How Does Each VoIP Service for Businesses Work?

You may have seen one of the many names of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), such as, Internet telephony, voice over broadband (VoBB), IP telephony, broadband phone, and many more from your Internet and telephone service providers. But what do you really know about VoIP and how can it help you improve your business?

What is VoIP?

VoIP is a communications technology that harnesses the power of the Internet. It works by converting the voice message into data packets and transmits this in turn from your IP (Internet Protocol, or how the information travels between computers) to another through the Internet. The packets are sent one by one, then re-formed or decompressed so that the signal is returned to its original state for the receiver. It might sound like a new technology that can’t be trusted, but VoIP has been developed in 1995 for long-distance and international calling.

With so many new innovations today, however, a lot of questions come to mind regarding the use of VoIP in business. So, what happened to the telephone, fax, e-mail, texting, instant messaging, voice and/or video chat that we now use today? Why can’t your business use a combination of those communication tools instead? Why not use the smartphones for long-distance and international calls?

The thing is, VoIP would not exist if not for the tools used for the activities listed above, such as the telephone, the Internet, and the IP. VoIP started as an Internet phone, which can make calls from computer-to-phone and phone-to-phone, but was later improved as a hosted IP PBX in Singapore technology improved over the next two decades. When voice calls and instant messaging became free through the use of VoIP software, businesses saw the potential of this technology in improving communication. This means that you can communicate with employees and with clients or customers within the country or outside Singapore through VoIP Singapore. As long as you have ethernet and Wi-Fi, analog telephone adapter, or a softphone, you will be able to use VoIP and perform all the tasks listed above.

Is VoIP Good for Business?

VoIP for business has the following advantages:

  1. Reduces the cost of setting up equipment and maintenance
  2. Saves money for communications and is scalable
  3. VoIP is easy to install and troubleshoot
  4. VoIP is user-friendly
  5. It has an array of media services, such as video calls, voice calls, instant messaging, etc.
  6. VoIP integrates other business systems
  7. It uses bandwidth more efficiently and streamlines networking

Most businesses in Singapore and the rest of the world, use three types of VoIP; such as the analog telephone adaptor (ATA), VoIP Singapore Phones or IP Phones, and Computer-to-Computer.

Now, let’s look some common terms related to VoIP services used in businesses in Singapore.

What is Cloud VoIP?

Cloud VoIP, also called cloud telephony, hosted telephony or cloud-based VOIP system, uses only IP phones to harness the power of cloud technology. This means that with cloud VoIP there is no need to install and maintain hardware other than the IP phones. Cloud VoIP will replace conventional phone equipment with a VoIP service. It will also be easier to add more lines as the business grows, and there is no need to pay additional fees because the charges are either paid monthly or are per-used-based. Unlike a hosted PABX, which is discussed below, the cloud VoIP has a remote provider that maintains it for free.

What is Hosted PBX?

Also called self-hosted VoIP systems, a hosted PBX allows a business to own and pay for its own phone system equipment. The PBX refers to private branch exchange or the conventional business phone equipment, while the term hosted refers to an off-site location where the hardware and PBX are hosted. The company will have its call platform and PBX features hosted by a service provider. A hosted PBX is ideal for companies that want to have control over their infrastructure, but it can be more difficult to maintain than cloud VoIP because of the equipment, manpower, and maintenance costs.

What is a Hosted VoIP System?

The name hosted VoIP system can be confusing, because it can mean either of these two: a type of VoIP phone service or a hosted server in a company, like the hosted PBX discussed above. To make it easier to understand, a hosted VoIP system means that the VoIP service is provided by a third company in one of its data centers. Therefore, a hosted PBX is just another name for a hosted VoIP system. This type of VoIP service is ideal for big companies that need to make and receive calls over the Internet, virtual attendants, call routing, voicemail, and others.

What is IP PBX Telephone System?

An IP PBX telephone system will consist of at least one SIP phone or VoIP phones, a hosted PABX server, and a VoIP gateway. So, what is a hosted PABX server? It’s similar to what a proxy server does, which makes it ideal for companies in Singapore that want to have all the benefits of VoIP technology, because the phone systems are connected through SIP trunking. In other words, the Internet will replace the conventional phone trunks, so that employers and employees can communicate with others through mobile and fixed numbers. SIP trunking or session initiation protocol is the use of VoIP to provide a connection of a PBX system to the Internet so that all the telephones trunks are replaced.

What is a PBX Phone System?

PBX phone system is just another name for IP PBX telephone system, but it can also mean that it’s a service that mimics the function of SIP trunks and is managed instead by a third-party provider. Also called managed IP PBX, the PBX phone system is an alternative to companies who do not want the added cost of equipment, manpower, and maintenance to get all the benefits of VoIP Singapore services.

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.