What is a Trademark?


How long does it take to register a trademark in South Africa?

It can take anything from six months to a year to register a trademark in South Africa. SwiftReg can assist with this. As soon as the application for the trademark is filed with CIPC you are protected from any other company/individual filing the same trademark. The registration process can take about a year, but as soon as the application is filed you will be protected for that year. When the application is filed, you will only need to renew after 10 years. This process will be a lot simpler as your trademark is already registered.

How much does it cost to trademark a name and logo?

You can trademark a name, word, slogan or logo with SwiftReg. The price will depend on how many classes you want to protect the trademark under. Each trademark application is an application on its own. You can apply for the three types of trademarks separately or in one application. If it’s under one application the price will stay the same as if it were separate applications. When it is filed on CIPC they are all seen as separate applications. If you decide to protect each one under different classes these will also been seen as a new trademark application.

Do you need a logo for a trademark?

You do not need a logo for a trademark. You can register a word, slogan or name as a trademark. If you have a logo you would like to register then SwiftReg can design one for you. A trademark application is not just for logos. Most companies have a logo designed as they want to create a brand and be known for their brand. It is good for clients or public to recognize you from your logo and for advertising purposes. It is not compulsory to have a logo in order to apply for a trademark, this is your decision and you can decide on how you would like to protect your company be it just the name or slogan, or both.

Can a word be trademarked?

A word can be trademarked. A trademark can be a word, slogan, phrase or logo. You can also register these as one trademark application. SwiftReg can assist with the word trademark application, as most of our clients prefer protecting the word or name of their company. Even though the company is registered, it does not mean that someone can trademark a similar name to the already registered company. This can happen if the person is a sole proprietor; they will be using their name but then will create their own trade as name that they will try to trademark, if they submit this application before you then the chances are they will be approved. There is further legality that go into matters such as these. We always advise, rather be safe than sorry.

How do I trademark a word?

To trademark a word, the process will be the same through SwiftReg. Any submission, be it a word, slogan or logo the application will be the same. You will apply for the word trademark application online and select the class that you would like the word trademark protected under.

Do you trademark or copyright a logo?

You do not copy right a logo, you will need to trademark a logo. The reason behind this is that copyrighting is to protect literary and artistic works. These would include videos and books etc. A Trademark is used to protect a company brand, slogan, name, or logo etc.

Should I trademark my business name?

You should trademark your business name after the company is registered through SwiftReg. The name will be protected from another company registration but it will not be protected if someone tries to trade under your name, meaning they do not register their company with CIPC. They can try to submit a trademark application if you have not, and in most cases will be approved. The best way to protect your brand would be to register the company, then register the trademark which will include the name, slogan, logo etc.

How do I trademark a catch phrase?

You can trademark a catch phrase, which can also be referred to as a slogan. “Finger Lickin’ Good” from KFC is a good example. You will apply on the SwiftReg website and fill in the catch phrase or logo you would like to register. As soon as you have finished and made payment, the trademark application gets submitted.

How long does a trademark last?

A trademark will last ten years. After the 10 years passes, you can apply to renew your trademark. The process is a lot quicker to renew the trademark than it is to register it as your trademark was already registered. It’s a simply renewal process and payment. .

Can a trademark expire?

A trademark cannot expire per say. But it does require a renewal after 10 years. You can renew the Trademark by submitting a payment to the registrar, and then it will be valid for another 10 years. No other individual or company can use the trademark unless you fail to renew.

Can you buy a trademark from someone?

A trademark can be sold or bought from someone or another company. As long as it still used for the same class, meaning the same type of goods or services. A trademark can be classed as an asset, meaning it should be easy to buy or sell. Trademark ownership can be transferred as soon as the company ownership is also transferred to the new party, as long as this company is offering the same goods and services. They can also make a new trademark application, keeping the current trademark. All he/she needs to do is protect the trademark under more classes. Each class is a different sector being a service or a product they are selling. This can be clothing, footwear or lawn cutting for example. There are various different classes.

Does trademarks have to be registered?

A trademark will need to be registered to be a valid application. If the trademark is not registered with CIPC any individual or company can use your trademark. It is in no way protected and would not be referred to as a trademark. Even if the company is registered under said company name, it does not mean that the name is trademarked. You will still need to apply to protect the name, logo or slogan. .

How often does a trademark need to be renewed?

A trademark needs to be renewed every 10 years. If you do not renew then another application could apply for the same trademark as you as it will not be protected anymore. To ensure that you do not miss this date, always diarize the registration date of your trademark. You will receive a receipt with the date your application was registered. From experience, there is no reminder sent out from CIPC so it is important to diarize it yourself.

Is it illegal to use a registered trademark?

It is illegal to use someone else’s trademark. You also cannot include their logo, slogan, name etc on your own website. There can be serious repercussions as you are infringing on their rights as their trademark is protected from the use by any other third party. You can only use some else’s trademark if there is written consent/contract and/or agreement between both parties. The best thing to do would be to register your company, then design your own logo, slogan or word mark (we say work mark; this means the word/name) then you can submit your own application. This will also protect you, meaning no other individual or business can use the same trademark. The best thing to do would be to protect yourself and trade under your own brand. Most people would like to promote their own brand than that of someone else.

Is an unregistered trademark protected?

An unregistered trademark is not protected. If you have not registered the trademark, you actually cannot call it a trademark at all. It would be referred to as just a logo, name or slogan. The only way it can be referred to as a trademark would be if it was registered through CIPC, SwiftReg can assist with this. Once you receive a filing receipt, then you can use the TM symbol. Without this, there is no trademark. All trademarks you see that have the TM symbol, mean that they have filed a trademark application with CIPC. It is fraudulent to use the TM symbol if there is no trademark application or filing receipt. You will not be protected as the next business could beat you to it and physically register the trademark then tell you that you cannot use your own logo, name or slogan. It’s best to not take any shortcuts when you are focusing on growing and protecting your company.

Can I use the TM symbol without registering?

You cannot use the TM symbol without registering. You are not protected so this symbol will mean absolutely nothing. The next company can submit the same logo, slogan or word mark and they will be approved. Using the TM symbol will not mean you are registered on CIPC and are not protected. It will be like adding any image next to your logo, word mark or slogan it may look pretty but it has no legal standing or protection. Every single TM you see on any logo needs to be registered through CIPC, it is a lengthy process that is why it’s best to use SwiftReg, let us take the nitty gritty out of the process for you. As soon as we submit your application you will receive the filing receipt then you can use the TM symbol.

How do you do the TM symbol?

All the TM symbol is, is a bold TM next to your logo, name or slogan. You can only use the TM symbol once you receive the filing receipt from us. If you do not have this document the TM symbol will be useless and serve no purpose. The registration may take a year, but as soon as the trademark is filed, you will use the TM symbol immediately. The TM symbol is usually smaller and on the top right of the logo, word or slogan, like this: ™.

How do you type the R with a circle around it?

If you are in Microsoft Word, all you need to do is open the page. Then look to the top of the page and click on insert. Scroll to the right and you will see the symbol option. The ® is viewable here. You can also update your branding, logo or name with a graphic designer to include this symbol. It’s good to add the symbol so that other companies know that cannot copy your idea. The sooner the better, even though you don’t display the symbol just yet, you are protected. If another person tries to submit the same trademark as you, they will not be able to. This will not be affected if you don’t display the symbol just yet.

What is TM, R and C?

TM stands for Trademark. The TM is displayed when the trademark is in the registration process. This process will take about a year but you are protected from anyone else submitting the same trademark. As soon as your trademark is registered, you will then use the R symbol. This means the trademark is registered for a year. The C represents a copyright. This is for written work, songs or videos. Copyrights are not the same as a logo, word/name or slogan. You will know the difference immediately, take a book for example, if you copy the same writing out of a Stephen King book this will be plagiarism and he will definitely have copy written his work which prevents any other person publishing the same book. There will be serious repercussions for this, you could be sued.

What does an R with a circle around it mean?

The R with the circle around it means that the trademark is registered. After the initial filing of the trademark you will use the TM symbol, but after about a year or so the trademark will be registered. This is where you will use the R symbol. The trademark will then last 10 years until you need to renew your application. It is critical to remember to renew so that your logo, word or slogan remains safe and you are protected. No other person can use your Trademark if it is in the process of being registered or is fully registered. CIPC will pick up that yours is registered and will reject any application that is the same. You can also choose which class to protect the trademark under, and you can choose more than one. Each class will be a separate application as it’s a separate class.

What are the three types of trademarks?

There are three types of trademarks. This will include the word mark, logo or slogan. The word mark will be the name of the company or a word you use to represent the company. It does not need to be the exact same name of your registered company, especially if you are a sole proprietor. You can register any name you want, as long as no other company/individual is using it. A logo is an image which can contain words on the image. You can choose to either include words or not. A logo will always be an image you can have this designed with SwiftReg as well. The image cannot be the same as an already registered trademark. A slogan is also a trademark. A slogan is a group of words, usually with a catch effect such as “I’m Lovin it” from Mc Donalds or “Finger Lickin Good” from KFC. It can be referred to as a phrase.