A trademark registration will not only protect your brand from impostors, but it can also increase the value if your business and products and/or services that are marketed under the name. To create a TM not only means creating a brand that will uniquely identify you from among your competitors, but it can also be a way for customers to attach their loyalty to a quality brand.
If you’re having second thoughts about the application, here is an overview of the most common concerns about the process and its benefits.
What is a trademark?
A trademark refers to the name, numeral, shape, color, device, or aspect of a packaging used in a business to distinguish its goods and/or services from another trader’s products. To protect against business branding theft in Singapore, a registered mark therefore is a recognized mark that is protected by the civil and intellectual property rights of the country where the trademark registration was applied. You can identify an unregistered trademark through the symbol ™ while the registered trademark uses the symbol ®.
What are the benefits?
If your Singapore company decides to seek help to protect your chinese brand, register your trademark at IPOS and once approved, the intellectual property laws are applied and enforced. This means that once you trademark Chinese words and register Mandarin brands, as an owner you are granted the statutory right to use and enjoy the benefits of the brand. The owner can exploit the mark in the jurisdiction in which it was registered and gives it advantages over brands that might attempt to use a similar trademark to confuse consumers. It can bar others from copying or using said registered trademark, but it can be licensed by the owner for use by other parties. Companies in Singapore can also enjoy 400% tax rebates under the Productivity and Innovation Credit Scheme.
What are the requirements?
The basic requirements for a trademark application include a clear graphical representation of the trademark; name and address of the trademark owner; statement of request for registration, list of goods and/or services under the trademark; classification of the goods and/or services; declaration of intent to use the trademark; and the filing fee. You may also be required to come up with a unique logo design for your company. If you lack the expertise in graphic design, you may ask help from an emblem creator for a corporation based in Singapore. These experts can even provide you an emblem sketch for your own business.
If you need help with the identification of the classes of goods and/or services, just look for the guide detailing the 34 classes of goods and 11 classes of services. It is also advisable to perform a brand name registry search before you register trademark to make the process easier. That way, you still have enough time to change the design or brand before submitting the requirements. The cost of filing a trademark will depend whether it is an online or manual filing, the amendments to the application, and the number of classes.
Can I register outside the country?
Before you can apply internationally, your trademark must first be approved in the country of origin. All applications in and outside of Singapore are handled by IPOS. International registrations are processed through the Madrid Protocol. The process is basically the same with applications in local jurisdictions. The application is reviewed, and the trademark inspected and scrutinized by the public through a journal before protection can be given. If there are any objections, the applicant will be given time to respond or to complete the requirements.
What are the causes for rejection?
A registration is rejected if there is an existing trademark that looks similar to the trademark you are using for the application or if the trademark is not capable of distinguishing the goods and/or services from the other products and/or services by other entrepreneurs. To avoid this, perform a trade mark search before submitting the application.
How is it approved?
You must first meet the requirements listed above before IPOS can give you a trademark number and acknowledgment letter. If there is a deficiency, you will be given 2 months to complete or change it. Next, the trademark registration is examined for conflict with other existing registered trademarks. A search will be done based on the marks, names, and classification of goods and services. If there is a problem, you must deliver a response within 4 months or the application will be withdrawn. Then, the trademark is posted for public scrutiny in the Trade Marks Journal for 2 months. They will accept objections to the application and a hearing will take place if there is an opposition. If there are none, a Certificate of Registration is issued to the trademark owner. The owner can now enjoy the benefits of a registered trademark for 10 years.