Starting a new business involves a great deal of research. You need to decide on which type of business you want to open, what the new company’s name will be and the core functions of the business must be decided upon. In South Africa all of the above can be done through the CIPC – the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission and once everything you need for your new business is in place, you will have to start thinking about your brand.
Brands are important for businesses because they allow people to recognise your company from others – the most important aspect of your brand will certainly be your logo. As a new business owner you will also have to ensure the intellectual property of your logo is protected. It is imperative to have this sorted out before your business starts trading.
Often people get confused about the various ways one can go about protecting their intellectual property – especially in the case of a logo. This is because there are a number of ways to go about it. You can either have your logo trademarked or you can have it copyrighted. Applying for your logo to be trademarked is a lengthy process; however you will still have intellectual property protection whilst the application is in the system. Trademarking your intellectual property – such as a logo can also be a costly exercise, but it may be well worth it.
When other companies approach you for business, they may be interested to see how you have gone about protecting your intellectual property. If your logo is trademarked will give them the peace of mind in knowing you take matters seriously and really mean business!
When one trademarks a logo, you are basically presenting your logo to the world in order to determine that it is completely unique and not confusingly similar to any other logo’s out there.