• Trademark FAQ

Can I use my trademark in any product?


A registered trademark can only be used on a brand that has been registered with that name, symbol or logo. The product with the registered mark usually includes the ® or “registered” symbol instead of just the ™ which indicates that it is a trademark but is not protected under the intellectual property and civil laws of the country. The symbol will help consumers distinguish the products that come from your company and determine that it is authentic and not a copy or fake. The ® symbol, however, can only be used in a product if the said product has been listed under the goods and/or services requirement during the trademark registration.

Recall one of the procedures in the filing for the trademark registration as stated in the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) website, wherein the applicant must list and identify the goods and/or services that are offered by the company that will use that trademark. To answer the question whether you can use the trademark in any product, yes, you can use the registered trademark if the product has been listed in the application and your company has already been granted the Certificate of Registration. This means that the product bearing that registered trademark is under the protection of the intellectual property laws where it is registered. The ® symbol on the product is one of the benefits of having a recognized trademark because it is associated with a quality brand and high market value.

If, however, you wish to use a trademark on a product that has not been listed in your goods and/or services during the application, it will not come under the protection of the IP laws. Moreover, if your company has not yet registered its trademark, you can still use an unregistered mark, but you will not be granted the same protection as a registered mark even if your company claims that it is the original. You can also use the symbol ™ but it is only an indicated that it is a trademark, not a registered trademark.

For guidelines regarding the classification of goods and services, download the guide in PDF format provided by IPOS on their website. The classification, called Nice Classification or International Classification of Goods and Service (ICGS), is an internationally-agreed system used not only in Singapore but in over 150 countries to address possibly conflicting trademark applications worldwide.