How to Apply for a Trademark in Singapore

By Anita Choudhary

If your business sells products in Singapore, you may have wondered how to apply for an international trademark registration.

While it may seem like an involved and complex process, but it is actually a standardized process. Most countries around the world follow these standardized rules. If you want to learn more about these rules, read this article!

How to do international trademark registration in Singapore

It is not exactly rocket science to do it in Singapore. Singapore follows the Madrid System, which is a set of standardized rules and regulations that govern and dictate the process of international trademark registration. As is the case with any other nation, the process follows a series of steps.

Step 1: Submit the form

Note that the international trademark registration form is the MM2. You can download the Spanish, English, and French versions. Note that you must use this form if you want to qualify for it in Singapore. You must submit this form (application) to the office of origin (the trademark registration office in your country.) If approved, your application will have a 'basic mark' affixed to it. This is essentially a seal of approval from your home country that your product is legitimate. You can then apply for an international trademark under the Madrid System.

Step 2: Have your international trademark application reviewed by an independent agency

Note that this type of agency only checks your application for obvious errors. Submitting your application to an agency does not guarantee that your application will be approved by the international trademark office.

Note that the agency will issue you an irregular notice if your application contains obvious errors or doesn't comply with requirements. The office of origin in your home country will also receive this notice. You'll be informed as to the inconsistencies and errors in your application as well as how to remedy them. You'll be informed of the time limit you have to make these corrections and the possible consequences of not doing so.

If your application is consistent and correct, the agency will document and publish the 'domestic basic mark' in the International Register. It will then be published in the WIPO Gazette of International Marks. The agency will also inform the international registration office of this decision. It will inform the international registration office about each member named in the application; you will become the official holder of an international registration.

But please remember that this DOES NOT MEAN that your application is officially approved by the international trademark office. It also doesn't mean that you officially hold an active international trademark for your product(s).

Step 3: the offices of all of the countries where the members in your application are from will review your application

If you want to qualify for trademark registration in Singapore, and one of the named members in your application is from Singapore, the Singapore trademark registration office will review your application before it is approved. It will also be approved by the offices in the countries where your named members are from. You'll receive a notice of a decision within 12 months of completing the third step.

Benefits of international trademark registration

If you choose to do international trademark registration in Singapore, you will realize the following benefits. But remember that these benefits would apply regardless of the country to whose international trademark office you submitted your international trademark application to.

-- You'll save lots of money. After all, you are only submitting one application twice instead of 20+ applications more than 40 times.

-- If you do your international trademark registration in Singapore, you'll receive an trademark for your product(s) quickly. This means that your products will be protected from your competitors potentially trying to copy them.

-- If you do brand registration in other countries, your application will usually have to be approved by the International Bureau. This is not necessarily the case in Singapore. This means that you'll save lots of time, money, and headaches when trying to trademark your products.

-- A registration certificate carries the same weight in terms of rights and protections as a domestic trademark registration certificate.

-- You may have different filing (and later) filing dates, but you'll be able to add additional countries and regions in both your international trademark registration application and certificate.

International trademark registration

- You can only submit one application per product. You must also name all countries in which you will be selling your product.

- You can name as many countries as you want to in your application. They just have to be members of the Protocol.

- Your application must either have the original or an authentic and approved replica of the mark that the domestic office that approved your initial application affixed to it.

- All products you want to sell must be listed in accordance with the Nice Classification. This is essentially an international classification of goods and services.

- Your registration will be valid for 10 years from the approval date. You can extend the validity for another ten years. You will just have to pay the agency that reviewed your initial application additional fees for doing so

- You must have a registration application on file in the domestic trademark registration in Singapore if you want to file for international trademark registration in Singapore.

- The Singapore trademark must cover the products/services that you want to sell and have named in your application

- You must either live in Singapore, have a home business office there, or do business in Singapore.

Though the trademark registration process has many steps, it is neither complex nor arduous.

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