From 1 September 2015, local and global businesses and inventors may fast track their applications for patent protection in multiple markets via Singapore, as the nation begins operations as ASEAN’s first International Patent Search and Examination Authority under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).
2. Administered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the treaty enables innovators and businesses to seek patent protection in 148 countries through a single international patent application. Singapore is the fifth in Asia (after China, India, Japan and Korea) and joins a select group of 19 IP offices worldwide that have been appointed as International Authorities for the PCT.
3. Patent applicants to Vietnam, Mexico, Brunei, Japan and Laos will be the first to gain access to Singapore’s new service offerings as an International Searching Authority (ISA) and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) in the coming months. These arrangements were set out under bilateral agreements signed this week at Asia's premier intellectual property event, IP Week @ SG 2015.
4. Singapore is positioned to be a choice PCT application destination due to its responsiveness, with a first office action turnaround time of around 60 days for most cases. This compares with two to three years of waiting time for similar responses from other IP offices. Patent applicants could also enjoy rebates of up to 75% when making a PCT application through IPOS. Singaporean businesses and inventors, in particular, will benefit from the ease and cost-effectiveness of filing locally to enter the PCT system. This arrangement is expected to immediately benefit some 1,000 PCT applications originating in Singapore yearly that were previously filed through other IP offices. These applications may now be filed through IPOS.
5. Mr Ng Kok Wan, Executive Director of IPOS-International, said, “Singapore has made steady progress since our appointment as an International Authority in patent search and examination last year. Working with IP offices across the world and WIPO, we are able to offer businesses and inventors quicker and more affordable access to the global patent system. This is yet another step towards building a creative and innovative Singapore with IP.”- IPOS