I have personally experienced a situation whereby one of my business competitors decided to take a screenshot of my company’s logo from our website and submit it as his own trademark. Fortunately, we spotted the submission within 2 months of the submission date and were able to challenge his application. This was an important learning experience for me on the importance of protecting your trademark early.
We may think that trademark registration is an expensive and difficult process that requires us to hire a consultant. Surprisingly, it is easier than we imagined. By doing some research online, I figured out that I can DIY my trademark application.
How to submit your trademark application yourself
Log on to the web portal by IPOS (Intellectual Property Office of Singapore) called IP2SG (URL: https://www.ip2.sg). You can login to this site using your Singpass or Corpass to submit your trademark registration.
You can apply for trademark protection by submitting an online form for trademark registration. There are a lot of forms on the portal, because IPOS deals with not just trademark, but also other intellectual property like patents and copyright as well. That makes it a little intimidating. However it is actually quite simple. The form that you need to pay attention to for registering trademark in Singapore is Form TM4.
The awesome folks at IPOS had come up with a simple step-by-step manual on how to fill up form TM4. You can download the PDF of the user manual via the following link: TM4 User Manual
In a nutshell, what you need to do is to specify your company’s detail, trademark detail and also specify the classes of trademark which you wish to apply for. A trademark class, to put it simply, is the category/industry in which you want your trademark to be protected. For example, two companies happen to have the same name, Subway Shots. One is a photography service company while the other is selling hard liquor. They will most likely register the same name under two different trademark classes, according to the industry they are in. The fee for trademark registration is on a per class basis, which makes it costly to register your trademark across all classes.
Extending your Singapore trademark Internationally
Later on, when you wish to extend your Singaporean trademark internationally, you can submit the form MM2, which is for extending your Singaporean trademark to other countries participating in the Madrid Protocol. This should be done after you have gotten your local trademark approved. For details on how to do this, you can take a look at the user manual provided by IPOS. The PDF can be downloaded here: MM2 User Guide
During my filing, I found that the officers of IPOS to be very helpful on my queries. They are consistently supported me during my DIY trademark applications.
For DIY registration of Singapore trademark, the fee is about $240 to $374 per class. For more details of Trademark registration & the fees, visit this link: IPOS Trademark information