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An Overview of the Trademark Registration Requirements and Procedures

One way for your company to protect your brand and establish a unique presence in the market is to create a recognizable trademark. There is no law in Singapore, however, that says you need to register your trademark for it to be official and protected under the intellectual property laws. But to register TM means that you’re protecting an asset of the company. After all, a trademark is just a name or a design, but a symbol that represents your company’s goals and vision.

History of Trademark Registration

A trademark can be any symbol, design, color, pattern, logo, or name that identifies the source of goods and/or services. It becomes an intellectual property if it is used in commerce to earn benefits, similar to a product of creativity, copyrights, patents, and trade secrets. However, the intellectual property laws can only protect a registered mark.

To apply for trademark registration here in Singapore, perform trade mark search first before finalizing the logo or name you want to enlist. Then, you will be required to comply the requirements set by the home intellectual property office before you are able to register a trademark. If and when your application is approved, your registered logo will be distinguished from unregistered ones through a symbol (®), while the latter is only allowed to use the following signs: ™ and SM.

The use of distinguishing marks can be traced as far back as Ancient Egypt and Greece when potters placed unique marks on their goods to determine the origin of the pots and vessels. Trademark registration began during the Roman Empire when the blacksmiths used symbols that distinguished their work from other artisans. By 1266 in England, the bakers were required by law to place distinctive marks on their products, but it was not until the 19th century in France when a form of a trademarks act was put forward. In the United States, the trademark guidelines in 1870 became the basis for the later trademark act.

Trademark Registration Benefits

A registered mark not only creates a unique image for the company, but it also has the following benefits:

• Security and exclusive rights to the trademark. The owner has the exclusive rights to use the registered mark as he may see fit. Unauthorized use of the mark is subject to intellectual property laws, and the owner can ask for damages from the infringement.

The primary function of trademark registration is brand protection—to deter competition from using your name to sell their products and/or services. If you want to enjoy these benefits, refer to this firm for more info on brandmark who serves as a TM agent.

• Registered mark as a property and asset. A registered mark is a type of intangible property and asset that the owner can sell, license, assigned, transferred, and even secure loans and deals.

• Protection if foreign territories. To register trademark means you are applying for protection in Singapore, but this does not cover other territories. However, a registered mark stands a better chance at gaining protection in other territories if it was already registered at IPOS. You can apply through IPOS when designating other countries for trademark registration.

• Adding value to your business. By creating and maintaining a good reputation among clients/customers, your company has a better chance of expanding and improving because the public can easily associate w mark or a logo with quality service and products. This can be helpful when looking for mergers, partners, or when you want to sell, assign, of franchise your company.

Trademark Registration Features

In Singapore, the history of the use of the registered mark began earnestly in the 1960s when two intellectual property laws were in existence. When the country finally embraced the regional and bilateral trade agreements that would benefit the growth of various industries, a lot of companies benefitted from the protection and allowed for continuous growth in research and innovation. Singapore’s trademark registration has key features that all company owners need to be aware of.

First, the Singapore Trade Marks Act, which was passed in 1998, was established to meet the guidelines of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Intellectual Property. Moreover, Singapore is also a signatory to several conventions such as the Madrid Protocol, WIPO Copyright Treaty, Nice Agreement, Berne Convention, Patent Cooperation Treaty, Budapest Treaty, UPOV Convention, The Geneva Act, and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty. All these conventions cover not only the registered trademarks but patents, copyright, trade secrets, plant varieties, and right of publicity.

The Singapore Trade Marks Act feature include the following important points:

• To register TM at the home IP office means that the protection is granted only in Singapore, if the owner wishes to protect his/her trademark in other countries, an application must be sent via the Madrid Protocol;

• To register trademark means that the mark must fulfill one important condition, that it must be capable of being represented graphically as a letter, name, signature, word, number, shape, color, aspect of a packaging, etc.;

• The goods and/services that are sold under the registered mark must be classified based on the classes listed in the International Classification; and

• There is no time limit for filing a trademark registration, but only those who have registered their marks can pursue infringement cases. The trademark registration also lasts for about ten years and is renewable.

Trademark Registration Process

If you want to register trademark in Singapore, remember the following requirements:
• Distinct trademark
• Identification of the class of goods and/or products
• Name and address of the owner
• Declaration of the use of trademark

Submit all the requirements at IPOS or you can hire a third-party to assist you. The application will be reviewed by IPOS to determine if it meets the standards before you are sent a trademark number. If the application is deficient, you will be given a deadline to answer. When the trademark has successfully passed the examinations and there are no objections from the public within two months of its printing in the Trade Mark Journal, you will receive a Certificate of Registration.

Pointers for Finding the Best Place to Rent at Saigon

As one of the fastest growing destinations in Southeast Asia, Vietnam has become popular among investors, tourists, and retirees who want to enjoy quality life with affordable food and a diverse intermingling of cultures. For tourists, Vietnam is one of the must-see places because it’s friendly and affordable for backpackers, packaged tours, and family get-togethers. In general, it is much more practical to rent a house or look for a villa rental or an apartment rental in Ho Chi Minh City than it is to book to at hotels.

Here are some pointers on how to get the best deals when hunting for a Saigon apartment rental.

Cost and Quality of Living

Backpackers will find Vietnam a nice place to live in for several reasons: budget-friendly accommodation for any age group—whether you are looking to rent a house or an apartment—vibrant expat scene and foreign-friendly community.

The cost of living may vary among the different quan or districts in Ho Chi Minh City. The busiest and densest locations usually have more expensive accommodations, especially in posh neighborhoods. Consequently, it will be more challenging to find a budget-friendly condominium rental in district 1 than it would be to rent a place in D3, which is less crowded and quieter.

Those who want to stay near the heart of the city might opt to find a better apartment rental in D2 or district 2, which is considered the expat enclave, because of the number of upscale and foreign restaurants, cafes, malls, and tourist destinations. If you are tight on the budget, however, it would be more practical to stay away from the central districts. For an expat, the best choice would be to stay at D7 where accommodation and food are generally cheaper. District 7 is also considered the best location to look for long-term affordable apartment rental in Ho Chi Minh City because of the sizable foreign community and residential developments in recent years.

Apartment Facilities

Most foreigners here in HCMC who want to experience luxurious living at vin golden river suites in District 1 find it more practical to transact through real estate agencies and other third-party companies to ensure legitimate transactions. The most popular districts in Ho Chi Minh among newcomers are D1 and D3, because of their convenient access to the best hospitals, schools, shopping centers and restaurants in the country, which ensure comfortable lifestyle for any expat resident.

The central districts are the best places to look rent apartment at HCMC if you need high-tiered housing and fully-serviced apartments. The apartment rental in Ho Chi Minh City can range from basic studio apartments to fully-kitted units with the best view of the cityscape with laundry and maid service.

Apartment complexes that cater to foreigners offer services such as laundry, valet, cleaning, and healthy and gym memberships even without having to spend as much money as you would in other cities in the world. Looking for a reasonably-priced Saigon apartment rental in the busy districts will take a lot of patience and skill, but don’t worry if you cannot find your dream apartment near district 1, because there are various options for everyone.

Real estate agents and online property rental sites are the best places to view well furnished apartments at gold view development here in Vietnam. These websites can be modified to see the facilities and accommodation options from different districts, whether in District 1, District 2, District 3, District 4, and so on. Browse through each one of them and contact several owners if you can visit the flats yourself.

When viewing condos and apartments, keep in mind the following pointers when looking for an apartment in Ho Chi Minh City: vicinity of the nearest hospitals, schools, and public offices; accessibility and nearness to public transportation; establishments such as restaurants and markets that cater to foreign customers; a safe parking space if you have a vehicle; security facilities in the building especially if you need to go out for most of the day; and the cost of maintenance and other service charges. Fully-furnished apartments with basic amenities such as power supply, water, waste disposal, parking space, security, and Internet connection should be a given in any lease contract.

Renting a Villa or House

While recent changes in the law regarding to owning property in Vietnam may have relaxed for foreign investors, it is still more practical to rent a house or sign a villa rental instead of owning houses for leasing. In fact, it is much easier to own several apartment units than houses.

For those looking for long-term housing rental in Ho Chi Minh City, the best place to start is to look for a reputable real estate agent. There are hundreds of property listings in the central districts alone, so it might be difficult to find a reasonably-priced house for rent, much less a villa rental. The prices will depend on the amenities and extra services besides the flat rate. You will also need to consider monthly bills for power, water, cable, and Internet connections. Separate from the leasing agreement are the maintenance policies, provisions for emergency repairs, security and guest policy, and parking space.

High-end apartments and vacation villas will cost more, even those that are located in the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City, that is why you should be careful when contacting a real estate agent. Dealing directly with the villa owner might save you money and let you bargain for a discount, but you need to also keep the following factors in mind: renting season especially if there is a high demand; inclusion of taxes and other fees in the contract; extra services not covered in the rental price; caretaker assistance; and most importantly, privacy and security.

Important Factors in Designing Your Business’ Fire Protection System

Among the biggest elements of a successful business is ensuring the safety and security of everyone working in the establishment. This includes the preparedness of the company for emergency situations, like fires. Your primary goal when designing your company’s fire protection system is to save lives, save as much property and reduce downtime for your operations. Here are the most important factors to keep in mind when planning for fire alarm systems for your business.

Legal Compliance
This step is necessary when creating your business’ fire alarm system. Legal compliance means following the codes, which are the minimum legal requirement that you need to meet. But keep in mind that these codes vary from city to city. Therefore, make sure you are looking into the codes that are applicable in your specific area.

Alarm and Notification
One of the most important devices of buildings is the fire alarms. Alarms will serve the purpose of alarming the people of the presence of fire and alerting emergency staff, so they can take action right away. Fire alarm systems have technology that directs emergency responders to the location of the fire. Alarm systems can also be connected to the building’s ventilation unit to control smoke in case of fire.

Detection Devices
In order for your alarm and notification system to be useful, you need reliable detection devices. Like mobile phones, these devices get smarter over the years. Some of them are now able to differentiate different levels of fire danger. You can also include in your fire protection system in Singapore a heat detector device, which can trigger your alarms before smoke even starts to appear. Having high-tech detection devices will give you a better chance to save more of your people and property by allowing you to kill a small fire before it develops into a major threat.

Suppression System
Once the alarm system is triggered, the suppression system activates, since its primary purpose is to contain the fire until it is extinguished. Those most widely used suppression system is the sprinklers, which showers water when a fire is detected. Other than being triggered by the alarm system, sprinklers are also heat sensitive that they will activate when their sensor detects heat. For buildings where sprinklers cannot be used, chemical suppression system can be utilized.

Maintenance
Just like any other technological systems and devices, your fire protection system will do no good if they are not properly maintained. Make sure that you have your system inspected by professionals in Singapore once a year to ensure that everything from the devices, sensors and extinguishers are working correctly.
Fire accidents are quite common in Singapore. To minimize your risks, design your fire protection system smartly and work only with the certified professionals in the industry.