June 13, 2022
# Introduction to Trademarks

A Basic Guide to Conducting a Trademark Search in Singapore

A Basic Guide to Conducting a Trademark Search in Singapore

Large corporations, SMEs, and startups all rely on trademarks. They are the symbol of a business’s brand identity. A brand trademark registration is vital for startups, protecting against intellectual property infringement.

However, since numerous businesses are created and registered each year, new entrepreneurs or business owners may find it challenging to submit a trademark application that passes the scrutiny of a trademark examiner. This is where the function of a trademark search comes in. Read on to find out why performing a trademark search is essential and how to conduct one properly.

The Importance of Conducting a Trademark Search

As mentioned earlier, trademarks are crucial to establishing a brand. Before registering a trademark, businesses should search for registered trademarks and trademark applications identical to those they plan to use for their products and services.

An identical or similar trademark used by another business or brand could impede a business owner from using the same trademark on their products and services if they perform a trademark search.

In essence, performing a trademark search will enable business owners to determine whether any other business or brand has registered an identical or similar mark that could hinder them from using the same on their products and services commercially.

Furthermore, by conducting a trademark search, business owners will be able to evaluate the weakness or strength of their mark and their chances of acquiring registration for the same.

How to Conduct a Trademark Search in Singapore

Step 1: Learn how to use the IPOS search tool

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) is the main government body that governs intellectual property (IP) laws and approves all IP-related registrations in Singapore. Fortunately, IPOS has provided a free search tool to make it easier for individuals or businesses to search for registered trademarks.

You can conduct four types of searches: Basic search, Advanced search, trademark similar mark search, and TM Goods / Services Search. It is crucial to understand how these different search options work to conduct a proper trademark search.

Step 2: Identify the goods and services you intend to use your trademark for

After learning the ins and outs of the IPOS search tool, you should identify which classes of goods and services your intended mark will be used for. This information is necessary when you search for similar or identical trademarks.

To quickly identify the class of goods and services you intend, you can consult the ICGS classification provided by IPOS or use the IPOS search tool. All you have to do is select “TM Goods / Services Search”. Once you are already on the search criteria page, type in some words connected to your goods or services to find relevant descriptions.

Step 3: Search for similar or identical trademarks

To achieve an efficient and targeted search, it is recommended that you utilise either the “Trade Mark Similar Mark Search” option of the IPOS search tool rather than the “Basic Search” or “Advanced Search” options.

When searching for identical trademark names, consider the name’s variations, which might make the name conceptually, aurally, or visually similar to existing trademarks. This includes names that may be spelt differently but are intended to be pronounced in the same manner as your proposed mark. It may not always be straightforward to determine if an existing trademark is similar to your trademark and this is when it might be useful to consult a trademark expert.


It can be difficult to register a trademark in Singapore, as there are already many registered trademarks in the country (over half a million and increasing), and some might conflict with your proposed trademark. To avoid encountering a problem in your trademark application, doing a trademark search is highly recommended. Conducting a trademark search will ultimately make trademark registration more manageable and smooth sailing for your business.

You should also consider hiring brand registration services in Singapore from proven experts. At Cat and Pillar, we have seasoned and highly knowledgeable Singapore trademark renewal online specialists who can help you meet all the trademark registration requirements in the country and pass the trademark application process with ease. To know more about our affordable and reliable services, feel free to contact us at http://www.catandpillar.com/.

Introduction to Trademarks