When should I register a trade mark for my startup in Singapore?

Trade mark registration singapore

Entrepreneurs sometimes get confused between a trade mark and their company name or logo. They are not the same thing!

In Singapore, a trade mark is defined in the Trade Marks Act as any sign capable of being represented graphically and which is capable of distinguishing goods or services dealt with or provided in the course of trade by a person from goods or services so dealt with or provided by any other person. To put it more simply, a trade mark is a sign you can use to distinguish your startup’s offerings from those of other traders.

While it is possible to rely on common law trade mark rights (such as the law of passing off), there are a number of benefits to registering your trade mark in Singapore.

Advantages of registering a trade mark

1). By conducting the comprehensive search that follows the registration of a trade mark, you ensure that you aren’t exposing yourself to legal risk by infringing on another company’s trade mark.

2). You establish to the public at large your effective claim of ownership of the mark.

3). It becomes possible for you to license or sell the trade mark to third parties.

4). Registering a trade mark deters others from using trade marks that are similar or identical to your trade mark in relation to the goods and services you provide. If you so wish, you can bring an action against other parties, concerning your registered trade mark, in court.

So when is the right time to register a trademark?

We suggest filing for registration of your trade mark simultaneously while incorporating your company. If you’re serious about your business, this makes certain your brand is protected once you begin commercial sales.

What is actually more important than the timing of filing is making sure that the trademark search that accompanies the registration filing ensures that your mark is available and you aren’t accidentally infringing on someone else’s mark. The last thing a startup needs is to be on the wrong end of a trademark dispute.

It is possible to register a trade mark yourself if your startup is hard-up for cash and you want to save yourself the legal fees (note that this doesn’t mean there aren’t any fees. You still have to pay the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) registration fee). However, there are advantages to having a good trade mark lawyer help you through the entire process, and having one can possibly even make the difference between approval and disapproval of your trade mark.

To find out more about the trade mark registration process in Singapore, click here.

If you’d like to have an affordable, experienced trade mark lawyer assist you in registering your trade mark, get in touch with us here.