Currently, an applicant who wishes to register a trade mark in more than one class of goods and/or services must file separate applications for each class. However, this will change with effect from 2 July 2007.
The recent amendments brought about by the Singapore Trade Marks (Amendment) Act 2007 ("TMA") will entitle a trade mark owner to file a single trade mark application for one mark in respect of two or more goods or service classes, with a view to securing a single registration.
Although the relevant official fees will still be payable on a per class basis for a multi-class application, a trade mark applicant will benefit from the following advantages:
- Administrative convenience . The streamlined application process will result in a single trade mark number being issued, instead of one number for each class currently.
- Easier portfolio management. It will be easier for an applicant to manage a large portfolio of trade mark applications as an examiner of a multi-class application would issue an official examination letter (if any) with one deadline consolidated, instead of a separate letter for each applicable class currently.
- Simplified renewal. Only a single trade mark number will need to be monitored for renewal for a multi-class registration.
- Cost savings for certain applications. Ancillary applications such as the updating of address of service, recordal of assignment/merger and recordal of licence would be charged on a per application/registration basis.
In addition, the TMA permits the division of a multi-class application (for a fee) into two or more separate applications, all claiming the same filing date as the original application. Any priority that was claimed in the original application would also apply to the divided application(s) claiming the applicable goods/services. A divisional serial number would be assigned to the new additional application(s).
The division of a multi-class application is particularly useful where the Examiner raises objections, or where there is an opposition, in respect of only some of the classes. To help expedite registration in such cases, the applicant can choose to divide his application into two or more applications so that those classes of goods or services that do not face objection or opposition may proceed to registration first.
Trade mark applicants should take advantage of the above changes by filing applications for multi-class registration once the amendments come into force on 2 July 2007.
For more information about multi-class registration, other changes under the TMA and costs, please contact us.
The content of this article does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on in that way. Specific advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.