South Africa is presently not a signatory to the Madrid Agreement. Multi-class applications are also not allowed. In terms of the Paris Convention, applicants can claim priority from a foreign trade mark application to be extended to South Africa provided the South African application is filed within 6 months from the filing date of the first foreign application for that mark. A trade mark is a mark that is used (or proposed to be used) in relation to goods or services for the purpose of distinguishing those goods or services from similar or identical goods or services connected in trade with another party.
The costs of filing trade mark applications in South Africa in one class is as follows:
If not submitted on the filing date, the priority documents must be submitted within 3 months of filing date.
The trade mark application is examined to ensure compliance with all formal requirements and also to ensure that there is no prior conflicting trade mark on the register. The registry will issue an official action if there are further requirements or objections.
Once registered, rights in a South African trade mark are backdated to the date of application. If Convention priority is claimed, then the priority date is deemed to be the date of application.
Trade marks can be renewed at 10-yearly intervals (calculated from the date of application) in perpetuity.
Renewal fees can be paid up to six months after the renewal due date upon payment of the applicable fine.
It is not necessary to pay renewal fees for pending applications.
South Africa has been under lockdown due to COVID-19 since 27 March 2020 and we have moved to an alert level system having levels 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 with level 5 being total lockdown.
We are now at alert level 1. As from 1 October 2020 and until further notice we will be operating with 75% staff complement at the office for the safety of our staff. There may be some delays but we will try to limit the impact as much as possible. CIPC (Patent Office) is open and filings continue as normal. However, since our Patent Office is not yet working with a full staff compliment delays in receiving official communications can be expected.