Trademark registration is a way to protect your trade mark by registering it with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC).
What is trademark registration?
A trade mark is a category of intellectual property (IP). It is a way of identifying a product (goods or services), and can be a brand name or a sign (like a shape, pattern, colour). If a trade mark is not registered, it could still be protected under the common law. If it is registered, it will be protected by the Trade Marks Act 194 of 1993. You don’t have to register your trade mark, but it will often give you stronger protection. Trademark registration under the Act requires you to register your trade mark for specific categories (or “classes”) of goods or services. Your trade mark will then protect you in the classes that you’ve registered for. Someone else can register the same trade mark in a different class.
What is a domain name?
In the offline world, your trade mark represents your identity in the market place. In the online world of the internet, domain names have come to fulfil the same role. They act as your presence on the internet, and they are how customers find you online. It is important that your domain name reflects the company’s name or some or all of its products. Generally, domain names are registered on a first come, first serve basis by various regional entities that have been given the responsibility of domain name registration. We recommend that you consider domain name and trade mark registration at the same time.
How can we help you?
We can help you to:
- register a trademark
- protect your logo
- stop someone from passing off by using your business name
- respond to a cease and desist letter
- protect your brand when someone has registered your business name as their domain name
- get an international trade mark for your business
- understand the rules about using domain and company names in new businesses