A trademark is a mark that legally represents something, usually a business, by their goods or services. A brand name, however, is the name that a business chooses for one of their products. A trademark is an identity; it encompasses a brand name, a slogan and/or a logo.
Upon starting a business or creating a product/service, you would want to be identifiable among your competitors. Trade marking helps with the legal protection of this said identity (brand) is protecting it from many factors such as imitation. Using these two words interchangeably is actually a mistake.
There are many reasons why you need to trademark your business and we have narrowed it down to the following five:
- It Is A Valuable Asset:
It accumulates value as your business grows. The more reputable you are, the more valuable the brand is.
- It Offers Protection:
In the digital area where a business has little to no control over what is said about their products and services online, you want to make sure that your brand is protected enough to not be mistaken for a counterfeit.
- It Is A Communication Tool:
Whether it is on social media, a billboard or the product is in the literal hands of the consumer; it conveys a message about your business.
- They Do Not Cease:
They last a lifetime provided they are renewed every 10 years with the prescribed renewal fee, an upside of this is that you can branch out to any industry with the same trademark (we usually see this in the cosmetics industry)
- It Is Inexpensive:
When your business grows and become reputable, the trademark maintenance fee will not make much of a difference in the pockets.
Registering a trademark in South Africa is very easy and convenient. According to Smit & Van Wyk; who are patent, trademark and copyright attorneys; Intellectual Property attorneys would require you to provide them with a copy of your intended trademark (name or slogan, or logo). IP attorneys would also require details of all products or services that you intend applying the trademark to.
Trademarks are registered at the South African Trademarks Office and a separate foreign trademark registration should only be obtained if you wish to market your product in foreign countries as well. It takes up top 36 months for the certification to be obtained.
With the above information then we can see that branding is a vital part.
Our in-house graphic designers will help you with all your branding needs.
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