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Trademark Registrations

South Africa

Trademark registrations are done to ensure that the products for which registrations are completed are uniquely marked and distinguishable from that of competitors. The benefits of trade mark registrations outweigh the waiting period and any costs involved. For one, trademark registrations add value to a company. The value of a business is not only determined by its physical assets, but also by intellectual property assets. When one considers franchising, trade mark registration must be done to ensure protection of the brand. Through licensing agreements one can thus ensure royalty income for the usage of the trade mark.

What we offer…
Smit & Van Wyk offers assistance with trademark registrations in South Africa and abroad. Once the registration has been completed, you have permission to use ® symbol on your mark and it can also act as deterrent against potential infringement by other parties. Smit & Van Wyk Attorneys have a proven track record of successful trade mark registrations in South Africa and abroad (also see OAPI and ARIPO). We handle the initial trade mark searches to ensure that the trade mark you want to register is not already in use. This will minimise the risk of objections which can delay the trade mark registration progress.

In addition we also provide assistance in the assessment of the trade mark strength and will help you select the most appropriate classes for trade mark registrations for your particular product or service. With more than 45 classes available, such expertise is certainly useful. When it comes to the renewal, restoration or handling of trade mark objections in addition to licensing agreements, we are also able to assist.

Trademark Search

It is advisable that the trademark be searched before the application is made. We can conduct searches through the records at the South African Trade marks Office. This will provide an indication of whether there are existing trademarks which are identical or similar to yours. Foreign trademark searches may also be conducted, should you wish to have a search conducted through the trade mark offices of foreign countries. A search has to be conducted to make sure there is no similar or identical trade mark on the register preventing the registration of your trademark.

International Trademarks

There is no such thing as an International Trade Mark
Various international agreements make it possible to file a single logo registration in more than one country:

BOIP (Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands)
Community Trademark (European Union)
Madrid Agreement (97 Contracting Parties)
OAPI (17 French speaking member states in Africa)
ARIPO (19 English speaking member states in Africa)

You should file a trade mark 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. It is highly recommended that you contact trade mark attorneys to assist you with filing and registering your trade mark. Trade mark attorneys will not only advise you on the best way to ensure that your trade marks are properly protected, but will also deal with all the formalities on your behalf, making the process as effective as possible.

Trademark Registration Requirements

In order to register your trademark, we require the follwoing information. This is necessary, as one has to file a separate trademark application in each of the classes related to your product(s) / service(s). Trademarks applications are filed at the South African Trademarks Office (CIPC) and foreign trademark registrations may be obtained should you wish to market your product in foreign countries.

Trademark Search – We will advise if a trademark search is required.

Applicant – Full names and a copy of ID. Physical and postal address of the applicant.

Trademark – A copy of your intended trademark (name, slogan or logo). If it is a logo, an electronic copy of the logo must be supplied.

Class(es) – Details of all products or services that you intend applying the trademark to. Describe the relevant goods or services arroding to the Nice Classification of Goods and Services.

Invoice Details – Entity to be invoiced and VAT registration number (if applicable)

Countries to File In – We need to quote on each seperate Country or System.

More information regarding Trade Marks:

Trade Mark a color in South Africa
The South African Trade Marks Act specifically provides for the registration of non-conventional trade marks, such as colors. A mark is defined as any sign capable of being represented graphically including, shapes…

Trade Mark Search
It is always advisable that the trade mark be searched before the application is made. In order to be considered register-able, your trade mark must be capable of distinguishing your goods or services from those of your competitors…

Trade Mark Requirements
It serves the purpose of distinguishing the goods/services of one trader from those of another trader. It does not consist exclusively of a sign or an indication which may serve, in trade, to designate the kind, quality, quantity, intended…

Trade Mark Application Requirements
We would require you to provide us with a copy of your intended trademark – be it a simple name or slogan, or a stylised logo. We would also require details of all products or services that you intend…

Trade Mark Exclusions
Marks that may NOT be Registered: Emblems fall under the protection of the Merchandise Marks Act. The following are regarded as state emblems: Seal of the Republic, Coat of Arms of the Republic…

Trade Mark Costs
Contact us to request prices for trade mark searches, applications, renewals and trade mark assignments….

International Trade Mark Protection
Your mark should be registered in the countries in which you offer your products or services under that mark. You should also consider filing in countries where you intend to use the mark in the future…

Trade Mark Protection in South Africa
A trade mark is a mark which distinguishes your goods or services from goods or services of others in South Africa, or elsewhere. Trade  Marks are register-able in terms of the South African Trade Marks…