One of the most important aspects of intellectual property protection is to register trademarks. So what is a trademark and why is it so important that every business should trademark their company name, product names, slogans and logos.
A trademark is simply a name, word, logo, slogan, symbol, phrase, picture or a combination of these, which identifies itself and its products from any other business in their industry. By registering trademarks, a registration certificate is obtained which has legal status, allowing the owner of the registered trade mark the exclusive right to use that mark. This effectively prevents others from using names, words, slogans, logos etc. which are confusingly similar or the same as yours.
The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) administers the Register of Trade Marks in South Africa and registered trademarks are protected and defended under the Trade Marks Act No. 194 of 1993. The onus lies with the owner or holder of the trademark to renew it every ten years with the CIPC in order to protect it ongoing.
It is suggested that you engage with a trade mark attorney so that you obtain the correct information and advice to protect your business.
There have been instances where businesses have failed to register trademarks and have suffered enormous losses as a result. Don’t be the next one!