Singapore and China Trademark Registration
If you want to register your trademark in Singapore and/or China, you’ll need to meet each of their requirements for doing so.
Singapore Trademark Registration Process & Requirements
Singapore signed the Paris Convention for the Protection of Intellectual Property, and the Singapore Trade Marks Act of 1998 was passed as a result. The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore in the Ministry of Law handles trademark registration.
Note that you’re not required by law to register a trade mark to use it in Singapore, but a registered trade mark owner gets the rights of ownership and the right to keep others from using a trademark like, or exactly like, their trade mark without their permission.
It’s important to understand that the Trade Mark Act is only effective in Singapore if you register your trade mark. You have to register your trade mark in other countries or get an international trade mark registration under the Madrid Protocol. You can do this in Singapore after you file a trade mark in Singapore.
Your trade mark has to be able to be represented graphically. This might be a letter, or word, shape, color, etc. You don’t have to show evidence of use to file for and be granted trade mark registration.
You can only file suit for an infringement of trade mark if your trade mark is registered, which starts from the date of your initial trademark filing. Your registered trade mark lasts 10 years in Singapore, and you can renew it indefinitely at the end of that period.
The entire trademark registration process takes between eight and 12 months. It’s best if you work with a professional firm to register your trade mark, although you can do it on your own. The paperwork and procedure required is onerous, and it can be overwhelming to complete and file correctly.
Singapore Trademark Registration Steps
- Decide on the type of goods or services you want your trade mark for. You may need to file under more than one class.
- Before you file an application, do a search of the Singapore Registry of Trade Marks to ensure you don’t waste your trade mark registration fee, which is not refundable.
- File the application, and pay the per mark class basis fee of S$341. Make sure your goods and services on the application meet the International Classification of Goods and Services requirements.
- The application is then reviewed to ensure it is complete, meets the Trade Marks Act requirements, and that the fees have been paid. If there are any objections to your application, you will be notified and given an opportunity to object.
- There will then be a search done to ensure that it doesn’t conflict with any other registered marks.
- Then the application is examined to see if the trade mark meets other important requirements of the law. You’ll have a chance to object if there are problems with it.
- Next, the public will be allowed to examine the trade mark and oppose its registration for a period of two months.
- Provided all requirements are met and no one objects to the trade mark, it will be successfully registered.
China Trademark Registration Process & Requirements
As in many other countries, just because you use a trade mark, it doesn’t mean that you own it in China. You must go through the legal process of registration in China to ensure your rights to use it.
To register a trade mark, it is more complicated at times that just turning in an application. You may not have access to information as a member of the public on how to register for a trade mark in some jurisdictions, and there is not always accurate information online. Finding similar trade marks can also be difficult.
It is best to work with an attorney to help you conduct a thorough study for similar trademarks. You don’t want to have gone through the entire application process only to find that there are competing trade marks already registered.
Your request will be filed with the State Administration for Industry and Commerce Trademark Office. After the application is examined, the trade mark will be published for three months so that others can oppose it if they think it is too close to their trade marks. You can expect your registration in 15 months if there are no oppositions and your application is formally approved.
Since China is part of the Madrid Protocol, too, you can claim the priority of your trademark filing in Singapore as well since it is also part of the Madrid Protocol.