A trademark is any word, phrase, symbol, design, shape, group pf letters or numbers, or combination of these, used by a company as its brand or logo. Consumers can rely on trademarks to help them distinguish between different goods in the market place or to help them identify brands that they are loyal to.
WHY REGISTER A TRADEMARK?
Registering a trademark with CIPA gives your brand protection. Established brands are prone to copycats and counterfeits that may want to ride off their success. This confuses consumers in the marketplace, as they will not know which product is genuine and which is fake. It is therefore imperative for one to register their brand/logo as soon as it is developed so that it is protected. The intellectual property system works on a first-to-file basis, which means that the first person to submit a trademark for registration is the one who will be offered protection for the mark.
WHAT CAN BE REGISTERED AS A TRADEMARK?
An organisation’s logo and slogan, a tshirt brand, a family symbol, the name of an event of festival are some of the things that can be registered as trademarks.
STEP 1: FILING OF A TRADEMARK
* Write a letter to the Registrar – Industrial Property requesting to register a trademark.
* Complete Form 11 (Trademark Registration Form).
* Include the list of goods and services on which you plan to use your trademark according to the Nice Classification (see downloadables below)
* Attach 4 copies of your trademark printed in colour 5x5cm to your application.
* Submit your application at the nearest CIPA office with the prescribed fee.
STEP 2: PUBLICATION STAGE
* Write a cover letter requesting for your mark to be published in the journal and pay the prescribed fee.
* Your mark will be published for a period of 3 months, allowing the public to register any objections to its registration. If no objections are received, you will be asked to proceed to the registration stage.
STEP 3: REGISTRATION STAGE
* Write a cover letter requesting for your mark to be registered and pay the prescribed fee.
* You will receive a certificate for your trademark within 5 working days. Please note that you must renew your trademark every ten years.
NB: Foreign applications whose principal place of business is outside Botswana must appoint a local agent. For local applications this is optional.
TERRITORIAL NATURE OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
A registered trademark is only protected in the country of registration. We strongly recommend that you also protect your trademark in all countries where your goods will be sold, as well as in any country that may produce counterfeits of your goods. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire about registration in other countries.