Trade Mark Registration Process in South Africa

In order to protect your company branding from being copied by copycats, it is important to protect the individual elements such as the name, logo and/or any other creative elements attached to your brand and while this may seem like a daunting process, we are here to guide you every step of the way.
Here is a simple guide on the Trade Mark registration process in South Africa.


Step 1: Preliminary Registration
Step 2: Formal Trade Mark Search
Step 3: Filing an Application
Step 4: Examination
Step 5: Publication
Step 6: Registration
Step 7: Duration of your registration

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STEP 1: Preliminary Registration

Before proceeding with a trade mark registration, it is advisable to conduct preliminary research online, and in the trade, to ensure that your proposed logo, name or slogan is not being used by another business.

If this is not done, money and time could be wasted by choosing a trade mark that already belongs to another party.

STEP 2: Formal Trade Mark Search

This is done by an Attorney who conducts a search of the trade marks register to ascertain if your mark/s are available for registration. This looks at whether a third party has applied for or registered a mark which is identical or similar to your proposed trade mark.

STEP 3: Filing the Application

If the formal trade mark search is clear, and the proposed trade mark is available for registration, a trade mark application will be filed with the Trade Mark Registry in the specific classes of goods or services to which your mark will be applied to.

All words, logos and composite marks should be applied for.

STEP 4: Filing the Application

Within 6 – 8 months of the application being filed, the Registrar of Trade Marks will examine the trade mark and issue an official action in terms of which the mark will be accepted, accepted with conditions or refused.

This official action needs to be responded to, and all the requirements met, in order for the trade mark to proceed to acceptance.

STEP 5: Filing the Application

Once the trade mark application has been accepted it will be published in the Patent Journal for a period of 3 months and during such time any 3rd parties are able to oppose the registration of your mark/s on the basis of their prior rights.

STEP 6: Filing the Application

If the 3 month opposition period expires without incident, the trade mark will proceed to registration. This can take up to a period of 2 years.

Once registered you may apply the ® symbol next to your mark/s.

STEP 7: Filing the Application

Once registered, a trade mark will be in force for a period of 10 years from the date of the application and it will be renewable every 10 years from the date of application.

For any Trade Mark related queries contact JJB Attorneys for assistance.

For any Trade Mark Related queries contact JJB Attorneys for assistance.