To avoid Trademark problems with registration get the help from an experienced trademark law firm. The law firm will do a trademark search to determine that there is no record of a similar trademark registered, pending or in use in the same classes that you want to register you trademark. The lawyers of the firm will furthermore also do a company name and domain name search to ensure that there are no similar names already in use as company names or domain names. It is essential to check availability of a trademark thoroughly before the final selection of the mark. Any other similar names or marks in use, pending or registered will be grounds for objection by another party. This in turn could lead to lengthy procedures and at the end of the day may also lead to the complete cancellation of your trademark.
Another trademark problem that can be avoided when making use of trade mark attorneys is that of selecting a mark that cannot be trademarked. The proposed mark may not be scandalous or deceptive. It furthermore may not suggest any connection with persons or national symbols if not directly related to such. If the mark consists of a signature or any form of identification with a person without the person’s consent it will not pass the test. Mere descriptive marks will not be registered unless under special circumstances. A mark that simply describes the location can also not be registered. Generic terms should not be used as trademarks. It is imperative to select a strong trademark for maximum protection against infringement.
If a trade mark applied for is not in the correct class or classes then you will not be able to use such for the purpose for which you have registered it. Contact us at Smit & Van Wyk intellectual property attorneys to assist with the registration of trademarks.
Madrid Trademarks in Africa
Only nine of the thirty eight African members have enforced the Madrid Protocol through appropriate amendments to their national trade mark legislation, together with the implementation of enabling regulations, namely Botswana, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
Even in these nine countries, practical issues exist such as the recognition of the national laws of each country, the enforceability of the International registration in those countries and the effect of national common law rights. Procedural issues include adhering to the system’s strict processing timelines, irregular publication of Trade Mark Journals, late examination or non-examination and issues related to record keeping. At this stage, it is recommended that clients pursue national trade mark applications in each African country of interest. We remain at your disposal to render advice as to which countries may enjoy a successful registration using the Madrid System.