Smit & Van Wyk Patent, Trademark & Registered Designs

Trademark Information

Intellectual Property Insights

A trademark is any word, symbol, design or phrase which can stand alone or combined with any of the ones mentioned and which is used to represent the brand, product or company. In South Africa it is not a requirement to register a trademark to use such a representation for a product, but it is highly recommended. Once registered, the holder thereof obtains monopoly rights on its usage for the products or services the mark is registered for. It means that no-one else may use the representation on one of their products or services without an agreement to do so with you as the trademark holder.

If someone uses the representation without your permission or in a way contrary to the agreement with you, you will have the right to take legal steps against the person or entity. It should thus be considered if you are serious about branding. It should be noted that you will have to register the trademark in South Africa first, and can then proceed to register it in other countries. We recommend doing an international trademark search in each of the countries in which you wish file a trademark registration.

In addition it will be important to register the mark for every category in which you want to use it. The registration process is fairly simple, provided you complete the forms correctly. For this you will need the assistance of an intellectual property attorney. Our firm specialises in intellectual property law including patent, copyright, design, and trademark registration. We will complete the forms for you, guide you through the process, conduct the registration, and handle any legal aspects regarding the intellectual property protection.

Posted on 26 April 2010
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International Trademark Protection

There is no such thing as an International Trademark. You should file a trademark in each of 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. 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)

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Trademark Registration, Trademark Search, Trademarks
Trademark Registration, Trademark Search, Trademarks
Trademark Registration, Trademark Attorneys, Brand Protection
Trademark Law - Trademark Attorneys - Brand Protection