Getting a new business up and running isn’t a walk in the park – and it often feels as if you’re doing a marathon at sprint speeds. As intellectual property (IP) law specialists, Spoor & Fisher can help you set the pace and go the distance – with a full IP service that is effective, affordable and tailored to your needs.
Where does IP fit in the SMME picture? First and foremost, your start-up is a business and in order to function within the framework of the law, it is beneficial to register as a company. This must be done at the CIPC and there are certain formal requirements. It is possible to follow a DIY route but this can be time-consuming, confusing and frustrating, so specialist advice and assistance can speed things up and make the process less exhausting.
These formalities are just one part of the formula because intellectual property is a key asset of your new business. The ideas that lie at the heart of your enterprise are the product of your inventiveness and innovation and it is essential that your intellectual property is protected right from the start. You must also be in a position to extract the maximum possible benefit from them – and this starts with establishing legal ownership of your IP by, for example, registering a trade mark and an Internet domain name.
Trade marks identify the brand owner of a product or service and can be the most valuable asset on your company’s balance sheet. By registering your trade mark you can prevent others from tripping you up by counterfeiting your goods and hitching a free ride on your brand equity.
You must also be sure that you are not inadvertently stepping on anyone else’s toes by trampling their rights. This entails performing a trade mark clearance search to ensure that the proposed trade mark of your start-up does not infringe the rights of an already registered owner.
“It’s easy! Let me show you where to start.”
“Ensure that your intellectual property is protected.”
A start-up needs an Internet presence and for this to be effective and secure a domain name must be registered.
What is in the package?
• A free 1 hour consultation at Spoor & Fisher’s office.
• A trade mark clearance search and filing of one trade mark application for a single category of goods or services. As trade marks cannot be registered “across the board”, the application must be filed only in the relevant category or categories.
• Registration of a single Internet domain name (.co.za or .com)
• Company name reservation and registration of a standard company.
The private company will be registered with a standard company constitution (Memorandum of Incorporation). This type of Memorandum of Incorporation is used by “owner managed companies” where the shareholder(s) and the director(s) is (are) one and the same person(s). By adopting the standard Memorandum of Incorporation, the directors’ powers are not limited and the company elects not to appoint an auditor or to have the financial statements of the company audited. Once the company is registered, you will receive the following “after incorporation documents” from Spoor & Fisher: a. Inaugural minutes; b. First share certificate(s); c. Electronic Company Register.
What is not included?
• If a risk of infringement is identified in the trade mark search, Spoor & Fisher will advise you on how to limit the risk. Alternatively, if your trade mark is not available for use and registration, it will be necessary to choose a new name. If necessary, Spoor & Fisher will assist you with a new search at rates aligned with our existing new business initiatives. This will entail additional costs.
• The package offer does not apply to trade mark examination requirements that require a response, registration costs, objections to and maintenance of trade marks. Examination costs will usually be incurred approximately 12-15 months after your trade mark application has been filed. Spoor & Fisher will advise you through the trade mark registration process in a cost effective manner.
• Spoor & Fisher does not host domain names for websites or e-mail purposes. We can recommend hosting service providers who will host the e-mail address and/or the website. We are also able to provide certain value-added domain name services such as portfolio audits and strategies for an additional fee.
• If you decide to make any changes to the company name, provisions in the Memorandum of Incorporation or require a Shareholders’ Agreement, these may be carried out and recorded at the CIPC after the incorporation of the standard private company. Spoor & Fisher’s standard charges will be negotiated and applied for these changes or additional requirements.