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Trademark Registration in Singapore: Understanding the Costs and Fees

By Vladimir Isaev, Bonamark

 

In today’s competitive business landscape, protecting one’s brand is extremely important. A trademark serves as a symbol of a company’s identity and reputation, distinguishing its products or services from competitors. In Singapore, a robust legal framework exists to safeguard trademarks, offering both local and international businesses the opportunity to secure their intellectual property rights. 

Contents

 

1. What Can be Registered as a Trademark in Singapore?

2. Reasons for Refusal of a Trademark Application in Singapore

3. The Trademark Registration Process in Singapore

4. Documents Required for Trademark Registration in Singapore

5. Trademark Opposition Process in Singapore

6. Trademark Costs in Singapore

7. Why File a Trademark in Singapore?

8. Conclusion

1. What Can be Registered as a Trademark in Singapore?

 

In Singapore, various elements can be registered as trademarks, including words, logos, slogans, shapes, colors, and even sounds, as long as they are distinctive and capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one trader from another. However, trademarks that are generic, descriptive, deceptive, or against public policy are ineligible for registration. 

2. Reasons for Refusal of a Trademark Application in Singapore

 

Trademark applications may be refused in Singapore for several reasons, highlighting the importance of adhering to certain criteria. Lack of distinctiveness, descriptiveness, similarity to existing trademarks, and violations of public policy or morality are common grounds for refusal. Understanding these reasons beforehand is crucial for applicants to craft trademarks that are both legally compliant and distinctive in the marketplace.

 

Among notable differences from other countries, in Singapore, if a trademark consists of a word that has a descriptive meaning, even if this is a secondary or rarely used meaning, such a trademark will be objected due to being descriptive. The only way to overcome such an objection will be to show sufficient use in Singapore.

3. The Trademark Registration Process in Singapore

 

The trademark registration process in Singapore is a systematic procedure aimed at ensuring the integrity and uniqueness of registered marks. It typically involves the following steps:

 

Trademark Protectability Search: Before filing a trademark application, it’s advisable to conduct a comprehensive trademark protectability search. This search aims to identify any existing trademarks that may conflict with the proposed mark. The search helps assess the likelihood of the proposed mark being registered successfully and minimizes the risk of infringing upon existing trademark rights. 

 

Filing of Application: Once the trademark protectability search is completed, the next step is to file a trademark application with the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS). The application must include all relevant details, such as the representation of the trademark (e.g., logo, word mark), details of the applicant, and a list of goods or services covered by the trademark. It’s essential to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the application to avoid delays or rejection. We recommend using the list of acceptable terms as this allows to pay a 30% lower government fee when filing a trademark.

 

Examination: Upon receiving the trademark application, IPOS conducts an examination to assess the eligibility of the trademark for registration. During this examination, IPOS evaluates various factors, including the distinctiveness of the mark, its compliance with legal requirements, and its potential for confusion with existing trademarks. If any issues or objections arise during the examination, the applicant may be required to address them through amendments or additional submissions.

 

Publication: If the trademark application meets all criteria and passes the examination stage, it is published in the Trade Marks Journal for public scrutiny. The publication serves as a transparency measure, allowing interested parties to review pending trademark applications and raise objections if they believe the proposed mark infringes upon their rights. The publication period typically lasts for two months, during which third parties have the opportunity to file oppositions against the registration of the trademark.

 

Registration: Assuming no opposition is raised within the stipulated time frame, or if opposition proceedings are resolved in favor of the applicant, the trademark is registered, and a certificate of registration is issued. Registration grants the applicant exclusive rights to use the registered mark in connection with the specified goods or services. The certificate of registration serves as proof of ownership and provides legal protection against unauthorized use of the mark.

 

Maintenance and Renewal: Once registered, trademark owners must maintain and renew their trademarks to ensure continued protection. Trademarks in Singapore are initially registered for ten years and can be renewed indefinitely for successive ten-year periods upon payment of renewal fees. Failure to renew a trademark may result in its expiration and loss of protection.

 

An average straightforward registration process takes around 9 months.

4. Documents Required for Trademark Registration in Singapore

 

To file a trademark in Singapore a local representative is required to communicate with the Trademark Office. If you filed trademarks in Singapore before, the Trademark Office assigned the applicant a unique ID number. Make sure that you provide the ID number to your representative or attorney as this will simplify further management of your trademark portfolio.

 

If your trademark contains words in any language other than English, you must provide translation and transliteration of the words.

 

No power of attorney is required. 

 

When applying to register a trademark in Singapore, the following documents are typically required:

 

  • Completed trademark application form.
  • Representation of the trademark (e.g., logo, word mark).
  • Details of the applicant, including name, address, and nationality.
  • List of goods or services covered by the trademark.

 

Ensuring the completeness and accuracy of these documents is essential for a smooth trademark registration process.

5. Trademark Opposition Process in Singapore

 

The trademark opposition process in Singapore provides an avenue for third parties to challenge pending trademark applications. During the publication stage, parties who believe that a trademark application may infringe upon their rights can file an opposition with IPOS. The opposition process involves submitting evidence and arguments to support the opposition claim. If the opposition is successful, the trademark application may be refused or subject to limitations. This mechanism reinforces the principle of fair competition and protects the interests of existing trademark owners. Read also about the differences between TEAS+ and TEAS Standard trademarks in the US.

6. Trademark Costs in Singapore

 

The costs associated with trademark registration in Singapore vary depending on factors such as the number of classes of goods or services covered and whether the application encounters any opposition or objections. 

 

Our fees as of May 2024

Professional fee for one class$229
Government fee for one class $210
Professional fee for each additional class$191
Government fee for each additional class$210

 

The trademark registration cost in Singapore via the iPNOTE platform starts from as low as $439, which includes all government fees and document preparation. Find the best IP attorney in Singapore on iPNOTE

7. Why File a Trademark in Singapore?

 

Singapore is frequently referred as the gateway to Asia and many financial companies targeting other Asian markets register trademarks as Singapore will be their headquarters. One of the important reasons is to avoid trademark disputes by securing the trademark due to high litigation costs. 

 

Additionally, Singapore is a financial center and companies targeting local financial industries frequently register their trademarks to protect their rights. 

 

Last but not least, digital currency start-ups incorporate in Singapore and cooperate with Bonamark to take advantage of the cost-effective way to extend their trademark to 100+ countries via the Madrid System.

 

Registering a trademark in Singapore offers several advantages for businesses:

 

  • Legal protection: Registration provides exclusive rights to use the mark in connection with the registered goods or services, enhancing legal protection against infringement.
  • Market differentiation: A registered trademark distinguishes a business’s products or services from competitors, fostering brand recognition and customer loyalty.
  • Asset value: A registered trademark is a valuable intangible asset that can enhance the value of a business and be monetized through licensing or franchising arrangements.
  • Enforcement rights: Registered trademark owners have the right to take legal action against unauthorized use of their mark, including seeking damages and injunctions.

8. Conclusion

 

The trademark registration process in Singapore is a vital mechanism for protecting intellectual property rights and fostering a conducive business environment. By securing a trademark, businesses can safeguard their brand identity, differentiate themselves in the market, and capitalize on their intellectual assets. With a comprehensive understanding of the registration process and its associated benefits, businesses can navigate the trademark landscape in Singapore with confidence and ensure the long-term success of their brands. It is imperative for businesses to recognize the significance of trademarks as strategic assets and proactively manage their trademark portfolios to maximize value and mitigate risks in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.

 

***

 

Any questions about IP matters in Singapore? Contact Bonamark via iPNOTE now.

 

The iPNOTE platform features more than 800 IP law firms that cover more than 150 countries, so you can always find the right direct service provider using our flexible filtering system.

 

Protect your trademark in Singapore on iPNOTE now.

 

Check your trademark protectability through our AI trademark search tool.

 

Sign up for free, and we’ll help you solve any IP-related problem.

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