It's not easy to come up with a business idea and build a brand name. To build a distinctive and distinct picture of your business on the market requires a considerable amount of time and resources. Of course, everyone would feel obligated to preserve the dignity of what they have produced from looming threats.
By learning how to trademark a logo and all that comes with the process, you will protect your intellectual property. If it's a million-dollar concept or not, with the aid of this guide, you will learn how to preserve your brand image.
The following matters will be discussed in this article:
- What a trademark is
- How to trademark a logo
- Common mistakes
What a trademark is?
In Singapore, a trademark is described as a 'sign' capable of graphical representation, which is used by a trader to indicate a connection between himself and specific products and services in the course of trade.A trademark defends a specific form of intellectual property (IP). It may be a distinctive mark, word(s), sound, number, picture or fragrance used to represent a company or its products.
Registration, as defined by the World Intellectual Property Organization, "provides legal certainty and strengthens the right holder's position in the event of litigation, for example."
In simpler terms, a trademark provides legal protection to your brand name from people who can copy it. It is generally confused with copyrights, but here's a short distinction between the two:
- Copyright is for works that are intellectual and literary.
- Commercial graphics, titles, logos, and the like are trademarked.
- Technically, since logos also represent art, you can use a logo for both copyright and trademark protection. Trademarks, however, prevent other manufacturers' brand marks and names from being illegal.
Should you trademark your logo?
You may be wondering whether you should commit to this legal process with your brand or not. To decide, here are some popular FAQs—
Cost-The official filing fee for registration of a trademark in Singapore on a per mark per class basis is SGD 240 - 374. The goods and services listed in the application must conform to the International Classification of Goods and Services. This amount does not include the cost for the solicitor.
When to register- Usually start-ups and small businesses are encouraged to register their brand until it is stable and established.
Average duration-A trademark registration may take approximately 9 months from the date on which the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore receives the notification from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
For more information from the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, go to https://www.ipos.gov.sg/protect-ip/apply-for-a-trade-mark
Risks in not trademarking- When a brand comes up with a similar-looking template to yours, not trademarking the logo will lead to issues. This can confuse viewers and water down your visual identity's effects. Generally speaking, all the hard work you've done to create a brand is covered.
How to trademark a logo?
By filing for a trademark, start protecting the intellectual property. It is a commodity that grants you the right to use it, licence it, and sell it. We will cover the steps you need to take in this section to file a trademark claim.
Step #1: Check for eligibility
Please check that a trade mark is valid for registration until you apply for registration.
Step #2: Identify class of goods/services
The applicant must settle about the categories of goods/services on which trademark approval is sought before an application can be lodged with the trademark office. Goods and services are properly categorised under the International Classification of Goods and Services, commonly referred to as the ICGS, from classes 1 to 45.
It is important to take due care to ensure that the application is lodged in the right class. If the applicant deals with a broad variety of products or services, it would be appropriate to file applications of more than one class.
Step #3: Self-search for future disputes
Application costs for identification of trade marks are not refundable. It is also advised that you first conduct a review of the current trademarks in the documents kept by the Singapore Register of Trade Marks before submitting an application. This is to ensure that no existing trade mark is equivalent to or comparable to the one you are intending to use.
Step #4: Application filing
For registration of a trade mark on a per mark per class basis, the official filing fee is S$341. The goods and services referred to in the proposal shall comply with the International Classification of Goods and Services.
Step# 5: Completeness and approval testing of applications
If the trade mark application has been submitted, it will be checked by the Trade Marks Office to ensure that (a) the application is complete; (b) it complies with the requirements of the Trade Marks Act; and (c) it has been paid the required fees. A number for a trademark application is issued and will be given after the application has been registered.
If any ground of opposition remains, the Registry shall inform the claimant of the corrections sought, along with a prescribed amount of time given for the objection to be resolved. If the petitioner may not respond to the complaints within the time given, the appeal will be presumed to have been withdrawn.
Step# 6:Examination of issues with current trademarks
The Registrar shall perform a formal search for overlapping signs, geographical names and compliance with the international classification of products and services until the above phase has been completed. The Register of TradeMarks would also need to verify withInternational Nonproprietary Name (INN)in the case of pharmaceutical goods. The INNs, furnished by the World Health Organization, are generic names for specific pharmaceutical substances.
If there are any concerns as a result of the above-mentioned search, the application for registration of a trade mark would be denied. The claimant will have to amend/amend the trademark and file a new application if the applicant decides to seek it further.
Step# 7: Publication for public scrutiny
If the application for a trade mark is suitable for approval, it will be published for 2 months in the Trade Marks Journal for public review.
If any individual does not reject your trade mark submission, your application will continue to be filed.
If your application for a trade mark is opposed by another party, you will get a copy of the opponent's notice of opposition. Pending the results of the opposition hearings, the request process will be halted.
Step# 8: Registration
You can obtain a certificate of registration from IPOS if the trade mark submission is not objected to or if the result of the opposition hearings is in your favour. Security is given to the trademark for 10 years.
Common Mistakes During Trademark Registration
This legal procedure comes with confusing specifications that you can stop. Read about these errors and the ways you can avoid them below.
Only searching for logos Design –Many consumers ignore taglines and brand logo design , which are enforceable trademarks, instead aiming for slogans. Always make sure that if someone has the same or identical tagline as you to avoid complications, you double-check.
Registering a logo design that isn’t adaptive – It takes time and financial capital to complete this process, all of which will go down the drain if you want to change your logo in the future. The trademark covers only the version of the emblem which you had at the time of filing. Until filing, make sure that you have a strong logo template that you are secure in.
Forgetting to check on your application –It is important to track your application for improvement or problems flagged by officials every three months after filing. To stop delays, you want to adapt as soon as possible to the issues.
Furthermore, failure to respond to problems will cause the office to either cancel or abandon your submission. Your application can be reopened. It will come with extra expenses, though.
Not renewing a trademark – The emblem remains covered for up to 10 years in Singapore. A request for renewal shall be made not later than 6 months after the date of expiry of the registration.
Wondering where you can find a perfect logo you're not going to regret about?
Enthof Brand Communications & Designs is a branding agency in Singapore where you can get your company's custom logo designed. For you, this is a chance to create a flexible concept worthy of becoming your trademark.