The Fundamental Concepts of Trademark Registration

Intellectual property (IP) refers to the creations of the intellect of groups or individuals. Intellectual property rights (IPR) on the other hand, refer to the set of laws that protect the owner/s from violators so that they can monopolize their intellectual property or do whatever they wish with it.

Examples of intellectual property include literary works, sound recordings, artworks, films, trade secrets, inventions, designs, and trademarks. The objective of the law is to limit exclusive rights to the owners and to gain exclusive benefits whether they choose to disclose their work/product or not. While it may sound limiting to some people, IPR encourages innovation and creativity because they are entitled to a lot of benefits from such exercise. Among the benefits of IPR are financial incentives, protection or moral and material interests, and economic growth.

Trademark Registration

Trademarks are signs or symbols that distinguish the company, business, and organization from other parties. The goods and/or services can easily be associated with the company through a trademark and are therefore considered intellectual property.

Companies, businesses, and organizations have the freedom to create and use their own trademark. However, unregistered trademarks cannot claim damages from parties that copy their marks for unauthorized purposes, because they are not legally recognized.

While it is not mandatory to register trademark, after doing so with brandmark trademark in Singapore the company will enjoy more benefits if it is protected by the country’s laws.

What are the fundamental concepts of trademark registration?

Not only does a registered mark grant exclusivity to the owner, but it will also be used as a badge of origin of the products and/or services. The trademark registration system is in keeping with the idea of determining and classifying goods and/services around the world. This is what is called trademark use, and it comes with rights and responsibilities for the owner. In Singapore, if a registered mark is not used for five subsequent years, it is considered forfeit.

Trademark Infringement

Violations of IPR is called infringement, therefore a violation of a registered mark is called trademark infringement. This happens when another party uses the registered mark without the permission of the company that owns it or if the trademark confuses the consumers because it looks similar to the registered mark.

In such scenarios, a registered trademark has more advantages than the unregistered trademark because the burden of proof is given to the latter. The owner with the registered mark does not need to prove its ownership and may ask for damages of the infringement.

Benefits of Trademark Registration

A registered mark is protected by the laws of Singapore for ten years, and can be renewed indefinitely. A company’s rights are enforced through court orders if there are any problems associated with the unauthorized use of the registered mark.

Some of the benefits of applying to register TM are the following:

    1. Exclusivity. Just think of trademark registration as applying for a land title. It will give your company the exclusive rights to the trademark and save money from the risk of infringement. This will also serve as a deterrent to other parties who might want to copy or to create a similar trademark to confuse the consumers.

    2. Coverage. Once your company’s application to register trademark has been approved, you will be granted protection by the national (and international) laws of your trade. If you have not applied yet for international protection, a national coverage will make the process smoother and enable your company to expand to other territories with fewer problems.

    3. Licensing. Your company also has the right to grant others the right to use your registered mark through an agreement. This will also allow the company to get in contact with reputable manufacturers, franchisees, distributors, and other vendors.

Trademark Registration in Singapore

If you want to protect your brand at the national level, you should file a trademark registration application at the Intellectual Property Office in Singapore. Trademarks that can be registered include names, numerals, symbols, colors, designs, letters, and other devices or a combination of these that will distinguish the company from other traders and competitors. Other aspects, such as the three-dimensional features, drawings, sounds, and even fragrances can also be protected by trademark registration as long as they are unique to the company. However, you cannot register marks that are descriptive, direct references, deceptive, identical to other marks or can confuse the consumers.

Trademark registration in Singapore can be divided into four steps, such as the application, examination, publication, and issuance of the certificate.

To register a trademark, the applicant must file an application form then pay the fees before a formalities check can be conducted by the IPOS. Once the applicant has passed the examination, the trademark is published in the Trademarks Journal to allow other parties to oppose its application. If there are no objections, the applicant will be granted the certificate that will protect the trademark for the next ten years.

To renew a trademark, an application form is submitted along with the payment of fees.

Trademark Registration Outside Singapore

If you want to apply for trademark registration that can be recognized internationally, you can either file at the IPOS or file through World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) Madrid System.

Trademark registration outside Singapore is divided into four steps, such as; application, formalities examination, publication, and examination by designated country/countries.

If the company wishes to designate Singapore via the Madrid process, there are three steps to follow, such as; examination, publication, and grant.

The publication step is important if the public wishes to scrutinize the trademark to see if it’s similar to or confusingly similar to other existing registered trademarks.

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