Trademark Registration in Singapore
Trademarks are another way of referring brands in the market. The purchasing decisions of consumers are highly influenced by brands and the reputation such brands represent. A business can safeguard the exclusive aspects of the brand and prevent others from using those aspects through Trademarks.
For safeguarding the interest of the brand, it is so important for the leaders of business to recognize that the Trademarks are an important asset that helps in growing their business. Business owners should learn the key regulations that are applicable to protect the type of intellectual property they own. In the article, we will discuss the detailed and complete procedure of Trademark Registration in Singapore.
What is a Trademark?
A Trademark is a legally protected word, symbol, mark, abstract, color, slogan, or a combination of these associated with a particular company or product which differentiates it from the others available in the market.
The Trademark Registration in Singapore results in goodwill being created in the market. It thus forms an important part of the business to maintain and market a reputation in the market.
Trademark protects the unique logo, brand, or words or letters or numerals, names or signatures, devices, labels or headings, shapes or colors, the pattern of packaging or a combination of these. The protection under a Trademark is territorial.
Following symbols are used to identify a Trademark and are used in different manners which are as follows:
- ® refers to a duly registered mark pursuant to the law of Trademark;
- ™ simply recognizes that the mark is being used as a Trademark and is not necessarily protected or registered under the appropriate law of Trademark.
The marks that cannot be registered as a trademark are as follows:
- Marks that are descriptive in nature (e.g., best, super, cheap, one dozen);
- Marks that are not distinctive or are common to the trade (the marks that have become well accepted concerning the business and do not distinguish the goods and services the owner are offering);
- Marks that could promote or offend immoral behavior;
- Marks that are deceptive (the marks that could misrepresent the quality, nature, or geographical origin of the goods and services);
- Marks that are identical to any earlier marks;
- Marks that can confuse, as there is an identical or similar mark filed earlier in relation to the identical or similar or goods and services;
- Marks that are similar or identical to well-known Trademarks.
Pre-Requisites for Trademark Registration in Singapore
The person applying for Trademark Registration in Singapore must ensure the eligibility for the same.
To fulfill the criteria, the person should be capable of the following:
- Capable of being represented graphically
- Should not be similar to an already existing registered trademark
- Be distinctive in nature
- Distinguish the goods or services from the other available in the market
- Should not refer to the description of the goods or services.
When should a person go for Trademark Registration in Singapore?
The person should go for Trademark Registration in Singapore at the earliest opportunity available. It is a rat-race, and if any other application is filed for a similar or identical mark before the applicant, there is a high possibility of several obstructions in the approval.
Interestingly, in case a person has filed an application for the Registration of the same Trademark in another country, which is either a member of the Paris Convention or World Trade Organization in the last 6 months, a priority claim may be filed in Singapore.
Is there a checklist to be followed before making an application for the Trademark Registration in Singapore?
Yes, there is a checklist that the applicant should follow to proceed with the Trademark Registration in Singapore smoothly.
The checklist to proceed for Registration of Trademark is as follows:
- The person applying should do an exhaustive search for any existing marks which are possibly identical or similar to his/her proposed mark.
- If any such mark is already registered or is being popularly used in the market, then your application may face objections.
- For an exhaustive search and avoiding the scenario where someone can face objection, contact our team of professionals at Enterslice.
- To understand which class does the good or services of the applicant belong to classify the Trademark appropriately.
Steps involved in the Trademark Registration in Singapore
The procedure of Trademark Registration in Singapore is as follows:
Preparation and Submission
The application of Trademark Registration in Singapore broadly contains the following:
- The name of the applicant;
- The address of the applicant;
- The graphical representation;
- A list of goods and services;
- The classes to which the goods and services belong;
- A declaration
The application is required to be submitted along with the fees that are prescribed. The fees are prescribed as per the different classes of the goods and services, and which also depends on the mode of filing of the application.
If the above-stated requirements are fulfilled in a proper manner by the applicant, the application can proceed to the next stage of the process of Trademark Registration in Singapore.
Failure to comply with the above shall result in a communication by the Registrar to complete the application correctly. If the applicant fails to do so after the opportunity, the application shall be deemed never to have been made.
The examiner shall now scrutinize the mark to see if it is eligible for Registration or not. The examiner can also suggest an amendment to the application of the Registration of Trademark. The applicant should make such an amendment within the stipulated time period in the prescribed form along with the fee.
There may be two scenarios:
- The application may be acceptable to the authority, in such a case the mark shall be published in the Trade Marks Journal, or
- In case the application is objectionable, the applicant should receive a report of examination stating the grounds for refusal.
The applicant should be provided with 4 additional months to amend the application appropriately. Some additional information should also be provided by the applicant if required. If the steps prescribed by the authorities are not followed, the application will be treated as withdrawn.
So as to submit a faultless application, it is advised that the applicant should seek help from a professional.
When the Trademark is deemed acceptable for Registration in Singapore by the examiner, it should be published in the Trade Marks Journal. A time period of 2 months is provided for public inspection, after which there might be some opposition or not.
The application of Trademark if is not opposed by any third party; in such a case, the application is eligible to proceed towards the issuance of the Registration Certificate for the Trademark.
On the other hand, the application of Trademark Registration in Singapore is opposed by any interested party, wherein the applicant should receive an opposition notice. In such a circumstance, the application process will be suspended as long as the opposition proceedings are pending. The applicant is required to respond to the objections and contest them.
Certificate of Registration
If there is no opposition to the Registration application of Trademark or the raised objections have been decided in favor of the applicant, a Certificate of Registration should be issued. This Certificate of Registration will be issued from the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore or IPOS.
After Trademark Registration in Singapore, the protection of a Trademark is for a time period of 10 years. The protection of a Trademark can be renewed after 10 years for another term of 10 years. For the renewal of the time period, the appropriate forms and fees prescribed should be submitted for the same.
Benefits of Trademark Registration in Singapore?
The benefits of Trademark Registration in Singapore are as follows:
- Quality Assurance
The Registration of Trademark is a form of Quality Assurance to the clients and customers, sending a message to the customers and clients that the applicant takes pride in the business and all the work he/she has invested in it.
- Legal Rights
Gives the applicant absolute rights to enable him/her and the business to control the use of that Trade Marked sign for distinguishing the purposes. Otherwise, the only way is to go to the court to rectify any infringement or imitation of the brand or good name.
The owner of Trademark can prevent another party from using his/her distinguishing product or service. The Trademark protection can also prevent another party from benefiting economically from the goodwill and market value that the owner has spent money and time to build up over a period of time.
- International Legal Protection
Any claims the owner makes against any infringing party that uses his/her Trade Mark without the permission can be enforced beyond Singapore. For instance, in those 83 countries that are the signatories to the Nice Convention or if filed further through the Madrid Protocol System.
- Tax Rebates
The owner of Trademark can get up to 400% tax rebates from the Government of Singapore under the Productivity and Innovation Credit Scheme. Such a tax rebate is given to offset costs the owner incurs for registering his/her Trademark with the competent authorities.