June 28, 2022
# Introduction to Trademarks

Common Trademark Mistakes Business Owners Should Avoid

Common Trademark Mistakes Business Owners Should Avoid

From choosing a unique business name to filing for brand trademark registration, branding your company and securing the intellectual property you have created can be an exciting yet complex process.

Trademark registration makes it simple for consumers to identify your products or services as coming from your company, preventing competitors from appropriating your brand. Apart from that, there are a few other reasons businesses need trademark registration.

It is crucial to understand how and which trademarks to choose for registration before jumping into the process. Being hasty may result in the following mistakes and lead to issues that can be expensive and timely to resolve.

1. Settling on a name before conducting a thorough trademark search

The most prevalent trademark mistake business owners make is settling on a name for their brand, products, or services without running them through a trademark search to ensure it is available for use and registration.

Many businesses engage with brand registration services in Singapore after conducting a simple Google search to check for existing trademarks. However, doing a trademark search this way is insufficient. Trademarks that have been applied for or registered may not be found on Google because the business owners have three to five years to begin using the trademark. Your trademark application may be rejected due to another trademark being too identical to yours, potentially confusing consumers.

A better approach is to use a trademark filing database such as the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) for trademark filing in USA or the Trademark Similar Mark Search on IPOS’ e-filing website for trademark filing in Singapore to search for similar or identical trademarks. Putting more time and effort into this initial process saves you from potential conflicts or lawsuits down the line and facilitates the approval of your application.

2. Waiting too long to submit a trademark application

Filing a trademark application sooner than later is another mistake many business owners are guilty of. Upon submitting a trademark application, you are granted priority in your trademark. From the day of filing onward, your rights have technically begun as long as your application passes in the end.

It is recommended that you register your trademark as soon as you come up with a new product or business, as someone else may file the same or similar trademark, thus preventing you from registering.

In short, sitting on a trademark will lead to missed opportunities and possibly a whole host of problems down the line.

3. Not maintaining the trademark

Once your trademarks have been successfully registered, it is crucial to put them to use in commerce if you wish to keep their protection and avoid losing their rights. Furthermore, trademark registration has a limited validity period. The duration for registered trademarks in Singapore is ten years from the application date.

To keep the rights to these trademarks for as long as needed, you must apply for trademark renewal in Singapore before it expires. There is no limit to the number of times you can renew a trademark. Therefore, it is possible to maintain legal protection for generations to come.

4. Filing for the wrong category of goods or services

It is a common mistake to assume that the goods or services provided in the application is just an administrative procedure for classification purposes. However, the scope of protection of a trademark is determined by the goods and services that are claimed under the trademark application. It is not uncommon for people filing on their own to file their trademark in the wrong category or class of goods and services due to a misunderstanding of what it means, or filing in an insufficient number of categories.

Final word

It is common for business owners to make mistakes during trademark registration, which is a time-consuming and challenging process. Anyone is susceptible to making the mistakes above without the proper guidance. Hiring experts can help you avoid rejections and ensure your rights are adequately safeguarded.

At Cat and Pillar, we help simplify the trademark registration process and facilitate your journey in securing your brand identity. Apart from trademark filing, our expertise and professional solutions extend to other services, such as trademark renewal and international trademark protection via the Madrid Protocol. For more information, you may contact us at www.catandpillar.com.

Introduction to Trademarks