Trademark Registration in South Africa
Trademark Registration Timeframe
A trademark registration in South Africa is filed with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) in Pretoria, together with details of the applicant, details of the trademark, classes, list of goods and services, and a signed power of attorney. Before a trademark registration is a filed, a trademark search has to be done to ensure the mark does not infringe on anyone else’s registered trademark.
An informal search may take 4 to 5 business days and a formal search can take 2 to 3 weeks to complete. The usual timeframe from filing to registration is 24 to 36 months.
A trademark registration in South Africa is valid for 10 years from the date of application and renewable every 10 years. A registered trademark can be protected forever, provided it is renewed every 10 years upon payment of the prescribed renewal fee. If your registered trademark has not been used in South Africa for a continuous period of 5 years, another person may apply to have it removed from the Register.
Trademark Transfer & License
Trademarks can be transferred through assignment and may be bought or sold. You may also license your trademarks to another party, who will then pay royalties for the use of your marks. A trademark, like a patent, may even be hypothecated to serve as security.
Intellectual Property in Africa
Smit & Van Wyk Intellectual Property services spans across the entire African continent. Patent, PCT National Phase applications and Trade Mark filings in most African countries, OAPI and ARIPO.
ARIPO and OAPI
Many African countries form part of ARIPO or OAPI allowing for the filing of only one application to obtain protection in multiple territories. These regional systems reduce the administrative burden of those countries and support a better output of the relevant laws.
Most applications / filings
South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Kenya, Angola, Tanzania, Mauritius, Tunisia, Zambia, Ethiopia.