Process Of Registration Of Patents In Singapore
Section 13 of the Patents Act 1994 stipulates that an invention is patentable if it is novel, involves an inventive step and is capable of industrial application. An invention would not be considered patentable if it is offensive, immoral or anti-social.
1. Novel: An invention is considered to be new if it does not form part of the ‘state of the art’. The ‘state of the art’ comprises of all matter that was made available to the public at any time before the priority date of the subject invention. It also includes any matter contained in the application for registration of another patent having priority date earlier than that of the subject invention which got published on the priority date of the subject invention or even at a later date.
2. Inventive step:An invention is considered to have an inventive step if the same is not obvious to a person who is skilled in that particular form of art.
3. Industrial Application: An invention is considered to be capable of having industrial application if it can be used in any industry including the agricultural industry. However, any kind of treatment, surgery, therapy or diagnosis conducted on any human body or an animal.
Process Of Applying For A Patent
The application process for registration of a patent in Singapore, in a nutshell, begins with the submission of an application for registration by any individual alone or jointly with any other person followed by the publication of the application in the Patents Journal, subsequently a preliminary examination conducted by the Registrar and thereupon a search and examination and at last grant of patent. The steps involved in the registration process of patents in Singapore is elucidated as follows:
Application For Registration (Section 25 Of The Patents Act 1994)
• In order to file an application for the registration of a patent in Singapore, the prescribed application form ought to be filled out. The patent application can also be filed online through https://digitalhub.ipos.gov.sg/.
• Every application form must be accompanied by an application fees of S$ 170, else the application fees must be paid within the prescribed time period.
• The application form must contain a request for grant of patent, description of the invention along with drawings if any, a description of the claims i.e. the matter for which the application is seeking patent protection and an abstract so as to provide technical information regarding the invention.
• A patent application can be withdrawn at any time before the grant of patent. It is pertinent to mention that such withdrawal of a patent application cannot be revoked.
1. PUBLICATION OF THE APPLICATION (Section 27 of the Patents Act 1994)
• The Registrar will publish the application as soon as possible after the end of the prescribed time period i.e. eighteen months from the declared priority date and in case there is no declared priority date, from the date of filing of the application.
• The Registrar may publish the application during eighteen months from the declared priority date or the date of filing of the application if the applicant has requested for it.
• In case the applicant wishes to keep the invention, a secret, they can withdraw their application before seventeen months from the declared priority date or the date of filing of the application.
2. PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION (Section 28 of the Patents Act 1994)
• The Registrar conducts the preliminary examination of a patent application only if it contains the date of filing, the filing fees have been paid within one month from the date of filing of the patent application, one or more claims have been filed within twelve months from the date of filing of the patent application or the priority date whichever is earlier provided the application has not already been withdrawn.
• During the preliminary examination, the Registrar determines whether the patent application complies with all the prescribed requirements and if any part of the description of the invention or any drawings referred to in the application is missing.
• The Registrar shall notify the applicant about the contents lacking in the patent application within 2 months.
3. SEARCH AND EXAMINATION (Section 29 of the Patents Act 1994)
• In this stage an Examiner is appointed by the Registrar for conducting search and examination.
• The Examiner strives to search for prior art i.e. similar inventions that are already in existence. Further, the Examiner examines whether the patent application complies with all legal requirements such as novelty, inventive step and industrial application.
• The Applicant can opt for either of the following processes for search and examination:
i) File a request for a search report and then subsequently file a request for an examination report:This route is more time consuming and more expensive compared to the other routes. The search shall be completed within 13 months and would cost S$ 1735 and the examination shall be completed within 36 months and would cost S$ 1420. Hence, the total cost and the total time for the entire search and examination process would add up to S$ 3155 and 49 months respectively.
ii) File a request for a search and examination report: In this route, combined search and examination would take place. This process costs S$ 2050 and would be completed within 36 months.
iii) File a request for an examination report: This route is useful in case the Applicant already has a foreign search result. The examination is completed within 36 months and this process costs S$ 1420.
4. GRANT OF PATENT
As per Section 29A of the Patents Act 1994, if the search and examination report does not contain any unresolved objection, the Registrar shall issue a Notice of Eligibility to the Applicant so as to proceed with the grant of patent.
The Applicant has to file a request for the issuance of the Certificate of Grant within two months from the date on which the Applicant received the Notice of Eligibility.
The Applicant shall be granted a patent by the Registrar if the Applicant has complied with all the formal requirements, has obtained the Notice of Eligibility and has filed all the prescribed documents for the grant of patent.
In case there are one or more unresolved objections, then the Registrar shall issue a notice of intention to the Applicant so as to convey refusal of the patent application. In this scenario, the Applicant can request a review under Section 29Bof the Patents Act 1994 by:
• Filing a written submission
• Amending specifications contained in the patent application
Section 35 of the Patents Act 1994 stipulates that as soon as practicable after a patent has been granted, the Registrar shall issue a certificate of grant of patent to the proprietor of such patent. Further, a notice shall be published in the Patents Journal that the patent has been granted.
VALIDITY OF TRADEMARK
In Singapore, a patent continues to be in force for 20 years from the date on which the patent application was filed or any other prescribed date as per Section 36 of the Patents Act 1994. The patent ought to be renewed yearly by paying a renewal fee starting from the fifth year else the patent shall cease to have effect.
Author : Sonakshi Pandey, Student at Symbiosis Law School, NOIDA, in case of any query, contact us at Global Patent Filing or write back us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. https://www.ipos.gov.sg/about-ip/patents/how-to-register/domestic-route (last visited on 28 August, 2023)
2. https://sso.agc.gov.sg/Act/PA1994?ProvIds=P16-#pr29- (last visited on 28 August, 2023)
3. file:///C:/Users/ADMIN/Downloads/Patents%20Act%201994.pdf (last visited on 28 August, 2023)
4.https://singaporelegaladvice.com/law-articles/filing-patent-singapore-requirements-procedure/ (last visited on 28 August, 2023)
5. https://www.ipos.gov.sg/eservices(last visited on 28 August, 2023)