Although not mandatory in Singapore, trademark registration is an important step to expand your business and increase revenue. A registered mark does not just come with the rights and protection under the intellectual property rights, but it will also significantly increase the value of the company’s image, making it a trustworthy choice among consumers.
A trademark is one of the four principal areas of intellectual property rights. A registered trademark is a name, logo, numeral, design, color, or any other device that uniquely identifies a company, organization, and business. A registered trademark applied for by companies in Singapore like http://www.brandmark.sg/ is therefore identified by the symbol ®, while an unregistered trademark is identified by the symbol ™.
Most applications for trademark registration are handled by designated countries, although the Madrid Protocol also handles applications internationally. Other areas of intellectual property, to differentiate them from trademarks, include the copyright, which is a type of work that is recorded, such as films, typographical arrangements, and sound recordings. Patents on the other hand, refer to the inventions and industrial processes that need protection from unauthorized use or implementation. Design rights encompasses both the rights of copyrights and patents.
Benefits of a Registered Trademark
Once the Intellectual Property of Singapore (IPOS) has approved an applicant’s trademark registration, the company or business will be able to enjoy the following benefits:
1. A registered mark will protect your brand from others who want to use the same trademark.
2. A register TM will create a trusted image to the consumers. Products and services associated with the trademark will be easily recognized, because they can easily convey the message the company wants to send to the public.
3. A registered mark will make your company easy to find in a crowded market full of competition. Some consumers purchase a product or pick a service based on the testimonies and experiences of customers associated with a trademark.
4. A register TM will make you easier to find on the Internet. With so many small-scale to large corporations selling products online, you don’t want to be left behind. Consumers will trust you more if they know you’re an established brand.
5. A registered mark will increase your company’s value over time, because your reputation is also part of your selling point. You can license or sell the trademark for additional revenues.
6. Registered trademarks are attractive to prospective workers, because they will feel confident that they are joining a trusted company.
7. A registered trademark is also a worthy investment because they can be renewed every ten years for a reasonable fee.
Trademark Registration in Singapore
In Singapore, there are two processes in the application to register trademark within the country or outside the country.
When applying for a registered trademark in Singapore, the following steps are observed:
• Provide the name and address of the trademark registration applicant.
• Make sure that the trademark can be graphically represented.
• Provide a list of the goods and/or services that are marketed under or related to the registered mark.
• Write a declaration of intent to use the registered mark.
• Payment of the application fees.
• Examination of the trademark for registration. Amendments regarding the application will need additional fees and an amendment form.
• Trademark registration applicants who have fulfilled the requirements and passed the examination will be published in the Trademarks Journal.
• Objections regarding the application are given a window period of two months from the date of publication of the trademark.
• If there are no objections, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) will grant the applicant a Registration Certificate, which is renewable every ten years.
Trademark Registration Outside Singapore
When applying for register trademark outside of Singapore, the following steps are observed:
• Applications for trademark registration are handled by the IPOS. If the applicant wishes to file internationally, the Madrid Protocol is observed.
• Provide the Form MM2 (E) and pay the administrative fee and World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) fees.
• The application for trademark registration is reviewed by the IPOS and then submitted to the WIPO’s International Bureau (IB).
• Rejected applications will be given a deadline to complete the requirements or submit an amendment.
• A certification of IPOS is provided then the application is sent to the IB for another examination.
• The registered mark is recorded in the WIPO Gazette and the International Register.
• An International Registration (IR) number is given to the applicant.
• The IB send the application to the IPOS for a final examination.
• Once the application for a registered mark is approved, the trademark is granted all the protection by the country.
The Madrid Protocol
If the applicant is from another country but wishes to apply for a trademark in Singapore, the country is designated as a subsequent designation through the Madrid Protocol or the application given the status as an international registration. Like the previous examples, this type of application for a trademark registration will take at least eight months from the receipt of the documents from the WIPO.
• The IPOS will examine the application once the necessary details are received from the IB and WIPO.
• If the application has any problems, the applicant is given a period of four months to respond or fulfill the requirements.
• Once the application has passed the examination, the trademark is published in the Trademarks Journal to allow other parties to inspect it within a period of two months.
• If there are no objections to the application after it has been published, the IPOS will grant a Statement of Grant of Protection to the applicant.
Renewing the Registered Trademark
To renew a registered trademark in Singapore, the applicant must submit the requirements and pay the registration fee after the expiration of the last application.
Granting a Trademark License
When granting another single party a license to use your company’s trademark, you should provide a licensing agreement in the form of a contract. A non-exclusive license may also be granted to multiple parties. Stipulated in the contract are the royalties, provisions for transfer, and limits.