Trademark Registration Guide and Information

Singapore Trademark Process

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) is the government agency that administers Intellectual Property (IP) laws in Singapore. The operative statue governing trade mark law is the 1998 Trade Marks Act.

An overview of the Singapore trademark process is summarized below:

1) Search

Conducting a trademark search of the register prior to filing is recommended as it may help to determine availability of your trademark for registration. A search also ensures that your trademark does not infringe third party rights.

2) Application Filing

Application filing may be completed within 1 – 2 working days if the filing requirements are in good order. No notarization or legalization of documents is required. Upon successful filing, the Registry may take up to 7 working days (or longer) to issue the trademark particulars.

3) Examination

During the Examination stage, an examiner reviews your application and checks if it is in accordance with the Singapore Trade Marks Act and Rules. The examiner also searches the register to ensure that the proposed mark is not identical or confusingly similar with any prior registrations or applications.

Any queries or objections raised by an examiner (i.e. Office Actions) have to be answered within the given deadline. Office Action may be technical and usually require professional assistance to overcome them. Additional costs may be incurred for attending to Office Action.

4) Acceptance & Publication

Upon acceptance of your trademark, it will be published at the Singapore Trade Marks Journal for opposition purposes. During the publication stage, any third party who wishes to oppose your mark may do so by filing a notice of opposition within the prescribed 2 months period (extendable for a further 2 months) from the date of publication.

5) Registration

If no opposition is filed by third party within the prescribed period, the Registry issues the Certificate of Registration. In Singapore, registration of a trademark is valid for 10 years. Protection can lasts indefinitely with proper use of your trademark and with timely payment of renewal fees every 10 years.

While it is not mandatory to register a trademark in Singapore, the proprietor of a unregistered mark can only rely on the common law action of "passing off" to protect his mark against infringement. This can be costly and difficult for him to enforce his common law rights. In contrast, registration grants the trademark owner a statutory monopoly, giving him the exclusive right to use the trademark in Singapore.