What is a trademark?

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.

A trade mark can be represented graphically in the form of your company’s logo or a signature.


Through a registered trade mark, you can protect your brand (or “mark”) by restricting other people from using its name or logo.


Once acquired, a trade mark can last indefinitely as long as you renew it every 10 years. Because a registered trade mark is a form of IP, you can license or assign it to others.


The benefits of registering a trade mark


It is not compulsory to register a trade mark in Singapore.


For a mark that is not registered, you may rely on your rights under the common law action of “passing off” to protect your mark against imitation or infringement.


However, if you register a trade mark in relation to your goods and/or services, you are effectively gaining a statutory monopoly of your mark. A trade mark can add value to your business because it can be used to protect your market share, you can license it to third parties such as a franchisee, or you can sell it outright for a specified value. You can also use a trade mark to help you to raise equity for the development of your business.

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