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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of intellectual property?

Trade marks, copyright, patents and designs.

What is a Trade Mark?

Trademarks are distinct words, names, symbols, and logos that serve as an identity for your business or brand in the global marketplace.

What does ™ & ® mean?

The TM symbol is used with unregistered marks. On registration, the symbol changes to the ®symbol in order to notify the public that it is a registered trade mark.

Why register a trade mark if it can be protected at common law?

Protection of marks in terms of the common law is relatively expensive and lengthy. Failure to register a trade mark means that others are unable to ensure whether they are infringing on existing trade mark rights. Registration is therefore an expedient and relatively cheaper method of ensuring the safety of a trade mark which is either in use or proposed to be used. The trade mark register is prima facie proof of the validity of the trade mark and title to the mark.

What is the procedure to file a trade mark?

The application is lodged at the Trade Marks Registry and is allocated an application number and filing date. The date of application is used to determine the 10-year term of a trade mark, whereafter the trade mark will have to be renewed by paying a renewal fee.

What happens after the trade mark application is filed?

The application is examined approximately 8 to 10 months from the date of filing. The examination report is then issued. The application is either unconditionally accepted, accepted subject to compliance with certain conditions, or refused. If the application is refused, there are various means in which it is possible to attempt to argue against and overcome the refusal.

What happens once the trade mark is accepted?

Once the trade mark is accepted, the application is advertised in the South African Patent Journal. It is open for opposition purposes for 3 months. In this period, any interested parties have an opportunity to lodge an opposition to the registration of the mark.

What is a priority claim?

Any applicant for registration of a trade mark in a member country is entitled to registration in other member countries in preference to other applicants, provided the application is made within the six-month priority period. So, for example, a South African trade mark application may claim priority from a foreign trade mark application provided that the South African application is filed within 6 months from the filing date of a corresponding trade mark application in a convention country.

Our charges

We at NMA understand how covid has adversely impacted lives and businesses over the past two years. With this impact, we have designed and catered our pricing structure to ensure that our costs are affordable and highly competitive. Contact us should you require a copy of our tariffs.