Trade Mark registrations provides wide-ranging protection against infringement of your brand. A trade mark is typically a word, name, phrase, logo, symbol, design, image, or a combination of these elements.

Trade marks are registered in different classes that cover all goods and services. You will have to assign a class to your trade mark before a search can take place. Each class in the trade mark’s register relates to a general type of product or service. Registering a trade mark for a coffee shop name will not be in the same class as registering a trade mark for as health and fitness gym logo.

It is wise to register your trade mark in the country where your business is located and where you plan to conduct business. A South African trade mark only covers South Africa and will not provide protection in  any other country, and a separate application must be filed in each of these countries.

You do not need to be a South African citizen to register a trade mark in South Africa, but you must be using the trade mark in the South Africa. To register the trade mark you must have a business address in South Africa. If you are represented by someone with an address in the Republic of South Africa, the representative must be an admitted attorney in South Africa. Trade Mark applicants MAY NOT be represented by auditors, accountants, etc.

A trade mark is property and can be sold or given away. The Registrar must be informed of the change of ownership and the conditions of the change of ownership. The new owner must be noted in the Register for which a fee is payable (www.cipc.co.za).