How to register your trademark in Singapore

In Singapore, registering a trademark is a crucial step in protecting your brand and business identity. The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) is the official agency that handles this process. This article provides a brief guide to registering a trademark in Singapore.

Understanding IPOS

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) is a government agency specifically responsible for intellectual property matters. IPOS not only handles trademark registration but also takes care of patents, copyrights, and design registrations. As an active participant in the international intellectual property system, IPOS is committed to creating an environment friendly to innovation and creativity.

Who Can Register a Trademark

In Singapore, almost any individual or legal entity can apply for trademark registration. This includes:

  • Individuals: Any person, regardless of nationality or place of residence, can apply for a trademark in Singapore. Individual applicants do not need to have actual business operations in Singapore.

  • Companies or Businesses: Both local and foreign companies can apply to register trademarks in Singapore. This applies to businesses of all types, sizes, and industries.

  • Partnerships: Partnerships can also apply as entities for a trademark.

  • Other Legal Entities: This includes but is not limited to associations, trust funds, and non-governmental organizations.

It’s important that the applicant intends to use the trademark or is already using it. Singapore’s trademark law requires the trademark to be used in commerce to distinguish goods or services. Therefore, applicants need to specify the categories of goods or services they plan to use the trademark for in their application. However, since the system requires Singpass login, foreign applicants who do not reside or have actual business premises in Singapore may need to apply through a trademark agent registered in Singapore.

Trademark Registration Steps

  1. Search for Similar Trademarks Before applying for registration, the first crucial step is to conduct market research to ensure your trademark does not conflict with existing trademarks. This can be done through IPOS’s online database.

  2. Apply for Trademark Protection Prepare your trademark image (if applicable) and determine the categories of goods and/or services you wish to register. In Singapore, depending on your chosen categories (classification-of-goods-and-services-ipos-website_jan2023), the cost is approximately SGD 280 to SGD 380 per class. Typically, it takes about 7 to 15 minutes to complete the application.

  3. Overseas Trademark Protection (Optional) If you plan to conduct business outside of Singapore, you may also consider applying for international trademark protection.

  4. Trademark Renewal Trademark registration is limited (10 years) and requires regular renewal. Understanding the renewal process and fees is crucial for long-term protection of your brand.

99% of direct applications are completed within 12 months from the date of application (direct applications refer to those without errors and not encountering substantial objections).

Conclusion

Whether you are a start-up or an established company in the market, understanding and following the guidelines of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore is crucial for protecting your creative and business efforts. With the resources and support of IPOS, you can ensure that your brand and creativity are duly recognized and protected.

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