A trade mark can help you differentiate your products and services from others. Read on to learn more about registering and managing your trade marks.

What is a Trade Mark?

A trade mark is a sign that you can use to distinguish your business’ goods or services from those of other traders. It can be in the form of letters, words, names, signatures, numerals, devices (figurative elements), brands, headings, labels, tickets, shapes and colours, or any combination of these elements.

Types of Trade Marks

Some examples of the different types of trade marks are shown below.


For more information, please refer to the Trade Marks Infopack and Trade Marks Work Manual here.

Here are the benefits, term of protection and additional facts about trade marks.

A trade mark can add value to your business. Using a trade mark can help customers easily identify and remember your products and services, allowing you to build customer loyalty and protect your market share.

With a registered trade mark, you will enjoy a monopoly over its use. You may:

  1. Use the ® symbol next to your mark

  2. Protect your market share by deterring others from using it

  3. License it to third parties

  4. Sell it for a sum

  5. Use it to raise equity for business undertakings

Once your trade mark is registered, it will be protected for 10 years from the date of filing. You may renew the registration upon its expiry.

1. Usage of Symbols


The TM symbol and ® symbol should not be used interchangeably.

  • The TM  symbol informs others that you are using the logo or name as a trade mark, but the mark may not be registered or protected under trade mark laws. 

  • The use of the ® symbol is only allowed after the status of your trade mark has been updated as "Registered". The ® symbol indicates that the mark is protected under trade mark laws. 

2. Registered Business Name with ACRA/SGNIC is Not Trade Mark Protection


A business name registration with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) or domain name registration with Singapore Network Information Centre (SGNIC) Pte Ltd does not equate to trade mark protection.

If you intend to use your business name as a trade mark on your goods and services, you should register it as a trade mark with IPOS, in order to obtain exclusive rights to use the mark in the course of trade.

3. Register At Earliest Opportunity


Register your trade mark as soon as possible to avoid objection of your application should another similar or identical trade mark be filed by another party before you.

You can apply to register your trade mark before use, as long as you have the intention to use it in relation to the goods and services indicated in the application. However, if a trade mark has not been put to genuine continuous use in Singapore within an uninterrupted period of 5 years after it is registered, there is a risk of the trade mark being revoked on the basis of non-use.

If you have filed for the same trade mark in another country (which is either a member of the Paris Convention or the World Trade Organization) within 6 months and that application is the first filing, you may file for priority claim in your Singapore trade mark application. Should a similar mark be filed in Singapore by another party after your priority date (i.e. the date your application is first filed), your application will have priority over the other party's application. More information on priority claims can be found in the Trade Marks Work Manual.

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