n South African Law Journal - Substantive and procedural facets of honest concurrent use in South African trade mark law

Volume 127, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0258-2503
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2177



This article deals with the situation in statutory trade mark law where reliance is placed on the honest concurrent use of a mark. This may occur in the situation where the Registrar of Trade Marks has issued a citation against a pending application, citing, amongst others, a conflict with a registered mark. It may also occur where a party already has a registration, and relies on such honest concurrent use to prevent the expungement of his registration. The position under previous legislation, as well as that under the current Trade Marks Act 194 of 1993, is considered in the article. A number of factors are taken into account in order to ascertain whether such use can be considered to satisfy the requirements of the Act. All these factors are examined in the article. The question of knowledge of the mark has been particularly problematic, and this question is fully investigated. It is argued that in the evaluation of a claim of honest concurrent use in South African law, English case law is of particular relevance.

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