Some FAQ for trademarks


Q: Can a company- or close corporation lodge an objection to a proposed trademark if its name is identical or very similar to the trademark?

A:Yes. The trademark database is not linked to the company database and a separate search will be done, upon request and at additional cost.

Q :How long does a search take?

A: We will do your search within 24 hours after verification of payment, unless circumstances prevent us from doing so.

Q: Must the trademark be registered before it can be used?

A: No, you can start using your trademark after you have received the filing receipt and number from the trademark office.
Q: Does a favourable search report guarantee that my trademark will proceed to registration?
A: Not necessarily. Your application will be subjected to examination at the Registrar’s office and the criteria they apply to judge the validity of your application. Please read the information we attach to your search results carefully.
Q: How long does it take before registration takes place?

A: The registrar will examine your trademark plus minus 12 months after filing.

Q: How long does a trademark last?

A: A registered trademark can last indefinitely, as long as the renewals fees are paid. The first renewal fee is due ten years from the date of filing.

Q: Can I file more than one class on one application form?

A: No.

Q: Do you discontinue the search when you find the exact trademark already filed?

A: No, we still do the full search to give you all the variations and combinations.

Q: Do you give a refund if my proposed trademark is not available?

A: Unfortunately not.

Q: Do I need to use the trade mark to register it?

A: No, the Trade Marks Act requires only a bona fide intention to use the mark. If you do not use the trade mark for a period of 5 years, it may become vulnerable to expungement (removal) upon application by a third party.

Q: Will my trade mark have protection outside South Africa?

A: No, your registration will only offer protection in the territory you have registered it in.

Q: Can I register a domain name as a trade mark?

A: It is not advisable to expend money on this as the Registrar currently frowns upon the use of ‘dot’ names e.g. or .com. Rather apply for Jane Doe instead of www.
More about the above later and it will be a tad more in-depth…

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