Do you need to protect your Company’s brand / name / logo? Our Law Department registers Trade Marks (also known as a Trademark) for our Clients all over South Africa and internationally.
Definition and Explanation of a Trade Mark
A Trade Mark is a brand name, a slogan or a logo that identifies the services or goods of your business and distinguishes it from your competitors’ services or goods. It protects the company name and is an asset in the business.
The most important part of any Trade Mark application is the specification of goods or services. In terms of Section 11(1) of the Act a Trade Mark must be registered in respect of goods or services falling into a particular class. All goods and services fall into one of 45 classes. We will assist you to ensure you choose the correct class(es) for the necessary protection. Click here to see all the classes. These classes are subdivided in Thirty four (34) classes for goods; and eleven (11) for services.
Advantages of registering a Trade Mark
1. Protection: It is a source of exclusivity.
Registering a Trade Mark is the best, safest, quickest and most cost effective way to ensure legal exclusivity for the use of your company name or logo etc. No one else will be able to use your brand!
2. Company value: Your business value will increase as a Trade Mark is one of the most important assets a company can have.
Any potential purchaser of your business will be willing to pay more for the goodwill that you have built up under your Trade Marked Brand.
3. Premium price: A Trade Mark is a badge of quality in relation to price.
People will know that goods or services bearing the same Trade Mark will be of consistent and predictable quality. Thus, your clients will also be willing to pay more as a Trade Mark creates trust and loyalty.
Cost and Timeframes for Trade Mark Registration:
1st Phase – Special Search: R 1 690
It costs R 1690 for the 1st Phase of Registering a Trade Mark in one class*, payable on application.
This step is highly recommended to determine whether you should proceed with the Trade Mark application or rather adjust it. After 6 -8 weeks the Special Search will be finished and the process will continue.
*A ‘class’ is a specific service / product category. If your brand will cover a few categories, you will need to register for additional classes at R 990 per class.
2nd Phase – Application for Trade Mark registration: R 1 990
After the 1st Phase is finished we can continue with the 2nd Phase. This process costs R 1 990 – payable after the 1st Phase has been completed. This process will be in the hands of the Trade Mark Registrar whom is to decide if your application passes all the criteria. Read more about this process below the application form.
APPLY within 1 minute by completing our easy online application form below.
The Application Process (2nd Phase of registration) includes:
a. Examination of the Trademark
i. The registrar examines the application in order to ascertain whether any of the grounds for refusal of registration apply. This examination includes a search of the register to ascertain whether the Trademark applied for is confusingly similar to a Trademark on the register or the subject of a pending application.
b. After examination
i. The registrar may refuse the application, or may accept it absolutely or subject to such conditions, amendments, modification, limitations. The applicant may then amend the application or make representations to the registrar.
i. Once the Registrar has accepted the application, the applicant or the Registrar causes acceptance of the application to be advertised in the Trademark Journal. The application is open to opposition by interested parties for a prescribed period.
i. An application may be opposed on any one or more of the grounds on which a Trademark registration may be refused.
i. If the application has been accepted and advertised, and either
1. has not been opposed,
2. or has been oppose and has been granted,
the Registrar registers the Trademark and furnishes the applicant with a certificate of registration.
Before applying for the registration of a Trademark, it is highly advisable to conduct a search of the register in each class which the applicant intends to make a Trademark application. This is to establish whether there are any confusingly or deceptively similar Trademarks which could present an obstacle to the registration of a Trademark. Please note that if an applicant intends to conduct a search in more than one class, a separate search is required for each class in which a applicant intends to make a Trademark application.
After a search have been conducted the applicant can apply to register his/her Trademark in one or more of the above – mentioned classes, and specify in his/ her application those goods or services for which he claims protection. It must be noted that if applicant applies for a Trademark in more than one class, a separate application with its own specification is required for each class in which application is made.
Dangers of not having a Trademark
1. You will not have any legal exclusivity of your name, logo etc.
2. You will not have a statutory action available against anyone who uses a same or similar mark on goods or services in respect of which the mark has been registered.
3. If you Trademark is registered it serves as prima facie proof of the validity of the Trademark and title to the mark.