Trademarks in tech!

Posted on 30/09/2016 by Jay Banghar


As a recruitment company in the tech industry we encounter a range of different brands who are competing in the market and similarly we are competing for their business! Some brands are more recognisable than others such as LinkedIn, Google, Yahoo, Accenture, Certis Cisco, Starhub, Siemens, KPMG and there are others who may be in their start-up phase such as Grab, Uber, Xiaomi, Snapchat, SpaceX, trying to stamp their authority amongst consumers, wanting to make their presence get the jist.

A successful trademark 

The underlying subject matter if you haven't guessed already is the value of a successful Trade Mark and its importance to every business. It is very true that behind every successful trade mark is a successful business, which can be demonstrated by the household brands we have come to know. Often, an enterprise spends a lot of time, energy and effort in developing a goodwill in a name, and without proper protection, it is easy for someone else to cash in on this by using a very similar or identical name. A registered trade mark gives its owner the right to exclude all other businesses from using a similar mark on related goods or services. For instance, nobody in the computer industry is allowed to use the name “Apple” as a way of identifying themselves – except for Apple Computers, Inc or the word “Cisco” in the security industry.

The Importance of trademarks

So why is a trade mark so important I hear you say?  Well, as demonstrated by the brands mentioned above, a trade mark provides the means by which people convey emotional and intellectual attributes about a company, its reputation and services.  Critically, trade marks are an effective tool to singlehandedly identify a business from the crowd which is important particularly when a company is vying for a candidate or clients’ attention.  The chances of looking for alternatives are less likely once a reputation has been safely established in a brand name to highlight a company’s services. Trade mark/branding is key in driving the flow of traffic to a company’s website to capture the interest of potential clients and candidates alike and brings more brand recognition. For the savvy entrepreneurs amongst us, a trade mark can appreciate in value over time and as the reputation in a business grows, the more valuable a brand will be.  Trade marks can be bought, sold and licensed or used as a security interest to secure as a loan to grow a business.

Legality of trademarks 

Now for some of the legal stuff; A trade mark is defined as a “sign” which is capable of graphical representation which is used by a trader to indicate a connection in the course of trade between himself and particular goods and services. So in real terms any sign, word, logo or symbol is capable of being a trade mark to distinguish the goods and/or services of a trader in the industry. In Singapore, a trade mark may be secured by legal registration through the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS). Once a trade mark registration, once successfully obtained, is valid for a period of 10 years and may be renewed.

If you would like or require any further information on trade mark registration matters, please do not hesitate to contact our trade mark consultant Dimple Banghar at +65 6589 8787 .