A brand is a visible sign used by a natural or legal person to distinguish its products or services from those of its competitors.
Article 2 of Annex 3 to the Bangui Agreement explicitly lists the signs which are likely to constitute a trade mark. The sign must be independent of the usual designation of the marked object. These include names, particulars, arbitrary or fancy names, the characteristic shape of the product or its packaging, labels, envelopes, emblems, imprints, stamps, seals, vignettes, borders, combinations or arrangements of Colors, drawings, reliefs, letters, figures, currencies, and pseudonyms.
A brand may be individual or collective. If it is individual it belongs to a natural or legal person. A collective brand, for its part, is the brand of goods or services whose conditions of use are laid down by a regulation approved by the competent authority and that only public bodies, trade unions or groups of trade unions, associations, Producers, industrialists, craftsmen or traders can use, provided they are officially recognized and have legal capacity.
Brands can be classified into 3 categories:
- Verbal brands which are those which are written and pronounced
- Figurative brands consisting of designs, shapes, and other graphs
- Complex or semi-figurative brands consisting of a combination of the two previous varieties