Geographical Indications

– Geographical Indications Act (Chapter 117B).


Definition: any indication used in trade to identify goods as originating from a place provided that a given quality, reputation or other characteristics of the goods is essentially attributable to that place. It includes a trademark which contains or consists of the geographical indication.

Opposition: an interested party of goods identified by a geographical indication may bring an action against the following acts: (1) the use of a geographical indication in relation to any goods which did not originate in the place indicated in a manner which misleads as to its geographical origin; or (2) any use of a geographical indication which constitutes unfair competition under Article 10bis of the Paris Convention; or (3) a geographical indication identifying wine or spirit which did not originate from the place indicated by the geographical indication.

Rights of prior user: there are exceptions under the Act regarding a prior user of a geographical indication for at least ten years preceding April 15, 1994 or in good faith preceding that date. Also, the use by a person of a trademark which is identical or similar to a geographical indication is exempted if the application to register the trademark was made in good faith or the trademark was registered in good faith under the Trade Marks Act or that the user or his predecessor in title have continuously used the trademark in good faith in Singapore in the course of trade, either before the commencement of the Act or before the geographical indication in question is protected in its country of origin. Another exception is a person’s name or his predecessor’s name other than where the name is used in a manner to mislead the public.

Duration: ten years from filing date.  Renewal: can be renewed indefinitely for periods of ten years.

Registry: a dedicated registry for geographical indications was launched on April 1, 2019 within the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore.