A trademark is about the identity of the product distributor or manufacturer, and the symbol identity has to be legally and formerly registered. Because services rendered are similar these days, a trademark makes you different and distinguishes you from other similar businesses.
There are different types of Trademarks namely:
- Collective trademarks
- Certification trademarks
- Non-traditional trademarks
If you manufacturing good or offering a service is it often best to know which trademark will best suit your business. There are tons and tons of businesses with different types of Trademarks; however, a trademark, is a trademark, is a trademark.
When your organization is divided into groups, you can collectively register a collective trademark. This type of trademark can only be used by members; it only shows that the services provided by an association belong to a specific organization. It can be used together with the individual company’s trademark; the owner has the right to allow any person to use the trademark as long as they comply with the regulations relating to its registration. Geographical names like “Venterdorp Winery Farmers” may be registered as a collective trademark.
The is also Certification Trademark which is registered to indicate that a product is of specific characteristics, it indicates specific quality of a manufacturer’s product e.g. “The Cotton Mark”
Common law trademark right is when you have associated with an unregistered trademark, to protect the trademark if it has been used without permission, you can sue the person/organization that used your trademark to make the public believe that they are associated with your business.
You can register a trademark at any time of the day as long as you are the trademark owner. Your trademark can be used on goods for exports – it is against the law to use a well-known trademark as your own, even when it’s not well known, if it’s not yours, don’t use it.
If you want to register a trademark a search is usually made in order to make sure that a similar or identical mark is not registered. (Use the CIPC functionality to make a search)
How to create a trademark
- As an organization what you need to Create is a brand name
- You will need a logo for your brand as well as a slogan
- Be Creative to be able to be distinguished from other organizations, and remember that it’s not all signs that will be registered and accepted, be sure that it constitutes to characteristics that make up a trademark according to the Trademark Act.
- Read more about registering a trademark in South Africa.
- When you register a miss-spelled word as a trademark eg. “Xcited” instead of “excited”, an admission will usually be required; you will have to admit that you don’t own exclusive rights in the word “excited”. A disclaimer is also required for normal use for other traders.
The fee for the trademark application is R599.00 and its nonrefundable when the trademark has been rejected.
The trademark is renewed every 10 years; you will be notified 6 months before the expiry date. If you want a search to be made, it can be done for R190 and does not indicate if the mark can be registered; it will only indicate the conflicting mark on the database if any.
Trademarks can be sold, a fee is payable for the change of ownership – and you can use the business name as a trademark.
You can use a domain name as a trademark e.g. www.ibusiness.co.za however, Isaac More as the owner and sole appropriator of the domain cannot own exclusive rights to the common parts of it. For Barcodes contact Barcode Systems at 011 444 3344 and for anything relating to royalty agreement Please contact the Technology Promotions of the Department of Trade and Industry.