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SA Trademark Cosmetic Brand

Trademark for a beauty (skincare or cosmetic) product

Tips for protecting cosmetic brands

Trademarks with numerous words appear to be the choicest, when it comes to picking beauty, skincare or cosmetic product brands.

Foreign words, particularly French and Swiss words, are very attractive to cosmetic consumers: L'OREAL, ESTEE LAUDER, LANCOME, GIVENCHY and LA MER. As a general rule of thumb, foreign names are exotic and attractive ‐ like the Japanese SENSAI brand. Think of brands such as VICHY LABORATOIRES ‐ you can almost imagine yourself lounging in French hot springs.

Or be proudly African and follow the footsteps of AFRICOLOGY or AFRICAN EXTRACTS. How about using your own name, like BOBBI BROWN and LAURA MERCIER.

Not only are company names protected, but so too are individual product names. And, the same rules apply. Consider including words like "eau" ("water" in French) or "beaute" ("beauty" in French) or "le" (or "la") and "de" (which is just a fancy way of saying "the" or "from"). "Créme" is rather tempting too.

Cosmetics are going organic so give some thought to including words that elicit images of lush, green forests and botanical gardens, like Boots' BOTANICS range or DR. ORGANIC. PHYSICIANS FORMULA alludes to a more scientific cosmetic product, if that is your objective.

Other good, descriptive words to use are "hydrate", "regenerate", "advanced", "restore", "pure", "youth" or "essence". Clinique has registered the trademark MOISTURE SURGE, which promises any beauty‐conscious customer (and who isn't?) a quenching and hydrating skin treatment.

Apply for trademark registration of the words in block capitals, which will give you protection for all styles of the name. If you ever re‐style your cosmetic packaging, you won't need to file a new trademark application. Generally, logos are simple and monochrome. As far as logos go ‐ simple implies "clean", which is a good association for cosmetics. You can assert that certain colours are essential to your trademark, and try to claim exclusive rights to those colours, but bear in mind that it is rare that colours are successfully protected in trademark infringement lawsuits.

Relevant classes

Class 3 is your most relevant class, as it covers perfumery, essential oils, cosmetics and assorted hair lotions and potions. This should be your first box to tick. Other relevant categories are:

When you are considering classes in which to file, don't focus exclusively on your business as it is today. Think about the future. Think big. Think about where you want to take your cosmetic business and whether a competitor filing the same or a very similar trademark in another class would keep you from extending your cosmetic brand to those products or services.

Big player analysis

Mark Class


3 (perfumery, essential oils, cosmetics and assorted hair lotions and potions), 5 (medicated cosmetics), 18 (cosmetic bags), 25 (clothing), 35 (retail and wholesale services), 42 (susequently reclassified as class 44 ‐ beauty care services)








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