If you plan on using your company trademark in South Africa, you first need to register it. Here’s what you need to do for South Africa trademark registration.
A trademark is useful in distinguishing your company products from the others in the same niche. If you’ve established a reputation for high quality, then seeing your familiar trademark reassures your buyers that they’re getting the right value for their money. It’s best that you register your trademark if you’re doing business in South Africa. Here are some facts that you need to know about.
You don’t really have to be a citizen of South Africa to register your trademark in the industry. However, you must have a business address in South Africa, and obviously you plan on using this trademark in the country. It’s also best if you hire an experienced trademark lawyer in the country. You can be represented by a person with a business address in South Africa, but this person must be an admitted lawyer in the country. You cannot be represented by other people such as accountants or auditors.
Your lawyer can make sure your application follows through all the necessary steps. These include conducting a search to make sure that there aren’t any other trademarks used in South Africa that are similar to yours. The lawyer can also advise you on what to do if your initial application is refused.
To be perfectly clear: if you do not reside in South Africa, you must use a trademark attorney to file your trademark application for you.
No, this isn’t allowed because of the Trade Marks Act (Act 194 of 1993) which protects the rights of the original proprietor. Again, your lawyer can tell you this.
You can renew your registration every 10 years. It’s your responsibility to renew the registration at the proper time. However, you may get a reminder from the South African Companies and Intellectual Property Commission about 6 months before the renewal due date.
Your lawyer can also help police your and enforce your trademark rights. If another company starts using your trademark for their products, your lawyer can use legal means to stop them.
Other companies may complain that your trademark is too similar to their own and insist that you stop using it. Your lawyer can deal with this issue, since they most likely did the original search in the first place to make sure that you aren’t guilty of this charge.
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