Failure to protect one's trademark can be a big puzzle for a business. Because this unique business card is what distinguishes your products and services from those of the competition. Is your trademark really safe?
Although it is not legally required to register the trademark in Singapore and the mere use of the trademark may entitle you to acquire certain rights, registration of the trademark is very beneficial. To acquire an exclusive right to the mark to prohibit any natural or legal person from using the sign in protected sectors of activity (classes).
In case of infringement of a trademark, it is possible to bring an action for infringement before the civil or criminal courts.
There are additional penalties, including the publication of the judgment.
Like patents or utility models, trademarks belong to the industrial property rights . What constitutes a trademark is described by the Singapore Trademark Law as follows: a trademark encompasses all signs that may be suitable for distinguishing "goods or services of a company from those of other companies.
These signs must be distinctive and available in order to become registered and protected trademarks. The filing of a trademark must not infringe on prior rights. For example, a name that has already been the subject of an earlier mark or is already used by another company in the same field cannot be filed (the fields of activity are grouped into classes to which reference is made for the deposit of its mark) because there is then a risk of confusion in the mind of the public.
The case of well-known marks is different because their owners can protect them regardless of the product or service. Certain terminologies are inadmissible as trademarks if they are likely to mislead the consumer as to the nature, characteristics or provenance of the product or service they designate, or if they are contrary to public order or morality, such as racist slogan or if they correspond to an Appellation of Origin.
In addition, you must inform yourself before the trademark application if your trademark violates existing trademark rights. If this becomes known later, the trademark application was virtually pointless.
In Singapore, the trademark application is filed via the Singapore Patent and Trademark Office. The trademark application can be made in three ways:
The important information is similar for trademark application in all three ways
Once you have provided this information, an examination will be carried out. These exist if, for example, no distinctive character of the mark is given, the information is too general or there is an apparent risk of misleading. If absolute grounds of protection are violated, no trademark application will be filed.
It is therefore not checked when registering your trademark whether existing property rights are violated. Within three months of the publication of the mark, holders of earlier marks may appeal the trade mark application. If the opposition is successful, the mark is deleted and the trademark application is invalid. The fees for the trademark application will not be returned.
The trademark protection exists after registration exactly for 10 years, but can then be extended for a further fee.
Although the registration of a trademark is not mandatory, it has several advantages. For the most part, this is an excellent return on investment in the longer term. Remember that the registration process can be tedious in some cases. Make sure you have a good trademark agent to protect you properly.
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