7 Simple Steps To Get Your Trade Mark Registered In Singapore. And A Bonus Step For Getting International Protection.


  • Author David Lynch
  • Published February 22, 2020
  • Word count 1,044

Imagine you spent years building your reputation, and a competitor pops up and steals not just your business model but also your name and brand identity! It might seem impossible, but it happens with unfortunate regularity. And while you can go through a long and costly legal battle to get back the rights of your trade mark, it is much easier to register it before something goes south.

And frankly, there is no reason not to. The process is relatively simple, and while it can be a bit expensive, in the long run, it is totally worth it. Not only can you avoid any future conflict with rivals, but you can also sell or license our trade mark for a profit!

So, if you are a business incorporated in Singapore then here is the complete registration process laid out in 7 simple steps.

  1. Design A Logo

Finalise a logo/trade mark that represents your business/brand/products/services well. If you are an existing business, then it is advisable to stick to something that has recall value for your clients.

If your trade mark has any distinctive or unique features, then do make a note of these as they will have to be included in the application. This information could be regarding specific colours, shapes, positioning on the product, or if you are registering a sound as your trade mark, then you must also include an audio file and musical notation for it.

  1. Check The Existing Trade Mark Database

Before you apply, you must also browse through the existing database of trade marks (you can use the e-service IP²SG) to check if another company has already registered

something similar.

If another company in your industry owns a similar mark or name, then you would not be able to register yours. But if the company operates in a different industry, you shouldn’t have any problems registering your trade mark as long it looks different.

  1. Collect All Documents

Your application will require certain documents and information. These are

• The company data or your personal information if you are applying as an individual;

• A graphical representation of the trade mark/logo no bigger than an A4-sized paper

• Description of all the distinguishing features of the trade mark

• The class of goods and services for which the trade mark is going to be registered*

• A good faith declaration

*In your application, you have to cite the class under which your product/service comes and which the trade mark will represent. You can choose more than one category from an exhaustive list of 45 listed under the globally accepted Nice Classification of Goods and Services.

  1. Submit the application

You can apply either online or physically at the IPOS office. The main difference between the two processes is the cost, as the online filing method is relatively cheaper. Online forms also tend to be processed more quickly.

While filing your application, you also have the option of submitting separate forms for each category/class or a single general application for all categories. The type of application does not affect the cost as you have to pay per class. The combined application might seem more straightforward at first glance, but it can become a significant roadblock if something goes wrong. If an examiner objects or rejects one class, the entire application gets rejected – and you will lose your non-refundable application fee with it. So if you are registering your trade mark for several classes then the safer thing to do would be to file individually for each class.

  1. Pay the fee

The fees, as mentioned earlier, is charged for each class. For online filing, it comes to S$240 (if your class comes under the pre-approved IPOS database) and S$341 (if you have specific goods and services that are not in the database). The fee for manual filing is S$374.

The payments must be made through IP²SG once you receive payment instructions, which usually happens within 3 business days after you apply.

  1. Pass the IPOS scrutiny

After the application and the fee reaches the IPOS office, your case is assigned an examiner, and it is his/her job to ensure that your application meets all the legal requirements of a registered trade mark.

The examiner will seek to answer questions such as – is the trade mark against the public service? Is it unique in your industry? Is it misleading or correct? Does the class of goods and services chosen in the application match the business's offerings? And other similar queries.

If your trade mark passes all requirements, then you will move on to the next step. Else you will get a query from the examiner asking you to provide more details to resolve the issue. Now it is up to you to respond convincingly and on time. Failure to do so will result in the rejection of your application.

  1. Publishing of trade mark and waiting for any objections

After the IPOS approves your trade mark, they give the general public a chance to counter it. For this, the trade mark is published in the Trade Marks Journal, and for the next 2 months, any interested party can post a notice of objection (for a fee of S$374 per class). You must post a counter statement (also for a fee - S$360 per class). The desecion rests wtith the registrar, who will receive evidence from both sides.

Once all these issues are wrapped up, you will be issued a registration certificate, which is valid for 10 years, starting from the date on which you filed your application. After this, you have to renew it.

Bonus step for international trade mark protection

Once your trade mark/logo has been registered in Singapore, you can easily apply for international protection. This is processed through IPOS, and the application requires two fees - IPOS administrative fee of S$250 and the WIPO fee, which depends on the type and colour of the trade mark and the number of classes.

Does that sound complicated, well it’s not, but it is a long process that can last up to 10-12 months, and it does require accuracy? If you feel you are not up to the task, then just hire a trade mark lawyer or agent. Don’t think twice!

Doing business is a test of character - doing business papers shouldn’t be. Osome helps entrepreneurs establish all the accounting, corporate secretary documents and company registration online 24/7 via one cloud-based platform.

For more articles by Osome click here https://osome.com/sg/blog/how-to-register-trade-mark/

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