What is a Trademark?
A trademark is a type of intellectual property consisting of a recognizable sign, design, or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others, although trademarks used to identify services are usually called service marks.
How To Register A Trademark In Namibia
Requirements for registering a trademark:
- A trademark must be distinctive, meaning it must distinguish itself or be fit enough to differentiate goods/services of the business it represents from those of other businesses in the same industry or beyond.
- A trademark must not be laudatory/self-praising e.g. first class…, best quality…., top quality……, best ever etc.
- A trademark must not consist of offensive, derogatory, immoral or confusing elements/phrases or any words perceived to be an insult in some cultures/beliefs/communities/traditions etc.
- It must also not be identical or confusingly similar to an already registered trade mark by another applicant in respect of similar goods/services.
- A trademark should not consist of a code of arms, seal or national flag; or any indication of State patronage.
Procedures for registering a trademark:
- Firstly it is advisable that applicants of trademarks conduct a trademarks similarity search on the BIPA trademark database, to confirm the availability of the mark which is being applied for.
- Once certain that the trademark is indeed available, the applicant must obtain a Trademark Application form (Form TM 1) from the IP Office, or the MITSMED Regional Offices.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Can I register a trademark without a company in Namibia?
There’s no legal requirement for you to register a trademark. Using a business name can give you ‘common law’ rights, even without formally registering it.
How much does trademark registration cost in Namibia?
The government fees for trademark registration is Rs.9000 per application per class for company. The government fees for trademark registration is Rs. 4500 per application per class for individual.
Can I use TM without registering in Namibia?
The (TM) symbol actually has no legal meaning. You can use the symbol on any mark that your company uses without registering it. The most common use of the TM symbol is on a new phrase, logo, word, or design that a company plans to register through the USPTO.
Do trademarks expire in Namibia?
How long does a trademark last in Namibia? In Namibia, a federal trademark can potentially last forever, but it has to be renewed every ten years. If the mark is still being used between the 5th and the 6th year after it was registered, then the registration can be renewed.
Can I trademark a name already in use but not trademarked in Namibia?
If you’re wondering, “can you trademark something that already exists,” the simple answer is “no.” Generally speaking, if somebody has used a trademark before you, you can’t register the trademark for yourself.
Is it better to trademark a name or logo?
For this reason, you should apply for both trademark registrations if you have a business name and a logo you wish to protect. If someone directly counterfeits your goods or services using both a similar name and logo, you want to have the advantage of the protection under both a word mark and a design mark.
How long do trademarks take to be approved in Namibia?
There are many factors that affect how long it takes to register a trademark. In fact, there’s no guarantee your trademark will ever register, as it may be refused for various legal reasons. Usually, the process takes 12 to 18 months.
Can I sue someone for using my trademark in Namibia?
A trademark owner who believes its mark is being infringed may file a civil action (i.e., lawsuit) in either state court or federal court for trademark infringement, depending on the circumstances. However, in most cases, trademark owners choose to sue for infringement in federal court
What happens if someone trademarks your business name in Namibia?
Even if you’ve trademarked your business, you may not have an infringement case if the other business’s use of your name isn’t harming your business in some way. Another company’s use of your name will likely only become a problem if you’re doing business in that area of the world.
Should I get a trademark or LLC first?
In many cases, a business will want to start the trademark application as soon as their LLC or corporation paperwork is filed. By filing for a trademark prior to launch, you can be sure that your name is protected once you begin commercial sales. However, there may be an even stronger reason to apply early.
Is logo a trademark?
Generally, logos and designs that are used as brand identities for representing businesses are protected as trademarks. As they are original artistic works that have an element of creativity, they are also protected as copyrights.