A trademark is anything that is used in the course of a business or trade to set one person’s goods or services apart from those of others. It could take the form of a letter, word, name, signature, numeral, device, brand, heading, label, form, colour, a feature of packaging, or a combination of these.
A trademark that has been registered will provide its owner with the ability to use and capitalise on the mark in the country where it was registered. Additionally, having a registered trademark will offer specific benefits and priorities, which will aid you while registering your trademark in other countries.
Over time, trademarks might also have a strong recall value and attract a high price. The right to use a registered trademark is a property and can be licensed or transferred.
How Can a Trademark Be Recognised?
® and TM are frequently used symbols to designate trademarks. The following characteristics distinguish the two symbols:
- According to trademark regulations, ® designates a registered and protected trademark; nonetheless,
- The designation “TM” only indicates that the mark is being used as a trademark by the owner; it does not imply that the mark has been registered or is otherwise protected by trademark laws.
Why Should You Register Your Trademark?
A trademark that has been registered gives its owner significant benefits and priority rights when registering the mark in other countries, as well as the legal right to use and capitalise on the mark in the country where it was registered.
Among the main advantages are:
- Right to the sole use of the trademark.
- Right to prohibit others from replicating it.
- Profiting from the mark’s rising market value.
- Quality control for your clients.
- Raising brand awareness.
- Creating a cash stream through obtaining a license for third parties to utilise it.
- Offers Tax rebates of up to 400 per cent from the Singaporean government under the Productivity and Innovation Credit Scheme to help with the costs of registering your trademark.
What Is the Duration of a Registered Trademark’s Validity?
Trademark rights are valid for ten years after the approval date. This may be extended for an additional 10 years at a time by paying the necessary renewal price.
What Are the Steps in the Trademark Registration Process?
Each trademark application must be examined by Singapore’s registrar of trademarks to determine if the trademark may be registered. Depending on whether there are any objections or other issues, the registration procedure may take between 8 and 12 months.
Even though the owner can submit a trademark application directly, it is strongly advised that you use a professional service to help register your trademark for you, owing to the difficulty of the associated paperwork and process. Benefits of working with a seasoned company include:
- With them completing your application correctly and completely, the chances that it will be rejected are reduced.
- To improve the likelihood of successful registration, a professional firm would be able to adequately react to any clarifications requested by the trademark registrar or to any objections raised during the trademark examination process.
- You will make significant personal savings in time and effort.
Below is a list of the steps needed to register a trademark in Singapore. The majority of these will be managed by specialists if you employ a professional business.
But if you plan to register your trademark yourself, you can go through the common mistakes that you should avoid when registering your trademark in Singapore to ensure you get a successful outcome.
Step 1: Developing a Unique Trademark
We suggest that you create a unique trademark.
- Steer clear of trademarks that:
- Indicate the kind, quality, amount, intended use, cost, and time that items or services were produced or rendered.
- Consist of geographical names or common surnames.
- Incompatibility with a prior trademark.
- Misleading the general public about the nature of the products or services.
However, you can demonstrate that the mark has been used for a long time and has established market recognition if you have an existing trademark that you have been using in other jurisdictions but which is likely to breach any of the standards above.
Step 2: Identifying the Class of Goods/Services That Applies
The products or services for which the trademark is registered define the scope of the trademark registration. Singapore classifies trademarks per the Nice Agreement’s International Classification of Goods and Services.
There are 11 classifications of services and 34 kinds of commodities overall.
You should take into account both your current business and any businesses you anticipate entering shortly while choosing the appropriate classes. We will be pleased to assist you in deciding which classifications are most appropriate for your company.
Step 3: Application Submission for Trademark
The bare minimal filing necessities are:
- A declaration that you want to register.
- Name and address.
- A distinct visual depiction of your brand. Line drawings must accurately depict all of the mark’s dimensions for marks that take the form of a three-dimensional representation of the product or packaging.
- A list of the products and services you are registering under the trademark (that are classified per the International Classification of Goods and Services).
- A statement outlining the intended use of the trademark.
- A S$341 filing cost for the per-mark, per-class registration of a trademark.
Step 4: Evaluation By the Intellectual Property Office Singapore (IPOS)
IPOS will examine the trademark application when it is received to make sure it complies with the minimum filing criteria.
The date of filing and a trademark number is assigned once the minimal filing conditions have been satisfied. This data is transmitted through the acknowledgement letter.
A Deficiency Letter will be given if one or more of the minimum filing criteria are not met, and the remedy must be made within two months after the date of the letter. This due date cannot be adjusted.
IPOS will issue a letter informing the applicant that the application is Deemed Never to Have Been Made if they fail to correct the faults or do so after the deadline has passed.
Step 5: Checking for Inconsistencies with Already-Existing Trademarks and Legality
The registrar will officially search for competing marks, geographical names, and compliance with the international categorisation of products and services when the aforementioned process is finished.
When it comes to pharmaceutical items, the Registry of Trade Marks must additionally determine if the mark contains an International Non-Proprietary Name that is protected (INN). The INNs are generic designations for particular pharmacological compounds that the World Health Organization provides.
To ascertain if the mark is eligible for registration under Singaporean trademark law, the application will be assessed.
IPOS will send a letter outlining the conditions that have not been met. Within 4 months after the day the IPOS letter is sent, a reply must be given.
If more time is needed to reply to the IPOS letter, a request for a deadline extension must be made before the deadline’s expiration. The trademark application shall be regarded as having been withdrawn if no response or request for an extension of time is received within the allotted time frame.
Step 6: Public Scrutiny of the Advertisement
After the aforementioned stage is completed, the application will be published and made accessible to the general public. Any interested person may object to the mark’s registration within two months of the publication period.
The applicant will be informed of any objection received by the trademark office and will have the opportunity to comment. After hearing from both sides, a decision about the application will be made.
Step 7: Completed Registration
A Certificate of Registration will be given, and the trademark will be protected for 10 years if there is no objection or if you win the hearing against any objection.
Any layperson can sign up for their trademark. To use ip2.sg or the IPOS Go mobile app, all he needs is a SingPass.
To ensure that requirements are followed, attention must be given. He must also be able to effectively address the IPOS trademark examiners’ objections.
When trademark examiners believe that a certain trademark cannot be registered for a specific class of goods or services because, at first appearance, it does not adhere to the substantive law, they will file an objection.
One must also be capable of responding appropriately to resistance from other trademark owners who believe that your mark may be confusingly similar to theirs.
Due to these difficulties, many owners who want to register their trademarks frequently work with knowledgeable intellectual property consultants who can manage them on their behalf.