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Benelux trademark protects Belgium, Netherlands and Luxemburg. In order to obtain trademark protection in Benelux you can register your trademark in two ways: First option is that you request registration in the entire European Union with one single application; this can be done via the European Union Trademark which grants trademark protection in the 28 country members of the EU (more info here). Second option is that you register directly your trademark in Benelux. If you want to proceed this way please follow the steps described below.
Step 1 - Trademark Comprehensive Study
Before filing your trademark in Botswana it is important that you evaluate possible obstacles that may arise during registration process. Our Trademark Comprehensive Study will not only list similar trademarks (graphic & phonetic) that may conflict with yours, but also give you an Attorney's opinion about registration probabilities and the class(es) that belong your product/services.
Trademark Class Recommendation
Graphic & Phonetic Similarity Trademark Search
Trademark Attorneys Analysis & Advice
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Step 2 - Trademark Registration Request
Your Trademark Application will be filed by specialized attorneys in Botswana, who will carry out all needed tasks before the Trademark Office in Botswana in order to obtain registration approval. As soon as your trademark is filed we will send you a filing report which will include application number and date, plus a scanned copy of filed trademark application in Botswana.
Process Handled by Experienced Trademark Attorneys
Filing Report & Scanned Copy of Application
Online Tracking of the Registration Process
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Step 3 - Trademark Registration Certificate
Once your trademark application is approved, our attorneys will complete all necessary requirements in order to obtain the registration certificate in Botswana. After the certificate is issued, it will be forwarded to your address along wit h a registration report specifying registration number, registration date and any special consideration that should be taken into account in Botswana.
Process Handled by Experienced Trademark Attorneys
Delivery of the Registration Certificate & Report
Monitor & Reminder of important dates
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 Frequently Asked Questions
Trademark Registration
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Is there a time frame for the trademark registration approval?

The average time frame for the registration approval is 16 months, if no objections or oppositions arise.

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If I register my trademark in Botswana, do I have protection in other territories?

The protection for registered mark is limited only in Botswana.

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Do I need to sign a Power of Attorney?

Yes. All applicants must sign a power of attorney.

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Are there any benefits from a pre-filing use of the trademark?

Yes. The applicant can benefit from pre-filing use of the mark in the following ways:

  • Can be used as a proof of mark’s distinctive qualities
  • Can be used to overcome opposition on the ground of non-distinctiveness
  • Notorious marks that are not yet registered are protected by court against infringement
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Will there be problems in case I don’t use my trademark after registration?

When a registered mark is not used within 3 years from the date it was registered, it becomes vulnerable to cancellation.

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What are the types of trademark that can be registered in Botswana?

Botswana trademark law accepts the following marks for registration:

  • Names
  • Words
  • Slogans
  • Colours
  • Devices
  • Holograms
  • Some 3-dimensional shapes
  • Get-up or trade dress
  • Service marks
  • Collective marks
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What are the phases of application after a trademark has been filed in Botswana?

Trademark application in Botswana goes through 3 phases namely:

 

  1. Examination – The mark is examined if it is registrable
  2. Publication – The mark is published and made accessible to the public
  3. Registration – The mark is finally registered once third party oppositions are dismissed
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What type of trademark is not registrable?

Botswana trademark law prohibits the following marks from registration:

  • Marks that do not follow the moral standards in Botswana or marks that contradict public policies or laws
  • Marks that are considered as generic or common
  • Marks that bear flags, symbols or emblem of any nation/state/region or international organization without consent
  • Marks that do not show distinctiveness
  • Marks that are primarily used as a geographic name
  • Marks that are notorious or well-known
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Does Botswana use the "Nice Classification" system?

Yes. Botswana follows the Nice Classification system.

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Does the Community Trademark apply for Botswana?

The Community Trademark is not effective in Botswana.

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Is there any possibility to claim priority in Botswana?

The applicant can claim priority if the following conditions are met:

  • The applicant’s home country is a Paris Convention member
  • The home application date was filed six months prior to filing of application in Botswana
  • The applicant’s home country is World Trade Organization member
  • An international registration is accepted in Botswana
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What do I need to do to satisfy the use requirement?

Registered marks must be used for commercial purposes within 3 years from the registration date. Trademark use must occur in Botswana.

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Once my trademark has been registered, for how many years will be valid?

A registered mark is valid for 10 years beginning on the date of application.

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What will be the renewal date of my trademark?

The first renewal date is computed 10 years from the date when the application was filed.

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Is it legal to use my trademark even if it is not yet registered?

Owners can legally use a trademark for goods/products even if it’s not yet registered.

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Does having a registered trademark in Botswana give me any right?

The “first to file” reserves ownership right to a trademark. Registration is a necessity in order to obtain legal rights to a trademark.

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What is the web address of the trademark national office?

Applicants may access Botswana’s national trademark office online by visiting this link: http://www.mtinamesearch.gov.bw/search/

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Is there any need to use my trademark before I apply for registration?

No. The applicant is not required to use the mark prior to registration. Intention to use the mark is also not necessary.

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Is it possible to cancel a registration?

Yes. Trademark registrations are possible to get cancelled on the same grounds as for opposition:

  

  • Earlier right or proprietary right
  • Descriptive mark
  • Not distinctive mark
  • Functional mark
  • Breach of copyright
  • Notorious mark right
  • Use of protected flags or emblems
  • Registration of mark using an agent or representative
  • Trade name right
  • Registered design right
  • Personal name right
  • Generic mark
  • Mark indicates a geographical location
  • Mark that are considered immoral
  • Mark does not comply with the rules under Industrial Property Act, 2010
  • Mark is misleading
  • Mark is identical to a notorious mark in Botswana
  • Mark is similar to protected state flags, emblems or armorial bearings
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Who can contest my trademark registration?

Licensees, owners of earlier registered rights, or any interested individuals or companies may oppose a trademark registration.

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Can a Trademark Application be opposed?

Yes. The following are basis for opposition:

  • Earlier right or proprietary right
  • Descriptive mark
  • Not distinctive mark
  • Functional mark
  • Breach of copyright
  • Notorious mark right
  • Use of protected flags or emblems
  • Registration of mark using an agent or representative
  • Trade name right
  • Registered design right
  • Personal name right
  • Generic mark
  • Mark indicates a geographical location
  • Mark that are considered immoral
  • Mark does not comply with the rules under Industrial Property Act, 2010
  • Mark is misleading
  • Mark is identical to a notorious mark in Botswana
  • Mark is similar to protected state flags, emblems or armorial bearings
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Are there any rights established by having a registered trademark?

Owners of registered marks have the following rights:

  • Use the mark exclusively
  • Oppose later conflicting trademark application
  • Request for the cancellation of later conflicting trademark registration
  • Sue third parties for copyright infringement or using the mark without consent
  • License other entities to use the mark
  • Request for seizure of counterfeit products bearing the mark
  • Obtain damages from third parties that infringed the mark
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How long is the opposition period?

The opposition period lasts 3 months beginning on the publication date.

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Is Botswana a member of the Madrid System?

Botswana agreed with the Madrid Protocol.

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Do I need to present periodic statement of use?

Trademark owners are not mandated to submit periodic statements of use.

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When should I renew my trademark?

Renewals for trademark are done every 10 years.

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What will be the renewal date of my trademark?

The first renewal date is computed 10 years from the date when the application was filed.

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Is there any documentation that should be presented when renewing a trademark?

A signed power of attorney is required. Note: notarization is not necessary.

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If my trademark expires, do I have a grace period?

Owners are given a 6-month grace period to restore expired trademarks.

Basic Questions
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What is a trademark?

A trademark identifies products and services in order to distinguish them in the market. The name, the verbal element, is not the only component that distinguishes a trademark; figurative elements such as logos, design, images, colors and sounds also create an identity that can be protected through trademark registration.

 With the registration, the owner (person or company) becomes the owner of the trademark. The registration is given for a particular country/territory, for certain products or services and for a specific term. While the registration is in force, only the owner may use the trademark in the market where the trademark is registered.

 Some symbols to consider:

® Means the trademark is registered.

TM Some countries use this symbol to show that the trademark has been filed at the trademarks office and is still undergoing the registration process.

SM Some countries use this symbol to show that the service mark has been filed at the trademarks office and is still undergoing the registration process.

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What is the difference between a trademark, patent and copyright ?

There are many ways to lay claim to your work. Trademarks, patents, and copyrights offer protection for owners of intellectual property. A trademark helps people find your goods and services. When recognized as a registered mark, it protects your right to exclusively use the image, logo, phrases, or words to distinguish your goods or a service in the market.

patent safeguards ideas and inventions. It gives a creator or inventor exclusive rights that prevent other people from making, using, or profiting in any way from an invention or creative innovation without the consent of the inventor.

You cannot patent an idea because we all have them. You must materialize your concept into a tangible invention, innovative product, device, or process that offers new solutions to a problem to secure a patent.

Copyright protect published, performed, or printed creative works. People who produce artistic or musical work seek to protect their “right” to stop others from “copying” what they do. Copyright protection protects any original creative works of authors including:

  1. a) artwork (2 or 3 dimensional),
  2. b) photographs, graphic drawings, and designs as well as other forms of creativity;
  3. c) songs, music, and sound recordings of all kinds;
  4. d) books, manuscripts, publications, and another written work; and
  5. e) plays, movies, shows, and other performance arts.

 

A trademark, patent, or copyright are all examples of ways you protect your intellectual property. Your right to control and benefit from your efforts are increasingly important in our global economy. Registering a formal claim to your property is a critical step in protecting what you own.

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What is the difference between TM, SM, ® and other symbols?

You recognize a registered trademark by the symbol of a circle-R following the trademark name or graphic image. Various typographic symbols show copyrights and patents. The presence or absence of a symbol does not change the validity of the registration, but a best practice is to use a circle-R or circle-C for copyrights every time you mention your intellectual property in print. These symbols give legal grounds for claiming damages in trademark litigation. The following is a list of some typical marks you can use on a web page, in written content, or even in a marketing letter.

  • TM: The TM sign shows the brand name for an unregistered trademark classified as a product (classes 1 to 34). The owner uses this sign to mark what they believe is their brand mark.
  • SM: The SM sign is identical to the TM sign except it designates a service mark (classes 35 to 45).
  • ®: ®: Use the ® symbol once you register a trademark or service mark. It shows that the country authority has approved the registration.
  • ©: Use the © symbol to mark a copyright. The word copyright is substitute sign for Follow it with the year of the publication and owner's name. Use it whether the work has obtained copyright registration or not.
  • Patent Pending: The phrase Patent Pending shows that you filed a patent application but cannot guarantee the application's approval.
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What are trademark classes?

Trademark Offices around the world use classes to divide commercial products and services into defined categories.  When you apply for your trademark to protect your brand, you must define the class or classes that you believe are best describe your business activity. 

There are 45 classes – 34 for products and 11 for services – which countries from around the world have standardized for international use under the 'Nice International Classification'.

These classes group all known products and services. You can register the same trademark if there are similar classes, for example, you may register the trademark KING for computers in class 23, and you can also register the same trademark in class 24 for cosmetics. 

Trademark protection only extends to commercial use within your specified classes.  It is possible, then for two entities conducting business in different classes to use identical or similar trademarks and for each entity to enjoy full trademark protection in their respective classes. You can choose multiple classes under which to conduct business if you feel the protection must extend beyond only one class.

You can perform a search of your class with the following tool Trademark Class Search

Trademark Search
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Why do I need to perform a trademark search?

Once you have a product or service and think you have a name for it, how do you know you can use it as your own? What happens if you unintentionally use a registered trademark name? 

Too many people use a name without knowing if they have legal coverage, and they put up big marketing campaigns with names that later they find they cannot use. Performing a Comprehensive Search Study before you decide to register your brand mark is a wise decision especially when you consider future risks of litigation. 

It is a good idea to conduct a Study before you start doing business with a trademark.  It may not be in your best interest to use a mark if another company is already actively conducting business in the same class.  That company may be able to object to your use of the trademark and prohibit you from using the mark in a court of law.

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Do I need an Attorney to perform a Trademark Search?

No, you don’t, but if you have little or no experience dealing with trademarks, we suggest you find professional help. Our company offers the service Trademark Comprehensive Study. The Study will give you details about the classes where might want to register your trademark, it will also list identical and similar trademarks, and finally, it will provide you an Attorney's recommendation about registration possibilities and use of your trademark.

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Where can I perform a trademark search?

If you have some knowledge about trademark registration, you can search using any online trademark search tool. If not, we recommend hiring a trademark attorney or trademark service like Nominus.com to handle your trademark registration requirements, especially a trademark search because the entire process is complex and takes time.

Notice that if you do not complete the application process carefully, the registration process could be extended for many months and cost far more than you intended to pay. The trademark search is a critical part of the process.

A broad trademark search is essential in today's marketplace given the increasing number of unregistered and common law marks. Globalization of markets also raises the question of entering international markets and registration of marks in foreign countries to protect your brand and your property rights.

You need to understand that even a completed comprehensive trademark search does not guarantee acceptance and registration of your mark. A Trademark Comprehensive Study includes a more extensive review process and, more significantly, a formal opinion estimating the probability of your application's acceptance.

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