In 1998, to meet the city – state’s obligations under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Intellectual Property, the modern Singapore Trade Marks Act was passed. Singapore is currently a signatory to the following relevant international conventions:
- Paris Convention
- Berne Convention
- Madrid Protocol
- Nice Agreement
- Patent Cooperation Treaty
- Budapest Treaty
- WIPO Copyright Treaty
- WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty
- UPOV Convention
- The Geneva Act (1999) of the Hague Agreement concerning the International Registration of Industrial Design
Important features of Singapore’s Trade Marks Act :
- Trademark registration is only effective in Singapore. As Singapore is contracting country under the Madrid Protocol, an international application may be filed through IPOS in Singapore after the trademark has been files in Singapore. Trademark protection is territorial, hence, it is necessary to register the trademark in those countries or pursue international trademark registration through the Madrid protocol to obtain trademark rights and protection in other countries.
- A trademark must be graphically represented which can be any letter, word, name, signature, numeral, device, brand, heading, label, ticket, shape, color, aspect of packaging or a combination. The Singapore trademarks regime requires no evidence of use to be filed before a trademark registration is granted.
- There is no time limit for filing according to the Trade Marks Act. A trademark registration takes effect from filin and the validity period of a registered trademark in Singapore is 10 years.
- With the introduction of service mark registration, the search for prior rights now extend to cover
- Those services which are closely related to the goods for which registration is sought with respect to trademarks applied on goods
- The examination will include marks for goods which are closely related to those service with respect to service marks
Procedure of Singapore trademarks registration
1. Identify class of food/services
Goods and services are appropriately classified from classes 1 to 45 under the International Classification of Goods and Services generally referred to as the “IGNS”. If the applicant deals in a wide range of goods or service, it will be necessary to file applications in more than one class
2. Self search for possible conflict
It is recommended that you first conduct a search of the existing trademarks in the record maintained by the Singapore Registry of Trademarks as the application fees for trademark registration is not refundable.
3. Application filing
The goods and services listed in the application must conform to the International Classification of Goods and Services. $341 is the official filing fee for registration of a trademark on a per mark per class basis.
4. Application checking for completeness and compliance
If there is any ground for objection, the Registry will notify the applicant about the corrections required along with a specified period of time granted to overcome the objection. A trademark application number and date of application filing will be provided approximately two weeks from the date of filing.
5. Examination for conflicts with existing trademarks
The registrar conducts a formal search for conflicting marks, geographical names, and conformance to the international classification of goods and services. The trademark registration application will be rejected if there are any objection in the above research. If the applicant wants to pursue it further, the applicant will have to amend the trademark and submit a new application.
6. Examination for conflicts with law
The application will be examined to determine whether the mark is registrable in accordance with Singapore Trademark Laws and does not fall into the areas not allowed by the law.
7. Advertisement for public scrutiny
The application will be published for opposition purposes in the Trade Marks Journal upon completion of examination. Any interested party may oppose the registration of the mark within a period of two months after publication. If the trademarks office receives an objection from an opponent, the applicant must respond with a counter statement to resolve the objection.
8. Successful registration
If all the objections were resolved in favour of the applicant, the trademark will be registered and a registration certificate will be issued to the applicant.