It is not illegal to come up with your own name and logo for your company but claiming that you have been copied by another company is a different issue altogether. An unregistered trademark is not protected by intellectual property and civil laws in a country even if there is a clear case of copying. Your brand can even be infringing on that company’s trademark if they are registered even if your business has been around longer. So, how do you protect your brand from such a situation? The solution is a trademark registration.
If you register trademark, you will be granted several privileges and protection. You might be wondering if a startup company will be able to afford such a protection, but the cost is worth all the trouble if it means you will not be liable for any violations. The registration grants you, the owner, exclusive rights to the mark in respect to its suitable TM class in Singapore and the services and/or goods that it covers. You do not need to prove that you own the brand in case another company accuses you of infringement. You can even invoke intellectual property rights if you find out that other businesses are copying your brand, granting you the right to receive infringement damages.
Additionally, the trademark is considered an intangible property in which an attached value and reputation is as valuable as any physical property. Aside from brand protection, it can be used to secure loans and will can be licensed to other users. When you use and create a TM, especially to trademark Chinese words, this also makes the application for an international trademark much easier if you wish to expand your business. Contact a trademark registration firm in Singapore if you need further help to register mandarin characters.
Before you can apply for a brand name registry, you must fulfill the following requirements for a trademark: the mark must be graphically represented; it must be distinct and descriptive of the goods and/or services offered by the company; it must not be similar to other marks; and it must be able to distinguish your goods and/or services from other companies. Additionally, you need to provide the following details: name of the owner, address, list of goods and/services, and the declaration of the intent to use. This requires a trade mark search to determine if there are marks that might be similar to yours as well as the knowing the classification of the goods and/or services you want to be protected under that brand. The cost of filing a trademark will depend on several factors, not including the professional assistance you might require. The application fee will include the payment of class per goods and/or services.
Once the documents and fees have been submitted or paid, the trademark application undergoes an examination by IPOS, the office that handles all IP applications in Singapore. If there are inconsistencies and deficiencies in the requirements, you will be notified and given time to comply. Once approved, they will determine if your mark can be registered by checking the registry. If there are amendments, you are required to submit documents and pay fees. When approved, the mark is published in the Trade Marks Journal for public examination. If there are no objections within two months, you will finally be issued the certificate of registration by IPOS. The trademark registration is valid for the next 10 years and is renewable. This process not only benefits startup companies and large businesses, but if your company has been around for years but the brand is not registered, you can still apply to register trademark.
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