Singapore has emerged as a global market in Asia making a strong impact in the Southeast Asia region. Various multinational corporation and businesses are having their centers in Singapore due to its strong market policies and ease of doing business. This makes it important for us to understand the process of getting a patent in Singapore. The management of all such filing and granting the IP is being done by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS).
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While getting started with your patent application in Singapore, the applicant can file the patent application with Patent Form 1 and 8 together. This patent form must be filed with the prescribed filing fees of S$160. The materials in your patent application remain the same as in other jurisdictions namely, description, claims, drawings (if any), abstract for the invention. All such information must be provided to the office with an address for service in Singapore where all the correspondence must be sent. Not differing from other jurisdictions, Singapore also grants the patent only if it satisfies three criteria like new inventions, involving the inventive steps, and being capable of industrial application. An invention of a method of treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy or of diagnosis practiced on the human or animal body shall not be taken to be capable of industrial application and hence, is not patentable. If the publication or exploitation of an invention would be generally expected to encourage offensive, immoral or anti-social behavior, the invention is not patentable.
IPOS explains the patentability of the inventions. By the term new invention, it means, that the invention should not be publicly known in any way, anywhere in the world. Owners of inventions should be careful to keep the invention secret until a patent application has been successfully made. If the idea has already been talked about, commercially exploited, advertised, or demonstrated, then the novelty of the invention may be compromised. Similarly, the inventive step means that the invention must be an improvement over any existing product or process that is already available. The improvement must not be obvious to someone with technical skills or knowledge in the field of invention. Industrial application means that the invention must be useful and have some form of practical application. It should be capable of being made or used in some form of industry.
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Singapore, like many countries, allows priority claims to be made in a patent application. If an applicant has an application filed earlier in a Paris Convention Treaty or a World Trade Organization (WTO) member country (other than Singapore), he may claim priority from this first-filed application, provided the Singapore registration is filed within 12 months from the date of the first filing. Similarly, an application that is first filed in Singapore can be used to claim priority in a corresponding application filed in a Paris Convention country or a World Trade Organization member country, provided that the corresponding application is filed within 12 months from the date of the first-filed Singapore application.
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With effect from 1 Apr 2007, the Patents Act and Rules were amended via the Statutes (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act 2007 and the Patents (Amendment No. 2) Rules 2007 to provide for (amongst other matters), the restoration of the right of priority. Applicants now have two more months after the 12 months to file their Singapore patent application and claim priority, based on an earlier application filed in a Paris Convention or World Trade Organization member state if they can show that they missed the initial 12-month period either unintentionally, or despite showing due care. Other requirements include the payment of a fee and the furnishing of a Patents Form within a prescribed period if such a restoration is sought in a patent application.
The estimated processing time ranges from two to four years from the date the application is filed. This is dependent on factors such as the complexity of the invention, amendments made in the application, and the search and examination processes. The process of examination and search of the patent will be as per the process resulting in the final grant of the patent if no opposition arises.
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With regards to amendments, a request to amend the specification of your patent application can be made on Patents Form 13 (PF13) or Patents Form 13A (PF13A) where the request to amend the specification is part of a response to the written opinion of the examiner. This request should be accompanied by a copy of the specification with the proposed amendment(s) indicated.
The strong team of experts at GPF has experience in the filing of patent applications in Singapore. The team has helped hundreds of clients in filing the applications in Singapore and has even succeeded in getting the final grant of the patent.
Author: Author: Saransh Chaturvedi (an advocate) currently pursuing LLM from Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law (IIT Kharagpur). In case of any queries please contact/write back to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.