Should I register my trademark locally, internationally or both?

It is very wise to register your trademark in the countries where your business is located or where you plan to conduct business. South African trademark registration only covers the Republic of South Africa. Remember, a South African trademark will not provide protection in any of South Africa’s neighbouring states, or any other country, and a separate application must be filed in each of these countries.

Applications for registration in foreign countries can be based on a South African trademark application. Such applications are made in terms of the International Convention of Paris, as in the case of patents.

What is this International Convention of Paris?

Signed in 1883 it provides two fundamental patent rights: (1) citizen or resident of any signatory country will enjoy in all signatory countries the rights each signatory country grants to its own citizens and residents; (2) citizen or resident of any signatory country, within 12 months (6 months for trademarks) after filing a patent in the home country, can file an application in any signatory country to receive the benefits of the original filing date. Its full name is ‘International Convention For The Protection Of Industrial Property.’ Also called Paris Union. See also Patent Cooperation Treaty.

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