Sectional Titles


One of the key issues to consider when contemplating a new development is obviously the location of the development. Site your development badly and noone will want to live there. Site it properly and you will be employing extra staff to handle all the sales enquiries! Often the name of the development is only given secondary consideration. This is a huge mistake as the name of the development is as important to the viability and success as the location.

Cast your mind to such wellknown developments such as Silver Lakes, Dainfern and Fancourt. These names all evoke images of success and prestige and carry with them tremendous brand value. The actual location of these developments is not immediately apparent from the names. What is, however, immediately apparent is the reputation and goodwill that is associated with these names. So while location is important the actual brand value of a development is associated with the name of the development.

Unfortunately it is as hard to establish a strong brand value in a development name as it is easy to destroy the brand value in a development name. Often third parties will be all too eager to associate their businesses with the brand value that has been established in your development name. If such appropriation of your valuable development name is allowed to occur it will not be long before the value of your development name is destroyed. As an example, consider your wonderful development name being used as part of the name of a tattoo parlour or a strip joint. The potential clients for your development may well be less inclined to purchase a property in your development if the name of the development is associated with an establishment that is less socially acceptable or family orientated. This is how easy it is for your development name to be appropriated and for the value to slowly, or swiftly, be eroded.

By now you are probably wondering how you can protect your valuable development name. The answer is through trade marks. By simply filing a trade mark for your development name, you will acquire rights that you might be able to enforce against third parties, that are trying to misappropriate your development name. A trade mark may well provide you with the leverage that you require to control the way your development name is used. Simply filing a trade mark for your development name will give you rights that you might be able to enforce against third parties, that are trying to appropriate your development name. You would likely want to allow some establishments to use the name while strenuously preventing other establishments from using the name. A trade mark will facilitate this process.

The question you need to ask is whether the millions that you have spent on establishing your development and building the value of your brand, justifies the low cost of applying for a trade mark.

This matter is very relevant to names of Sectional Title Schemes, which can only be amended by virtue of an order of court (see RCR 68 of 2008). - Editor SADJ

Republished with permission from SA Deeds Journal

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