A Trade Mark
is a brand name, a slogan or a logo. It identifies the services or goods of one person and makes them different from the goods and services of another.
Understanding Trade Mark symbols
A Trade Mark is denoted by the trade mark symbol TM or by the registration symbol ® if an actual registration filing has been approved by a registered CIPC. A brand name is a word or combination of words (e.g. Kentucky Fried Chicken). A slogan is a short phrase or a sentence and a logo is a distinctive picture or symbol. They provide a distinctive identity in the marketplace and can apply to both products and services. When a trade mark (brand name, slogan or logo) has been registered, nobody else can use this trade mark, or one that is confusingly similar. If this happens, legal action may result.
Must a Trade Mark be Registered?
A trade mark can only be protected as such and defended under the Trade Marks Act , 1993 (Act 194 of 1993) if it is registered. Unregistered trade marks may be defended in terms of common law. The registration procedure results in a registration certificate which has legal status, allowing the owner of the registered trade mark the exclusive right to use that mark. CIPC administers the Register of Trade Marks which is the record of all the trade marks that have been formally applied for and registered in the Republic of South Africa.
What is the Lifespan of a Trade Mark?
A registered trade mark can be protected forever, provided it is renewed every ten (10) years upon payment of the prescribed renewal fee.
Registered Users (Licensees)
A registered user is the person(s) whom the owner of a registered trade mark legally permits to use his trade mark.
Kindly refer to the provisions of Section 38(6) of the Trade Marks Act, read together with Regulation 39.
- To record a registered user with the Registrar of Trade Marks, a license agreement should be concluded between the parties involved, being the licensor (the trade mark holder) and the licensee (the person permitted to use the mark). The license agreement must be signed by all parties involved. Form TM7 must be completed, signed by both parties, and lodged together with the license agreement, as well as a Power of Attorney, if the recordal is applied for by an attorney on behalf of the licensor
- The prescribed fees payable for the recordal of a Registered User is R150.00 for the 1st trade mark, and R26.00 thereafter for each additional mark
- A further R34.00 is payable if a Registered User Certificate is required
- Form TM7 is also required with regards to the Variation and Cancellation of a Registered User. Kindly refer to the provisions of Section 38(8)(b) of the Act, read together with Regulation 41
- A prescribed fee of R60.00 per trade mark is payable in respect of variations or cancellations of registered user details
- Form TM7 must be completed and lodged for the maintaining of a Registered User recordal, and must be signed by both parties. Kindly refer to the provisions of Section 38(8)(b) of the Act, read together with Regulation 41
- A prescribed fee of R60.00 per trade mark is payable in respect of maintenance of registered user details