Your trademark is the heart of your brand. It should be protected in the best way possible. We can help you to register a trademark so that your brand can grow safely.
How to register a trademark
If you don’t register your trademark, it will still be protected by the common law. Registering your trademark, however, gives it more protection under the Trade Marks Act 194 of 1993. If you want to register your trademark, you need to ask yourself:
- What trademark do you want to register?
- What class do you want to register it in?
We follow a three step process:
- Search: this tells us if you can register the trade mark or if there are any conflicts;
- Application: this is the paperwork that we hand in to register the trademark;
- Registration: this includes specific actions required by law, like notice of acceptance, advertisement, and preparing the registration certificate.
The search step is the shortest – about two weeks. It picks out marks that look, sound and have a similar concept to your trade mark. You can choose a simple search (which will search for only basic conflicts) or a full search (which will search for everything). This should let you know if it will be viable to register the trade mark. If there are conflicts between your trade mark and someone else’s, you probably shouldn’t register it. After all, the purpose of a trademark is to distinguish your goods and services from someone else’s.
The application step can take a very long time – up to 13 months. The Register has to file and examine the trademark before they can register it. They will check that it isn’t offensive or if it shouldn’t be registered for some other reason.
During the registration step, the Registrar accepts the mark and advertises it for 3 months. If no one objects to the mark, the Registrar issues the registration certificate.
The trade marks office has a heavy backlog of work, and the whole process can take up to three years. So you should make sure that you really want to register your trade mark. The costs and time might be high, but if you are sure of your business, they will be worth it to protect your brand.
How can we help you?
We can help by:
- advising you on trademark registrations
- registering a trademark for you
- helping you to work out what to register and helping you to register it yourself