A trademark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual or business organization to identify that the products or services to consumers with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish its products or services from those of other entities. Registering a trademark gives the owner rights to enable him to control the use of the sign.
Benefits of trademark registration
A trademark registration adds great value to a business. By filing for trademark registration, the trademark owner obtains a right to ownership and the right to prevent others from using a similar mark without permission. The owner of the registered trademark can exploit his/her mark in many ways. They may use it to better protect their market share (i.e. profits) by barring others from copying it; the owner may license it to third parties for commercial returns (e.g. through a franchise); they may sell the mark outright for a specified value (e.g. in a company acquisition); or they may use the mark to raise equity for business undertakings.
Trademark registration process in Singapore
- Filing the Application
The client needs to furnish the following information: i) name and address, ii) a clear graphical representation of the mark, iii) a list of goods and services sought for registration, classified according to the International Classification of Goods and Services, iv) a declaration of use / intent to use the trade mark, and v) the prescribed fee (kindly refer to table on the right);
The application will be processed when the above particulars are furnished;
- For trademarks comprising of a three-dimensional shape of the product / packaging, the representation may be by line drawings. If a single-view line drawing is insufficient, multiple aspect views are acceptable, with a maximum of six different views;
- For marks with non-English words and / or non-Roman characters, the English translation and / or transliteration (i.e. pronunciation) must be given in the application.
- Trademark search
Before filing an application for the registration of a trademark in Singapore, Healy Consultants will conduct a search of the existing trademarks in the records maintained by the Intellectual Property Offices of Singapore (IPOS). This is to ensure that there is no prior trademark identical, or similar to, the one our client intends to use, particularly in the area of its’ business;
- Estimated processing time
The application should be processed and examined within one to two months of the filing date, and Healy Consultants will inform our client if the application is in order for acceptance and publication, or if there are objections affecting the application;
If there are no objections, the client will be informed of the acceptance of the application for registration. A registration certificate will be issued;
- Term and renewals
The registration of a trademark is valid for 10 years from the date of application. Protection can last indefinitely subject to the payment of renewal fees every 10 years, and with proper use of the mark.
International Trademark Registration
The Madrid Protocol provides for a system of international registration of trademarks. The purpose of this protocol is to eliminate the time it would take to submit a trademark application across a large number of countries throughout the world. The Madrid Protocol allows a trademark owner to seek protection for their trademark in several countries simultaneously by filing one application at just one office, with one set of fees in one currency, which is Swiss francs.
The Madrid Protocol is administered by the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva, Switzerland.
Filing an international trademark application In Singapore involves the following:
- Before filing an international application under the Madrid Protocol, a trademark has to be registered or applied for in the country of origin;
- An international application (IA) submitted to Registry of Trademarks at IPOS or International Bureau at WIPO;
- The mark is recorded in the International Register and published in WIPO Gazette;
- International Bureau notifies each designated country;
- The mark goes through a similar process as a national application in the designated countries.
An international trademark registration lasts 10 years. It may be renewed for periods of 10 years by paying the required fees to the WIPO.
For the first five years, the international registration remains dependent on the validity of the mark registered or applied for in the country of origin.
Benefits of trademark registration via Madrid protocol
- Convenience of filing only one application, in one language, at one location, with one fee. This saves time and money from not having to contact various parties around the world;
- The applicant only has to wait for one party to decide on the approval of the application;
- Should the applicant need to make subsequent changes to the trademark registration, such as a change in ownership or a limitation of the list of goods and services, the change can be made easily through a simple single step and a single fee.