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Welcome back to another chapter of DID YOU KNOW! where we break down everything business and finance simply for SMEs to understand. We continue our three part miniseries looking at how CIPC works and if you have not read part 1 yet please take the time to go and read through it so that you can follow along Click Here 

In Part 2 we will look at the functionality of CIPC as well as when you should use it, or better yet understand the purpose of the function in greater detail because it can be a very useful piece of information later down the line in your business.


  • Registration of Companies, Co-operatives, and Intellectual Property Rights
    • Trademarks
    • Patents
    • Copyright
  • To disclose Information on its business registers and the maintenance thereof
  • To promote education and awareness of Company & Intellectual Property Law

In our last chapter we covered the different types of businesses you can register and the next function of CIPC is mainly for inventors, researchers and academia who wish to protect their Intellectual Property from others, and one day sell the rights to their work or monetise it now within their business holding as an asset.


  1. 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.

  1. Why should I get a trademark?

If you are manufacturing goods or offering a service, it helps you to have a trade mark. When people see or hear about a trade mark, they remember the goods or services associated with it. Your trade mark distinguishes you from other people in the same line of work, and gives you an identity in the market place. Goods are things that can be manufactured, such as a radios, clothing, medicine, cosmetics, jewellery and cars, goods can also be perishables, such as plants, meat, milk, fruits, and vegetables. A service is work done by a person or a group of people for other people. Some examples are a restaurant, a construction company and a food delivery service.

  1. Who owns the trademark once it is registered?

Any owner – you do not need to be a South African citizen to register a trade mark, but you must be using the trade mark in the Republic of South Africa. To register the trade mark you must have a business address in South Africa. If you are represented by someone with an address in the Republic of South Africa, the representative must be an admitted attorney in South Africa. Trade Mark applicants MAY NOT be represented by auditors, accountants, etc.

  1. Where do I register a trademark in South Africa?
  • CIPC administers the Register of Trade Marks which is a record of all the trade marks that have been formally applied for and registered in the Republic of South Africa.
  • IP attorneys would also require details of all products or services that you intend applying the trademark to. Trademarks are registered at the South African Trademarks Office and a separate foreign trademark registration should only be obtained if you wish to market your product in foreign countries as well.
  1. How much does it cost to register a trademark at CIPC?
  • The application fee for a trade mark is R 590.00 for each class in which you apply, and for each spare trade mark. This amount will not be refunded if the application is refused.
  • IP Attorneys will need to assist you in the process so it can depend on the trademark itself as well as the complex laws which need to be followed correctly to get a trademark.
  1. What are the different types of trademark I can register in South Africa?
  2. Collective trademarks – A group of traders may register a “collective” trade mark for use by its members only. The purpose is to show that a member of the association provides the goods or services associated with that specific association/organisation. The collective mark may often be used together with the individual company’s trade mark. When a collective trade mark has been registered, the owner may allow use of the mark by any person who complies with the regulations relating to its registration. Geographical names or other indications of origin may be registered as collective trademarks e.g. Stellenbosch Farmers Winery.
  3. Certification trademarks – A certification mark exists to indicate that a product is of a certain quality or has certain characteristics rather than to distinguish it from the products of other traders e.g. the cotton mark, the wool mark, the leather mark.

For additional Information Please click Here

For additional information Please click Here

Side Note: if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to use the links provide above but if you still need more clarity on how it all work you can e-mail us and we will connect you to a IP attorney with an excellent reputation to assist you to start the complex process to protect your invention.


  1. What is a patent?

A patent is a form of intellectual property that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention for a limited period of years in exchange for publishing and enabling public disclosure of the invention.

  1. When should I get a patent?

If you are an inventor that has improved on a previous patent then there is a provision made for registration of a patent of addition. If it is an improvement on somebody else’s invention, you can obtain a dependent patent, as far as that improvement is patentable.

  1. Who owns the patent once it is registered?

Once the patent has been successfully registered with all the correct authorities and organisations the patent specification belongs to you but is subject to the annual renewal fee that you will pay over 20 years of the patent lifespan.

  1. Where do I register a patent in South Africa?

To register a patent application you will need to submit it to CIPC via their website or in person but you should still consult a patent attorney to make sure that the application is completed correctly.

  1. What is the cost of registering a patent in South Africa?

The Patent Cooperation Treaty allows an individual/resident of the member states of that treaty to lodge an application in one office (Receiving Office) and 31 months thereafter the applicant may enter the PCT National Phase in all countries, members of PCT in which there is intention to seek protection. The PCT application is processed through the International Phase and the National or Regional Phase.

  • Transmittal fee:R 500.00, Preparation of each Priority: R 200.00, Basic fee: R 2 620.00, if the application contains more than 30 sheets: R 60.00 for each sheet in excess of 30 sheets.

For additional information Please click Here

For additional information Please click Here

Side Note: if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to use the links provide above but if you still need more clarity on how it all work you can e-mail us and we will connect you to a patent attorneys with an excellent reputation to assist you to start the complex process to protect your invention.


  1. What is a copyright?

Copyright is an exclusive right granted by law to the authors of original works of authorship. If you create an original work that people can see or hear, you have copyright. Having copyright means that you own that work and you can control its commercial use. Your copyright can protect your work from being copied or reproduced without your permission.

  1. When do I need a copyright?

You need a copyright if you want to control the use of your work for monetary gain (economic right). Copyright also gives you a moral right as the author of literary or musical works (this is the right to claim honour or reputation as the author).

  1. Who owns the copyright once it is registered?

You cannot have copyright on an original idea. The idea must be put into material form such as a book, a CD, painting, picture, screenplay or a film. Other works subject to copyright are published editions, computer programs, broadcasts, etc.

  1. How do I apply for a copyright in South Africa?

Most works eligible for copyright protection do not require registration or other formalities except for cinematography films. You can create your own copyright by putting the words “COPYRIGHT” or “COPYRIGHT RESERVED” or an internationally recognized copyright symbol followed by your name and the year (e.g. © Baloyi 2011). The above words must be put on the original work.

  1. What are the different types of copyright protected in South Africa?

The following is protected under the South African copyright Literary works

  • Musical works
  • Artistic works
  • Cinematograph films
  • Sound recordings
  • Broadcasts
  • Program-carrying signals
  • Published editions
  • Computer programs

For additional information Please click Here 

Side Note:  If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to use the link provide above but if you need more clarity on how it all works you can e-mail us and we will connect you to an IP attorney with an excellent reputation to assist you to start the complex process to protect your invention.

We have come to the end of part 2 of our miniseries into CIPC lesser-known functions and it was very interesting writing this chapter I have learnt a few new things myself and in our next chapter, we look at other lesser less-known functionalities of CIPC that could be useful to as a business owner or just useful information that you can impart to someone else in your inner circle.  “Knowledge is power” so stay tuned for more interesting Did You Know! chapters.

Yvette Pugin

Yvette Pugin


A force to be reckoned with: Qualified Senior Bookkeeper with 40 years experience in Administration, both in Corporate and the SME space. Having started working in the 1980’s when computers were still a dream; her experience was gained with manual systems. After working with SME Suppliers in the corporate environment, it became apparent that there is a need for not only education, but system management for SME’s.