How To Trademark A Name In South Africa

Trademarking a name in South Africa is an important step to ensure the protection of your business identity. In this article, we will guide you through the process of how to register a trademark in South Africa.

  1. What is a trademark?
  2. Why should you trademark your name?
  3. How to trademark a name in South Africa
    1. Step 1: Conduct a trademark search
    2. Step 2: File your trademark application
    3. Step 3: Examination and publication
    4. Step 4: Registration
  4. Conclusion

What is a trademark?

A trademark is a unique symbol, word, or phrase used to identify and distinguish your products or services from those of your competitors in the market. It can be a valuable asset to your business, providing legal protection against infringement and allowing you to build a brand that is recognizable and trusted.

Why should you trademark your name?

Registering a trademark is crucial for any business that wants to establish a unique identity and protect its intellectual property rights. Here are some reasons why trademarking your name is important:

  • Your trademark gives you the exclusive right to use your business name in the course of trade.
  • Trademark registration makes it easier for you to take legal action against anyone who uses your name without authorization.
  • It provides you with a strong legal basis to prevent others from using similar names or logos that could cause confusion among your customers.
  • Your trademark can increase the value of your business by giving it more credibility and recognition.

How to trademark a name in South Africa

Now that you understand the importance of trademark registration, here are the steps to follow to trademark your name in South Africa:

Before you apply for a trademark, you need to search the South African Trade Marks Register to see if your desired name or logo is already registered by someone else. This can be done online through the Intellectual Property Office website or by visiting any of their offices in the country. It is highly advisable to engage the services of a trademark attorney who will conduct a comprehensive search on your behalf and advise you on the availability of your desired trademark.

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Step 2: File your trademark application

Once you have confirmed that your desired trademark is available, you can proceed to file your application online or by submitting a hard copy to the Intellectual Property Office. Your application must include the following:

  • Your full name and contact details
  • A clear representation of your trademark
  • A list of the products or services your trademark will cover
  • The class or classes of goods or services your trademark falls under

Step 3: Examination and publication

After your application has been received, it will undergo examination by the Intellectual Property Office to ensure that it meets all the requirements for registration. If there are any objections, you will be notified and given a chance to respond before a final decision is made. Once your application is accepted, it will be published in the South African Trade Marks Journal for a period of two months to allow any interested parties to object to your trademark registration.

Step 4: Registration

If there are no objections to your trademark during the publication period, your trademark will be registered, and a certificate of registration will be issued. You will then be entitled to use the ® symbol next to your trademark, indicating that it is a registered trademark.


Trademark registration is an essential process that should be undertaken by any business that wants to establish a unique identity and protect its intellectual property rights. By following the above steps, you can successfully register your trademark in South Africa and safeguard your business from infringement and confusion in the market.

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