OAPI Update – Trademark Classifications – Intellectual Property


South Africa: OAPI Update – Trademark Classifications

To print this article, all you need to do is be registered or log in to Mondaq.com.


On February 28, 2022, the OAPI Intellectual Property Office issued a notice advising that the registry requires that specifications for trademarks and services contain clear and accurate descriptions. As a general rule, trademark applicants are discouraged from using the general class headings used in the Nice Classification System, except in circumstances where it would meet the required standards of clarity and precision. The following descriptions contained in the Nice class headings will no longer be acceptable without delineation, as the registry deems them too broad or vague:

Class 7: machinery

Class 37: Repair; installation services

Class 40: Materials processing

Class 45: Personal and social services rendered by third parties to meet the needs of individuals.

The Registry also advised that the following product and service descriptions are considered too vague and should be clarified or delineated (to describe the nature, purpose or other characteristics of the products and services involved) when applicants seek to include them in brand specifications:

  • Merchandising items

  • Fair trade products

  • Designer items

  • gift items

  • Memories

  • Collectibles

  • Household items

  • Gadgets (electronic or not)

  • Leisure items

  • Promotional items

  • Commemorative items

  • wellness products

  • Associative services

  • Facilities Management Services

  • Retail services

  • Wholesale services

  • Electronic products, appliances/instruments, electrical/electronics

In the event that a trademark applicant includes any of the above descriptions in a trademark specification without further delineation or clarification, the Registry reserves the right to issue a formal action requesting a correction and allow the applicant to respond. within 3 months from the date the office action is issued.

As a transitional measure, the Registry will not charge official fees for corrections that may be required for trademark applications filed between January 1, 2022 and June 30, 2022. Thereafter, correction fees will apply.

Industrial property titles

OAPI has confirmed that the Registry has now resumed the practice of issuing original registration and other industrial property title certificates, a practice that was suspended during the pandemic.

The IP Office OAPI is also deploying additional resources to eliminate the review backlog for all intellectual property registration applications.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

POPULAR ARTICLES ON: South African Intellectual Property

Types of marks: everything you need to know

Abu Naja

As industries race to gain a legal monopoly on their unique innovations through trademark registration, we are inundated with an ever-increasing number of products with

The New UAE Copyright Law 2021: Key Takeaways

Gowling WLG

At the end of 2021, the government of the United Arab Emirates passed the biggest legislative changes in its history by enacting 50 new laws which coincided with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the United Arab Emirates. One of these new laws was the long-running Copyright Act of the United Arab Emirates.


Comments are closed.