Recent Amendments to Singapore’s Trade Marks Act

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Recent Amendments To Singapore’s Trade Marks Act

First introduced in 1939 while Singapore was still a British possession, the Trade Marks Act (Cap. 332) has been significantly amended in the eight decades since its introduction. Many of the most significant alterations to the legislation were made in July of 2007, in order to comply with the country’s new obligations under the recently ratified Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks. This treaty was administered by the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO), and the amendments were made in order to streamline and simplify the registration process for trademarks, with the benefit of reducing transaction costs for registrants.

Ottavia has prepared this guide to offer an overall summary of the most recent round of amendments to the Trade Marks Act. For a step-by-step guide to the trademark registration process in Singapore, please refer to our guide on the registration procedure.

Multi-class trademark applications

Under the new amendments, applicants can now make a single application that covers several classes of applicable goods or services. Please note that this does not affect the official filing or renewal fees, which are still charged on a per-class basis. As such, applicants are advised to consider the classes they intend to apply for carefully.

Dividing a trademark application

All trademark applications filed on or after 2 July 2007 may be divided, upon request of the applicant – into multiple separate applications. This offers an advantage to applicants who are concerned that their application may face opposition or objection during examination by the Registrar, or by third parties after publication. Dividing the application may expedite the registration process.

Registering a license for a pending trademark application

Applicants may register a license relating to a trademark application pending approval. They will no longer be required to wait for the completion of the application procedure in order to apply for the trade mark license to be recorded.

Relief measures for applicants affected by procedural oversight

The amendments create several relief measures designed to benefit applicants whose applications were delayed by procedural mistakes, such as missed time limits. They provide a number of relief measures for applicants, helping them maintain the rights to their trademark in an application that has been filed, even where key deadlines have been missed.