What A Trademark Is And What It Aims To Protect? | Legal Articles


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What A Trademark Is And What It Aims To Protect?

Many people prefer some products over others, and for various reasons. It could be that the preferred products are of better quality, reasonably priced or even for sentimental significance. Sometimes other products have an established and unbeatable reputation in the market, resonating well with a particular section of the population better than other products. Businesses therefore, do all they can to protect their brand and image, so that other players may not benefit from their established reputations in driving sales. 

what is a trademark

One of the ways in which businesses achieve the protection of their brands is by registering ideas, known as intellectual property. Patents, trademarks and copyright are examples of intellectual property, which can be registered in order to exclude other parties from using them (ideas).

A trademark, generally speaking, is a mark (sign, logo, slogan etc) that one or an entity intends to use for the purpose of identifying their goods or services from others of the same kind. In other words, it is a sign that identifies certain goods or services that are offered by a particular entity or individual. The promotion of a trademark offers an individual/entity recognition and financial reward, in some respect, because some customers may remain loyal to that particular brand for a very long time.

Whilst rights to a mark can be acquired through use under common law, the benefits presented by registering a trade mark are immense:

  • It deters potential parties who may intend to infringe the right of use;
  • Registration offers the owner the right to use the mark;
  • It offers a readily available premise, to enforce the rights to that trademark.


It is important therefore, for one to inquire with the CIPC and the Trade Marks Office to check if there are similar trademarks already registered, in order not to infringe on the rights to a trademark of another party. In our next instalment on intellectual property, particularly trademarks, we shall discuss what infringement is and possible remedies for the owner of the trade mark.

Van Deventer and Van Deventer Incorporated assists with labour law, civil and general litigation, criminal litigation, human rights law, family law matters such as maintenance, divorces, protection orders, Rule 43 applications, Rule 58 applications and others. We also assist in personal injury, company law and deceased estates amidst an array of others. 

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