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Media Release: Use or Registration of Park Names Prohibited

Date: 10th December 2007

It has come to the attention of South African National Parks (SANParks) that tour operators often register corporate names or domain names that incorporate the park names of SANParks.

It has come to the attention of South African National Parks (SANParks) that tour operators often register corporate names or domain names that incorporate the park names of SANParks.

SANParks wants to draw the attention of members of the public to the prohibition published in terms of Section 15(1) of the Merchandise Marks Act 17 of 1941, which prohibits the use of any of the following:

1. the words “NATIONAL PARK(S)”; or

2. the name of any national park established and constituted in terms of the National Parks Act; or;

3. any part of such name in conjunction with the word “PARK” in connection with any trade, business, profession or occupation or in connection with a trade mark, mark or trade description, other than the use thereof by the South African National Parks or its mandatories.

This notice was published in 2000 and addresses both the use and registration of any names incorporating the words “NATIONAL PARK” or “NATIONAL PARKS” or the name of any national park or even part of such a name, used in conjunction with the word “PARK”. This means that tour operators or travel agents cannot register, for example, “Kruger Park” as part of a domain name or corporate name or make use of Kruger Park as part of its trading style.

If a tour operator is interested in becoming an authorised tour operator of SANParks, it is welcome to contact SANParks or, if it wishes to be licensed to use any of the park names as part of its domain names, it is to approach the legal advisor of SANParks, Marinda van Graan or the E-commerce Manager of SANParks, Nedret Saidova

SANParks is actively enforcing the prohibition and third parties who are contravening the provisions of Section 15(1) of the Merchandise Marks Act, will not be allowed to continue such use indefinitely.