (Name, Slogan, Logo, Shapes, 3D Marks, Colours) has been registered, competitors may not use your trademark, or one that is confusingly similar. If this happens, legal action may result. A trademark can only be protected and defended under the Trade Marks Act, if it is registered.
Once a TM is registered in South Africa, it needs to be renewed every 10 years to stay in force. Trademarks may be renewed indefinitely, thereby ensuring the continuity of your brand. If your registered TM has not been used for a continuous period of 5 years, another person may apply to have it removed from the Register. Trademarks may be transferred through assignment and may be bought or sold like other commodities.
International TM Registration
There is no such thing as an international trademark, but some international agreements make it possible to file a single TM registration in more than one country.
- A TM registration with BOIP offers protection in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
- A Community Trademark registration protects a trademark in all the member states of the European Union.
- A TM registration with the Madrid Agreement make it possible to file an application for an International Registration, which will offer a trademark protection in any of the countries the applicant designates that are party to those treaties.
- A TM registration with OAPI or ARIPO protects a mark in all the member states. (Africa)
Your mark should be registered in the countries in which you offer your products or services and you should also consider filing in countries where you intend to use the mark in the future, but some countries do have use requirements.