Common Trademark Registration Mistakes and How You Can Avoid Them

The trademark registration process doesn’t stop after submitting official documents. Even after you’ve received the official letter certifying your registered mark, you still need to work on how to protect your brand efficiently. This includes keeping the company’s good reputation among avid customers and acting against any third party who’s using a brand name that is almost the same as yours.

Accordingly, selecting a brand name, logo, or a symbol for your company is crucial. Consider them as the front-liners in representing your company to the rest – with just a simple glance, anyone must effectively have an idea as to what goods/services you offer. Trademarks are significant assets of your business’ intellectual property; hence they must be always protected.

As a business owner, we all have good intentions. However, not all the time do we manage to arrive with good and sound decisions in steering the path of our business endeavors to success. You might recall the times you made mistakes – and that’s alright, so long as you managed to fix your wrongdoings and do it right.

Ultimately, there are also several common trademark registration mistakes made by business owners across Singapore. We’ve compiled them in this article for your convenience and in hopes that you may steer clear from these landmines.

1. Selecting a wrong name

It is important to do your own fair share of research before cashing out a few dollars for marketing and advertising gigs. Who knows, some existing business might have beaten you to the name. This negligence, even if it’s an honest mistake, might hold you liable for copyright infringement lawsuits. Do not rely on a mere google search. Check any local Singapore registration database and see if there are similar names.

The worst-case scenario? Being forced to rebrand your company entirely shortly after you register trademark. A trademarked name that you can register with brandmark at Singapore cannot be used by another business, so you might be forced to halt the selling of any product or service before the complete rebranding.

Keep in mind that this is a costly mistake. The money you allotted on name recognition and marketing will go to waste, and your customers will be left confused as well.

2. Not being distinct enough

One important thing to keep in mind when you register TM is that: not every name can be approved. No matter how creative and unique you get, if the trademark office doesn’t see it fitting with your business, your efforts will be in vain. There’s a spectrum of distinctiveness in trademark law. It is tricky to get the right name for your business endeavor, but worth-it.

It is encouraged to go for arbitrary and fanciful names (like Amazon), if you want your company to uphold a unique meaning in the business world. If you’re having troubles coming up with suggestions, ask for professional service to help you conduct a search for valid names.

3. Hiring a freelance logo designer

Don’t get us wrong – we’re all about supporting artists, but when it comes to legal trademark registration, you are better off hiring an established vendor. It is tempting to get a logo for less, especially if you know someone who happens to be a freelance graphic designer. However, this decision is often described as ‘hasty’.

There are cases where businesses are held liable for logo design copyright lawsuits after some time. This is often observed with businesses who managed to make it big in the corporate world. Some designers hold these businesses financially hostage – with the latter losing legal monetary fees over the case.

An established vendor, on the other hand, will assure you a written contract. This includes giving you the full copyright of the logo to avoid any legal repercussions in the long run.

4. Equating domain ownership with trademark ownership

Acquiring a stable website domain isn’t the same as you legally register trademark. Even if you successfully acquire a secure domain name (dot.com), there is the possibility that existing businesses out there might have trademarked the name already. Remember that not all businesses have websites, especially with local and small businesses.

If the domain is rightfully yours, the trademarked name may not be. This can lead to legal trouble at some point if a larger business files an infringement lawsuit against your company.

Infringement is a serious matter to be dealing with. Hence before you go on building a website, ensure that the name you are using isn’t used by an existing company. This will save you monetary fees (for settling legal issues and claims) and the likelihood of receiving a cease-and-desist letter.

5. Not knowing about copyrights

You’ve registered your trademark/brand name for a reason, and that is to protect your business and the products and services that you sell. Copyrights aren’t intended merely for written work. Rather, they also serve as protection over your designs, drawings, photos, and even your website source code.

For example, if your own product shots show up in another company’s catalogue — you can always file a copyright lawsuit and sue the organization for using the photos without consent and brand misrepresentation. Copyright is considerably an easy remedy to fix this kind of situation.

However, a copyright also demands the highest specificity. You cannot just hold another company liable without sufficient and concrete proof. If you want to take matters to court, you must ensure it’s a literal copy of your own brand, with several instances of plagiarism and content stealing.

How to Pick the Right Equipment for Your Hotel Kitchen

The hotel kitchen is part of your overall customer service. That is why it’s an important factor in the quality of food your business is serving to the clients. Good food, however, is not only determined by the expert preparation in the hands of the best cooks and chefs in Singapore, but in the planning of the kitchen design, the quality of the commercial kitchen equipment, the menu plan, and the delivery of the food itself.

What Does a Hotel Kitchen Do?

The hotel kitchen is where the food for the guests are prepared before they are served in the hotel’s restaurant, reception or banquet rooms, or through room service.

What makes a hotel kitchen effective is its layout, which must take into consideration the menu and the tasks that need to be performed. Most hotels in Singapore cater to different clients, that is why most hotel kitchens vary in size and the number of staff.

To make the tasks more manageable, the kitchen is usually divided into sub-sections or workstations, a factor that an effective kitchen manager should study before consulting a kitchen designer and a kitchen equipment supplier in Singapore.

The main sections may include the following: hot food, cold kitchen or garde-manger or larder, bakery or confectionery, banquet, room service, receiving, wash up or pot and plate, and stores. The sub-sections for each are listed below.

Hot Food – roast, soup, vegetable, sauce or grill or fry, and fish sections
Cold Kitchen – salad preparation, sandwich station, hors d’oeuvre, juice, and showpiece stations
Bakery and Confectionery – mixing, dough holding or proofing, dough rolling, baking, cooling, dessert preparation, and plating sections
Banquet – bulk cooking, roasting and broiling, holding, and pick-up stations
Room Service – grill, fry, and hot range sections
Receiving – weighing and checking section
Wash Up – pot wash and plate house sections

What Should You Include in Your Hotel Restaurant Kitchen?

Now that the tasks can be divided among the kitchen staff, let’s look at the basic layout of a hotel kitchen. This area might be similar to most restaurant kitchens from http://www.alpscreative.com/ In Singapore you will see outside hotels, but for a larger business, you will find more specialized sections that cater to different types of customers.

When consulting a kitchen designer and a kitchen equipment supplier in Singapore, keep in mind the dimensions of the kitchen, its proximity to the dining area, and its accessibility to the delivery staff. A kitchen should be designed smartly to maximize the use of commercial kitchen equipment and to make the tasks of the staff easier, faster, and more efficient.

1. Storage Area – This section is the area designated for the kitchen supplies and storage of all ingredients. It should be near the preparation area, but must be accessible to the staff outside the kitchen.
2. Preparation Area – The preparation area is usually found in the middle of the kitchen where it is accessible to all the kitchen staff. This is where all the food is prepared before they are cooked.
3. Cooking Area – This area is where all the equipment that use heat or open fire are found. Some restaurants divide this further into the following areas: sauté, grill, fry, pizza, and salad and vegetable sections.
4. Serving Area – This is where all the cooked or freshly prepared food are placed before they are sent to the hotel guests or diners. The serving area is also near the kitchen line, or the area where the servers pick up the food.
5. Special Areas – Some areas in the kitchen include specialized functions such as the sauce section, roast section, fish section, cold kitchen, soup section, vegetable section, bread/pastry/confectionery section, and outdoor cooking section.

What Should be Included in Each Section?

Each kitchen section will require different commercial kitchen equipment, so you should consult your kitchen equipment supplier about the appropriate type of equipment you will need. The appliances should be placed where they can be accessed easily by the staff without having to navigate through a complicated maze of commercial kitchen equipment.

Storage Area

• Refrigerator
• Freezer and coolers
• Storage carts, boxes, and racks
• Shelving
• Ingredient bins
• Soup transport
• Food containers in various sizes and bain maries
• Stainless steel pails
• Steam tables and accessories
• Vegetable crisper
• Keg racks
• Plates, bowl, glass, and cup storage

Preparation Area

• Stainless steel tables, prep tables, and racks
• Sinks and wash basins
• Meat slicers, saws, grinders, and tenderizers
• Food peelers
• Vegetable or fruit cutters
• Cheese cutters, graters, and melters
• Salad vegetable dryer
• Dough mixers, sheeters, dividers and rounders, cutters and scrapers
• Planetary mixers
• Food, bar, and immersion blenders
• Electric juicers and pulp extractor juicer
• Food processors
• Can openers
• French fry cutters
• Hamburger presses
• Chicken slicer
• Breading machine
• Pasta machine, ravioli cutter, and noodle maker
• Spice grinder
• Chef’s knives

Cooking Area

• Ranges
• Wok range
• Stock pot range
• Hotplates
• Broilers
• Salamanders
• Ovens
• Microwave ovens
• Fryers
• Tilting kettles
• Braising pan
• Steamers
• Griddles, charbroilers, and outdoor and specialty grills
• Pasta cooker and rethermalizer
• Exhaust hoods
• Rice cookers and warmers
• Cookware

Serving Area

• Warming and holding equipment
• Refrigerated display cases
• Trolleys and delivery carts
• Bus and service carts
• Lockers and storage cabinets
• Ice machines, bins, and chests
• Coffee maker, dispenser
• Autofill water boilers
• Lid, cup, and straw dispensers
• Juice dispenser
• Milk dispenser
• Soda syphon
• Wine cooler
• Draft beer cooler or bottle coolers
• Bottle opener with cap catcher
• Liquor displays
• Underbar equipment and supplies
• Cocktail equipment
• Water dispensers
• Banquet equipment

Others

• Dishwashers
• Sushi equipment, rice mixer, sushi cutter, and towel warmer
• Tuna press and strainer
• Oyster shucker
• Lobster cutter or cracker
• Shrimp cutter and deveiner
• Shell separator
• Garnishing equipment
• Candy slicer
• Bread slicer and/or bagel slicer
• Sealing and wrapping equipment
• Wrap stations
• Vacuum packaging machine
• Scales
• Fryer oil filtration equipment
• Waffle cone makers
• Crepe makers
• Sushi rice maker and containers
• Toasters
• Bun grillers
• Mongolian barbecue range
• Teppanyaki griddles
• Dim sum equipment
• Waffle makers, omelet maker, panini grills, and tortilla press and grill
• Outdoor stoves/burners, grills, fryers, and steamers
• Portable bar
• Condensate hoods