Guide to Trademark Registration in Singapore

Guide to Trademark Registration in Singapore

Trademark registration is a crucial step for businesses looking to protect their intellectual property.

In Singapore, the Trade Marks Act of 1998, aligned with international conventions such as the Paris Convention and Madrid Protocol, governs this process. The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), operating under the Ministry of Law, oversees trademark registration.

Key Features of Singapore's Trade Marks Act

Territorial Protection
- Trademark registration in Singapore is effective only within the country. To secure rights internationally, is necessary to register the trademark in other countries or through the Madrid Protocol.

Graphical Representation
- A trademark must be capable of graphical representation, encompassing various forms such as letters, words, devices, colours, shapes, or a combination. Unlike some jurisdictions, Singapore doesn't mandate evidence of use before registration.

No Time Limit for Filing
- While there's no time limit for filing a trademark, infringement suits are only possible if the mark is registered. Registration is effective from the filing date, with a validity period of 10 years, renewable indefinitely.

Extended Classes and Service Marks
- With the inclusion of service marks, classes have expanded from International Classification 35 to 45. Searches now consider related services for goods and vice versa.

Trademark Registration Procedure

The Registrar of Trademarks in Singapore examines each application, a process lasting 8-12 months, subject to objections or difficulties - Engaging a professional firm is recommended for a smoother experience, offering benefits like avoiding application rejections and saving time.

  1. Identify Class of Goods/Services:

Goods/services for trademark registration must be chosen from classes 1 to 45 under the International Classification of Goods and Services (ICGS). Applications may cover multiple classes if a wide range of goods/services is involved.

  1. Self-Search for Conflicts:

Conduct a search in the Singapore Registry of Trade Marks to ensure no identical or similar marks exist. Application fees are non-refundable, making prior self-search crucial.

  1. Application Filing:

Goods and services listed must align with the International Classification of Goods and Services.


  1. Application Checking for Completeness:

The trademark office reviews the application for completeness, compliance, and fee payment. A trademark application number is provided upon filing.

  1. Examination for Conflicts with Existing Trademarks:

A formal search is conducted for conflicting marks, geographical names, and conformity to the international classification. Pharmaceutical products undergo an additional check for protected International Non-Proprietary Names (INN). Objections may lead to rejection, requiring modifications for resubmission.

  1. Examination for Conflicts with Law:

The application undergoes scrutiny to ensure compliance with Singapore Trademark Laws. Examiners check for distinctive character and other legal requirements. Objections are communicated to the applicant, allowing time for resolution.


  1. Advertisement for Public Scrutiny

Accepted applications are published in the Trade Marks Journal for a two-month opposition period. Interested parties may oppose registration on grounds like similarity to existing marks.

  1. Successful Registration:

If no objections arise or are successfully resolved, the trademark is registered. A registration certificate is issued to the applicant.


Navigating the trademark registration process involves legal nuances, making professional assistance advisable. This guide serves as an introduction; however, consulting a professional firm ensures a thorough and successful registration journey for businesses in Singapore.

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