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Intellectual Property
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​Intellectual Property (IP) refers to creations of the mind that are considered valuable enough to receive legal protection. IP rights cover amongst others, the following: –

  • Copyright
  • Trade Mark
  • Registered Designs
  • Patents

A trade mark is a sign or a mark that you can use to differentiate the goods or services that you deal with in your business from those of other business traders. A trade mark identifies the brand of the product or service that you are selling or offering for sale and can be in the form of a word or a slogan, a logo or symbol associated with the product or service, or even a specific colour tone or musical ringtone.

You can register your trade mark in order to protect your brand and prevent other people from using your trade mark. You can practically own a trade mark forever, as long as you or your successors renew it every 10 years. As a registered trade mark is a form of IP, you may also license or assign it to others.

A design refers to the physical features such as the appearance, physical shape, configuration [how different parts of a design are arranged together] and the decoration of the ornament. If you register a design, you will be protecting the external appearance of the goods.

Registered Designs are used primarily to protect designs for commercial or industrial use. Examples are watches, jewellery or furniture. Such designs may be registered in order to prevent replication.

When you compose a song or its lyrics; write a story, article or computer programme; choreograph a dance; produce a video or a film; make a drawing or an illustration; make any artwork including taking a photograph; only you alone have the rights to copy, distribute, perform or display your work publicly.

Unlike the Registration of Trade Marks however, there is no regime for the registration of copyrights in Singapore. Hence, Copyright protection is mainly through the common law. You may sue others for a breach of copyright laws if they reproduce, perform, or copy your work without permission. Hence, like any other IP asset, Copyright may can be bought and sold or be licensed to others.

Protection of a copyrighted work depends on the type of work, but is generally deemed to start from the time of the creation/publication, and lasts for the life of the author or creator plus another 70 years from the end of the year in which the author or creator dies.

Hoh Law Corporation can perform the following services in relation to IP:

  • File applications for trade marks and Registered Designs
  • Provide advice on copyrights, trade marks and registered designs
  • Claim for you when you need to enforce your rights
  • Defend you in the event of any alleged breach of such rights
  • Draft and write up agreements for the protection and transfer of your IP rights.
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