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How to Register for a Trademark in Singapore?

8 min read|Last Updated: November 15, 2022|
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Upon incorporation of your Singapore company, it is highly suggested that you register for a trademark. A trademark can be presented in the form of multiple items. Some of the common trademarks include:

  • Letter
  • Name
  • Signature
  • Shapes
  • Logos
  • Symbols

These are elements which are used to differentiate a person’s goods and services in the same business industry as yours.

As time goes by, your trademark can also be viewed as a strong recall value item and carries a significant monetary value which can be licensed and assigned. Read on to find out more about Singapore trademark registration.

Eric

What is Singapore’s Trademarks Act?

Singapore Trademark Act was passed in 1998 to allow business owners to obtain protection of their intellectual property. This is governed by Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) under the Ministry of Law.

Despite not being mandatory, we highly suggest that you register for a trademark in Singapore as it adds great value to your business in the short and long run.

Some of the key benefits include:

  • Exclusive usage of the mark
  • Barring others from using the same mark
  • Profiting from future rise in value for the mark in the market
  • Assurance for your customers
  • Company branding
  • Income from licensing your mark

  • Up to 400% tax rebates from government authorities under Productivity and Innovation Credit Scheme

What is the validity of a registered Singapore trademark?

Singapore trademark registration is valid for 10 years from the date of application. It can be renewed indefinitely for 10 years at one time by paying the applicable renewal fee.

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Singapore Trademark Registration Process

The trademark registration process in Singapore is straightforward and can be done in just 7 simple steps. These steps are taken from

Step 1: Creating a Distinctive Trademark

Before you can trademark anything, you will have to create a key brand element that represents your business – you can also trademark business names. Do avoid trademarks that:

  • denote the kind, quality, quantity, intended purpose, value, the time of production of goods or of rendering of services;
  • consist of common surnames or geographical names;
  • conflict with an earlier trade mark; or
  • mislead the public about the nature of the goods or services.

If you have an existing trademark that you have been using in other countries but that is likely to violate any of the standards listed above, you can demonstrate that the mark has been in use for a significant period of time and has established market recognition.

Step 2: Identification of Applicable Class of Goods/Services

The goods or services for which a trademark is registered determine the scope of the trademark registration. Singapore classifies trademarks according to the Nice Agreement’s International Classification of Goods and Services. There is a total of 34 classes of goods and 11 classes of services.

At this stage, you should think long-term to consider both your existing business and potential businesses that you would like to start in the future before registering your trademark in Singapore.

Step 3: Submission of your application

In order for a successful submission of your Singapore trademark registration, you must at least provide:

  • A statement that you request a registration
  • Your name and address
  • A clear graphical representation of your mark. For marks comprising of a three-dimensional shape of the goods or packaging, line drawings should clearly show all dimensions of the mark.
  • A list of goods and services that you are registering in relation to the mark
  • A declaration of your proposed use of the trademark

Step 4: Review by Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS)

Upon receiving the submission, IPOS will review it to ensure that the application meets the minimum filing requirements.

If the minimum filing requirements are met, an acknowledgement letter will be sent out which will include your trademark number and the date of filing accorded.

Should your application fail due to not meeting of requirements, you will receive a deficiency letter to make the necessary amendments within 2 months from the date of letter.

Eric

Step 5: Examination for conflicts with existing trademarks and legality

The registrar will perform a formal search for conflicting marks, geographical names, and compliance with the international categorisation of goods and services after the aforementioned phase is completed. The Registry of Trademarks will additionally need to investigate whether the mark contains a protected International Non-Proprietary Name in the case of pharmaceutical items (INN).

The INNs are generic designations for certain pharmacological compounds provided by the World Health Organization. The application will be examined to determine whether the mark is registrable in accordance with Singapore Trademark Laws.

If you fail to meet the requirements, IPOS will issue a letter stating the refusals/requirements. The response must be submitted within 4 months from the date of issuance of the IPOS letter.

You may request for an extension before the last day of submission and if there no response or extension request, the status for your trademark will be “Withdrawn”.

Step 6: Advertisement for public scrutiny

Upon successful completion of the above step, the application will be published and made available to the public. Within 2 months of the publication period, any interested party will be able to oppose the registration of the mark.

If the trademarks office receives an objection from an opponent, the applicant will be notified and must respond. A decision on the application will be made after hearing both parties.

Step 7: Successful registration

After a successful registration of your trademark in Singapore, you will be issued a Certificate of Registration and your trademark will be valid for 10 years.

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FAQs

How do I trademark my business name for free?2021-10-29T16:09:49+08:00

You can not register a trademark for free. However, you can establish something known as a “common law trademark” for free, simply by opening for busines

How long is trademark valid for?2021-10-29T16:09:22+08:00

10 years. How to renew a Trademark? 

A registered trademark is only valid for 10 years, after which it needs to be renewed. The registrar of trademarks will send you a letter of reminder of the expiry of the trademark 6 months prior to its expiry 

How much does it cost to register a trademark in Singapore?2021-10-29T16:08:58+08:00

The official filing fee for registration of a trademark on a per mark per class basis is S$341. The goods and services listed in the application must conform to the International Classification of Goods and Services. 

Can you trademark a word Singapore?2021-10-29T16:06:06+08:00

According to the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), a trademark can be: “any letter, word, numeral, device (drawing or design), name, brand, label, aspect of packaging, shape, colour, sound, or a combination of these elements” 

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