TRADEMARK REGISTRATION

This is a means of protecting one’s intellectual property rights as they relate to their brand. A trademark is registered to provide the trademark holder protection under the law so that they can enjoy financial benefit that comes with the protection afforded by the law. A mark in terms of the Trademarks Act [Chapter 26:04] hereinafter referred to as “the Act” is defined as;

Section 2 of the Trade Marks Act defines a mark and trademark as

“mark”

includes a distinguishing guise, slogan, device, brand, heading, label, ticket, name, signature, word, letter or numeral or any combination thereof, whether rendered in two-dimensional or three-dimensional form

“trade mark”

means a mark which is used or proposed to be used in relation to goods or services for the purpose of—

(a)  indicating a connection in the course of trade between the goods or services and some person having the right, either as proprietor or as registered user, to use the mark, whether with or without any indication of the identity of that person; and

(b)  distinguishing the goods or services in relation to which the mark is used or proposed to be used, from the same kind of goods or services connected in the course of trade with any other person; but does not include a certification mark;

Trademarks give customers the ability to make swift, sure, and secure purchasing decisions by creating competition that stands to benefit the consumers. To put it another way, a trademark is any sign, term, name, logo, mark, design, or expression that is legally registered to represent a good or goods, service, or company. A trademark is registered to establish and distinguish one’s products and or services apart from others (competitors). Trademarks assist consumers to tell apart certain products and services through the brand.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO REGISTER A TRADEMARK?

  1. It protects one’s brand such that in the event that someone uses your logo or brand name, you can pursue legal action against them.
  2. Others are prevented from using your trademark for their products. It is the norm that when registering a mark it must be taken into account that it is not similar to another mark to the extent that they cause confusion to the consumer, and they are not able to tell the products or services

REGISTRATION

Registration of the trademark can be done at either the Zimbabwe Intellectual Property Office (ZIPO) or the African Regional Intellectual Property Office (ARIPO).

The process of registration entails:

  1. A trademark search that starts of the process.
  2. Classification of goods and or services (using the classes provided to see which classes the goods fall into).
  3. Submission of the application at the appropriate office.
  4. Examination takes place.
  5. Acceptance of the mark by the relevant office.
  6. Advertisement of the mark.
  7. Period for opposition of registration of trademark.
  8. Trademark registered.

Once registration has been successfully completed, you have the exclusive right to use that mark or name to the exclusion of third parties. Get in touch with your designated agents for the registration of trademarks and enjoy the benefits and protection.

This has been published for general information purposes only – get in touch with a Lawyer.

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