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Filing and registration

Filing procedure

Do agents filing for registration of a mark on behalf of the owner require power of attorney? If so, is notarisation or legalisation required?

No.

What information and documentation must be submitted in a trademark registration application?

The following information is required to obtain a filing date:

  • the applicant’s name and address;
  • a clear graphical representation of the mark;
  • a list of the goods and services for which registration is sought, classified according to the International Classification of Goods and Services;
  • a declaration of use or intent to use the trademark; and
  • proof of payment of the prescribed filing fee.

Additional information is required for:

  • marks with non-English words or non-Roman characters;
  • marks comprising the three-dimensional shape of the goods or packaging;
  • collective marks; and
  • certification marks.

What rules govern the representation of the mark in the application?

The main rules are as follows:

  • The trademark must be represented graphically and be capable of distinguishing the applicant’s goods or services from those of other traders.
  • The graphical representation must show the exact trademark for which the applicant is seeking protection.
  • The graphical representation must be clear, with a minimum image resolution of 250 by 250 pixels.

Are multi-class applications allowed?

Yes.

Is electronic filing available?

Yes, both electronic and manual filing are available.

What are the application fees?

The application fee for manually registering a trademark, collective mark or certification mark is S$374 per class.

For online filing, the official fee is reduced to S$341 per class. A further fee reduction is available for marks where the specification items are fully adopted from a pre-approved database. For such marks, the application fee is S$240 per class.

Priority

How are priority rights claimed?

If an applicant has a corresponding application that was filed earlier in a Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property or World Trade Organisation member country (other than Singapore), it may claim priority from this first-filed application, subject to certain conditions being met, provided that the Singapore application is filed within six months from the date of the first filing. 

Searches

Are trademark searches available or required before filing? If so, what procedures and fees apply?

Trademark searches are not required, but are highly recommended.

Examination

What factors does the authority consider in its examination of the application?

The application will be examined to determine whether the mark is registrable in accordance with the law.

Does the authority check for relative grounds for refusal (eg, through searches)?

Yes, trademark examiners will conduct a search to check if the applied-for mark is similar to any trademark which has already been registered or applied for by another party for the same or similar goods or services.

If the authority raises objections to the application, can the applicant take measures to rectify the application? If so, what rules and procedures apply?

Where an examiner has an objection to a mark, he or she will inform the applicant of the objection and grant the applicant a specified period in which to respond. The applicant can file amendments to the application to address the examiner’s objection and may also request to extend the deadline to respond.

Can rejected applications be appealed? If so, what procedures apply?

All appeals against a registrar’s decision (concerning either the mark’s registrability or the outcome of an opposition) must be filed with the High Court. The appeal procedures are governed mostly by specific rules of court. Appeals of High Court decisions can be submitted, with leave, to the Court of Appeal, which is the highest appellate court in Singapore.

Registration

When does a trademark registration formally come into effect?

Once registered, a trademark formally comes into effect as of the application’s filing date.

What is the term of protection and how can a registration be renewed?

Trademarks are granted protection for 10 years from the application’s filing date. Protection can last indefinitely, subject to payment of renewal fees every 10 years and proper use of the mark.

What registration fees apply?

There are no registration fees, the applicant need pay only application fees.

What is the usual timeframe from filing to registration?

For straightforward applications that face no objections, the total processing time from filing to registration is approximately nine months. 

Opposition

Can third parties formally oppose an application? If so, on what grounds and what rules and procedures apply?

Yes. A notice of opposition should be accompanied by valid grounds in accordance with the trademark legislation. A registrar of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) Hearings and Mediation Department will hear the case based on the information and evidence presented by both parties and present the grounds for its decision.

What is the usual timeframe for opposition proceedings?

It generally takes between one and two years to reach an initial decision. However, this timeline will change if the parties:

  • can agree to a settlement at the mediation stage; or
  • request time extensions.

Are opposition decisions subject to appeal? If so, what procedures apply?

The parties can appeal the decision within 28 days from the date of the IPOS hearing officer’s decision and should do so with the High Court. The procedures for filing such an appeal are governed by the rules of court.

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