Registering A Trademark License In Singapore

A trademark licence is an agreement between a trademark owner (the “licensor”) and another entity (the “licensee”) in which the licensor permits the licensee to use its trademark for commercial purposes. Registration of trademarks and trademark licences are governed by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, a statutory board under the Ministry of Law.

The purpose of this guide is provide information on Singapore regulations regarding registration of a trademark licence. To learn about the registration of a trademark itself, refer to Singapore trademark registration guide.

Trademark licence agreement and licence registration

Registration of a trademark licence with Singapore trademark office is not mandatory. For notice purposes, Singapore continues to require recordal of licence. This ensures that third parties are aware of the existence of the licence. Once the licence is recorded with the Registrar, every person shall be deemed to have notice of it. That said, however, failure to record a trademark licence does not render the licence invalid.

A trademark registrant, by signing a trademark licence agreeement, may authorize another entity to use his registered trademark. Normally, the licence is granted through a formal written agreement with a detailed description of the scope of authority, plus terms and conditions of use. A typical trademark licence agreement will include:

  • Details of licensor and the licensee
  • Details of the trademark being licensed
  • Scope and terms of usage of the licence including any territorial restrictions
  • Quality standards to be followed and quality control measures
  • Financial terms of the trademark licence
  • Exclusivity of the trademark licence

The licensor is reponsible for supervising the quality of the goods in respect of which the licensee uses his registered trademark, and the licensee shall ensure the quality of the goods in respect of which the registered trademark is used.

Prior to 2007, licences could only be recorded with the Registrar if they related to registered trademarks. However, there were significant amendments to Singapore trademark laws in 2007, in order for Singapore to comply with its obligations under the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks administered by the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO). Following the Trade Marks (Amendment) Act 2007, the law now also provides for the recordal of licenses relating to pending trademarks .

An application for the registration of a trademark licence can be submitted to the Registry of Trade Marks by hand or post, or filed online.

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