Businesses can register trademarks with new app

The Ipos Go app will make it faster to apply for a trademark, Ipos said on Wednesday (Aug 21). PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM GOOGLE PLAY

Companies looking to register their trademarks can file them directly with the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (Ipos) through an app that the government agency has developed.

Called Ipos Go, the app will speed up the application process, Ipos said yesterday. It will take less than 10 minutes to apply for a trademark, down from the 45-minute to an hour-long average, Ipos added.

The app is an additional option for businesses to file trademarks, on top of other platforms available, such as Ipos' e-services website and third-party agencies.

The increased ease will benefit companies as they strive to set themselves apart in a crowded marketplace, Ipos noted, pointing out that trademark applications in Singapore have increased by 30 per cent over the last five years.

Ipos said applicants can also track their registration status, be notified of updates or file for trademark renewals through the app.

Applicants pay $240 as the filing fee to register a single trademark in any class in Singapore, and a registered trademark is valid indefinitely as long as companies renew their registrations every 10 years at a fee of $380 per class.

The app also uses artificial intelligence (AI) to search for similar trademarks on the Ipos register, and will stop applicants from filing for trademarks that are too similar to existing ones, Ipos said.

This new feature is essential as more than 40 per cent of the world's trademarks filed today contain images, the agency added.

  • 30%

  • Increase in trademark applications in Singapore over the last five years.

Intellectual property lawyer Alban Kang from Bird & Bird ATMD said the app's impact may be limited because applying for trademarks may require "quite a bit of to and fro" with Ipos, depending on how many applications there are and how complex these are.

Still, Associate Professor Lawrence Loh from the National University of Singapore Business School said Ipos Go would appeal to a broader spectrum of applicants, especially those who are well anchored in mobile platforms.

"It has new intrinsic capabilities, including leveraging AI, that not only enhance convenience and efficiency, but also utility and effectiveness," he said.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 22, 2019, with the headline Businesses can register trademarks with new app. Subscribe