The World intellectual property Organisation defines Trademarks as expressions ,denominations or signs,it may constitute;a sign,words(uncluding company names,surnames,forenames,geographic names or any other words or set of words,brand,heading,level signature,letters,numbers or combinations thereof,
Registration of trademarks within the CEMAC Region are done at the African Intellectual Property Organisation(OAPI) ,and the fees demanded for the registration depends on whether the Trademark or brand is coloured or not.For coloured trademarks you pay in 450,000frs(Four Hundred and fifty thousand Francs) and 400.000frs(Four Hundred thousands)Francs for non coloured.
I have had a couple of clients, Cameroonian start ups contact me with the intention of registering their Trademarks or Brand ,they come to me all excited and with alot of enthusiasm but once the Registration fee is mentioned,you see them shrink and quickly shy away from undertaking the process of protecting their ideas and this is rather unfortunate as their ideas,logo or brands are valuable property assets,calling card and ideally one way in which the public always will remember or make mention of.
Here are a few reasons why you should have your trademarks Registered.
1.It allows the business owner or organisation to have exclusive use of the trademark.It is imperative that you register it because non registration will suggest that you do not have exclusive right to use it,this means that if someone were to use thesame mark as you and go ahead to register it without your knowledge then that person will exclusive right over it and not you,therefore it is paramount that you register your trademark.
2.You avoid answering and paying damages to any third party claiming trademark infringements.
3.It allows you have use of your trademark.
4.You can take legal action against anyone who uses your trademark without your permission,sell and/or license.
5.Your trademark allows customers to find and identify your products.
6.Gives assurance that there is a conflicting trademark.
Official registration of a trademark attracts a number of other legal benefits as well….we will be happy to discuss them with you.
Fru Shella Chi esq