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.