May 23, 2022
# Introduction to TrademarksWhy Trademark?

Understanding Trademarks and Why Small Businesses Need It

Understanding Trademarks and Why Small Businesses Need It

Intellectual property rights can be classified into three components: trademarks, copyrights, and patents. In general, a trademark covers the protection of logos, branding, and symbols. Patents cover the protection of innovations and inventions. Copyrights cover the protection of creative works. These protection methods ensure that nobody can take advantage and claim ownership of your work.

What is a trademark?

A trademark ensures the protection of a unique logo, name, and symbols belonging to your brand or a particular product. You can even register a trademark for a specific symbol, sound, logo, and colors that represent your brand.

Examples of well-known trademarks are the Nike logo, Reese’s peanut butter’s red and orange packaging, and the bitten apple logo belonging to Apple. They are trademarks that individuals worldwide can immediately associate with the brand they represent.

A trademark typically lasts for ten years, after which it must be renewed. Find out more about online trademark renewal in Singapore here.

Why is trademark registration necessary for small businesses?

Many small business owners mistakenly believe that a trademark application is reserved for large corporations with global reach. However, protecting your products and services is equally crucial for small businesses and start-ups as for multinational corporations.

One good example of how a trademark application is useful for a small business is the story of Burger King entering the Australian market in the 1970s. While Burger King had become quite an established brand in the United States by then, it did not have any foothold in the Australian market yet. When Burger King wanted to extend its franchise and establish the brand in Australia in 1971, they realized that their name was already registered as a trademark by an existing burger joint.

After trying to secure the rights for their name and failing, they had to use one of the trademarks that they already owned and changed the brand name. Hence, the internationally famous burger franchise Burger King is called Hungry Jacks in Australia. If Burger King, with all its financial resources, could not secure the rights to its trademark when it was taken by another party, it would be much more difficult for a startup or small company to do so.

Start-ups and small businesses typically do not have an established reputation, thus needing to invest time, energy, and finance in building their brand. Many of these businesses have unique and interesting names, logos, and slogans to stand out from the already vibrant industry. Therefore, it is essential to register your trademark for future protection. With trademark registration, you can also:

1. Be protected by the law

You can enjoy exclusive rights to the trademark. As your reputation grows, competitors will likely want to benefit from what you have created. If your business does not have trademark protection, it is easy for a third party to generate imitation products linked to your brand. This damage to your business’s reputation can easily be avoided with trademark protection.

2. Increase your brand’s value

Trademark applications are an excellent example of how businesses can invest and grow their brand. The trademark makes it easy for consumers to identify your products and helps protect you from competitors’ infringement.

3. Expand your business down the road

When you file a trademark application in Singapore, it opens opportunities to expand your brand geographically. Establishing a franchise would not be challenging, as competitors are unable to use the trademark. Registering a trademark can also help your business grow by permitting third-party distributors to dispatch goods and services while being covered under the protection offered by your registered trademark.


Intellectual property laws such as the trademark law prevent all the work that has gone into the branding and marketing of your business from being stolen by competing businesses. It is vital for every business, especially start-ups and small businesses, to consider a brand trademark registration in Singapore. If you are looking to register a trademark in Singapore or other countries, contact our team at Cat and Pillar.

We are an agency that specialises in brand protection. From trademark national applications to filing via the Madrid Protocol, we provide a range of expert services that are affordable, reliable, and efficient. Contact us at to find out more.

Introduction to Trademarks

Why Trademark?