Patent Registration in Singapore
A Patent is a right attached to any invention granted by the Government for a limited period of time. The patentee is given the right in exchange for full disclosure of the invention. It excludes others from using, making, selling the patented product and/ or process without the explicit consent of the patentee.
The Patent protection provides the right to the inventor over his invention, which then becomes the property of the inventor. It implies that any other property or it can be bought, sold off, hired, or rented. There are several ways to commence the patenting process in Singapore.
The different ways are as follows:
Singaporean Provisional Application
This application is filed with IPOS and is an optional step before filing a complete application. A provisional application of Patent refers to an application filed with a specification without any claims.
Singaporean Complete Application
This application is filed with IPOS and is required for the grant of a patent in Singapore.
International (PCT) Application
This application can be filed in Singapore, which provides temporary protection for the invention in more than 145 countries universally.
Entry into the National Phase
This is the process of converting an international (PCT) application into a Singaporean complete application. Such a conversion is necessary in order to secure a grant of a patent in Singapore if a PCT application has been filed.
Why is it important to obtain Patent Registration in Singapore?
It is always preferred to patent the inventions for the following reasons:
- Exclusive Rights.
- Strong position in the market.
- Higher returns on investments.
- Opportunity to license or sell the invention.
- Increase in negotiating.
- Positive image for your enterprise.
What are the Pre-Requisites of Patent Registration in Singapore?
The invention should not be in any public domain or publicly known. The owner of an invention should be very careful to keep the invention secret until an application for Patent Registration in Singapore has been successfully made. If the same idea has already been talked about, commercially advertised, exploited, or demonstrated, then the novelty of the invention may be compromised.
The invention should be an improvement over any existing process or product that is already available. The improvement must not be obvious to a person with technical knowledge or skills in the field associated with the invention.
The invention should be useful and have some form of practical application. Such an invention should be capable of being used or made in some form of industry.
When can an individual apply for a Patent Registration in Singapore?
In Singapore, the first person to file the application for Patent has priority over other applicants for the same invention. Hence, one must be prompt in preparing and submitting the application for Patent Registration in Singapore.
The authorities in Singapore also allows priority claims to be made which means that if a patent application has been filed in a WTO member country or a Paris Convention country and subsequently desires to file the same application in Singapore, the foreign application can be claimed for the purpose of priority in Singapore(12 months).
What if the claim of the inventor is not completely ready for Patent Registration in Singapore?
Sometimes it might be a bit too early to file a full-fledged application for Patent Registration in Singapore. In such a case, the inventor can file a Provisional Application for Patent registration in Singapore. The filing of such a provisional application helps to secure an early filing date and gives the applicant 12 more months to furnish a complete Patent application. If such a complete application is not filed, the inventor’s provisional application will be treated as having been abandoned.
A Provisional Application though is required to be brief. Such a provisional application must be accurate and without any legal or technical glitch, which may cause harm to the Final application to be filed further.
Contact our experts at Enterslice, who will be happy to guide through the procedure of filing the Provisional Patent Application in Singapore.
What are the steps involved in the Patent Registration in Singapore?
The shortest time period for Patent Registration in Singapore, if the application is filed without any deficiency and meets no objections, is 12 months. However, it takes about 2-4 years.
- The patent application must be prepared and submitted. It should include the following:
a) Application in the form of ‘Request for the Grant of a Patent / Statement of Inventorship and Right to Grant of Patent’.
b) Description and Abstract of the invention.
- Preliminary Examination
a) After the filing requirements are met, a Date of Filing shall be granted by the Registry.
b) If the requirements are not met, the applicant shall be given two months to rectify the same, and if the applicant fails to do so shall mean the claims shall be treated as abandoned.
- A Preliminary Examination is conducted by the examiner to ensure that:
a) The claim is complete;
b) The priority claim, if filed, is correct; and
c) All the formal requirements are met with.
Note: If only the Provisional Patent Application has been filed, then the Patent application must be filed within 12 months.
- The details of the application should be published in the Patent Journal.
- Patent Examiner shall search for and compare the application with a 'prior art.'
- The invention is checked for all the patentability criteria (like a novelty, industrial application).
- There are four options for the route for search and examination.
- If there are no unresolved objections, a Notice of Eligibility to Proceed to Grant of application of Registration.
- If there are more than one unresolved objections, the applicant must respond within five months for examination and within three months for a supplementary examination. There are several responses available for the objections.
- If within 18 months, the objections are not resolved, the Registry of Patents may issue a Notice of Intention to Refuse.
- The applicant must file a Request for the issuance of Certificate of Grant within a period of two months from the issuance of Notice of Eligibility failing which the application shall be treated as abandoned.
- Upon the grant of the Patent, it stands protected for 20 years from the Date of Filing.
Patent Cooperation Treaty Route
- The inventor must be a resident or national of Singapore to be eligible for filing an international application under PCT directly with IPOS.
- The applicant is required to file an International Application under PCT with IPOS.
- After filing the application, an international filing date is granted.
- The authorities issue an International Preliminary Report and International Search Report (ISR) on Patentability.
- The International Application for Patent is published with the ISR in the 18th month.
- The applicant enters the National Phase, e.g., in Singapore in the 30th month.
- The process of granting of Patent may take around 2-4 years as per the complexity of the invention. One can apply for a patent in Singapore under the PCT for which the application process is similar.