The trademark registration process in South Africa – The following article will explain the process of registering a trademark in South Africa.
In general, a trademark is any mark that is used or is proposed to be used, to identify goods or services and to differentiate them from similar products or marks in the industry.
A ‘mark’ can be any graphically represented sign, such as a device, a name, a signature, a word, a letter, a numeral, a shape, configuration, pattern, ornamentation, color, or a container for products, or any combination of these. Any visual representation or illustration that can be replicated on a surface, whether by printing, embossing, or any other method, is referred to as a “device.”
When an identical or confusingly similar mark or device is used in relation to the same or similar products or services for which a trademark has been registered by someone else, it is called trademark infringement.
How to Register a trademark in South Africa?
The first step in registering your trademarks in South Africa is trying to meet with experts who can advise you on the registration of your marks or devices and trademark classifications process. For the purposes of trademark registration, goods and services are classified into classes (34 classes for goods; 11 classes for services). A separate application must be filed in each class in which protection is required.
The Trade Marks Office examines all applications to assess inherent registrability as well as potential conflicts with previous registrations or applications. Following an inspection, the Trade Marks Office will either approve, reject, or indicate the conditions under which the application may be approved. If a preliminary rejection or conditional approval is issued, the applicant is given the opportunity to make representations to the Registrar in order to resolve any objections presented or to deal with the application in another manner as circumstances dictate. Currently, the registration process takes 30 months (or more) from the time the application is filed.
The Patent Journal publishes a trademark application after it has been approved. The process of filing an opposition to a trademark application is somewhat close to the process of filing an application in the High Court. If no third-party objections are received within three months of the date of publication, the application will be granted and a certificate of registration will be released.
Please find the list of South Africa IP Firms here.