Registrability Requirements

  1. For a trademark to be registrable in South Africa, the trademark must be capable of distinguishing the goods and/or services to which the trademark is applied, from competing goods and/or services in the trade.  To do so, a trademark must –
  • Either be inherently distinctive (e.g. invented word or originally designed logo); or
  • Have become distinguishable through use.
  1. Trademarks that are typically not registrable are –
  • Words / phrases that are purely descriptive or are reasonably required for use by competitors in the particular trade
  • Names of persons
  • Marks that conflict with or are not sufficiently distinctive from marks already on the Trademarks Register
  1. Trademarks are registered in specific classes and trademark protection is limited to the class(es) of goods and/or services in which a trademark is registered.  There are 34 classes relating to goods and 11 classes relating to services.  Please click here for a list of the trademark class headings.

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