The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) began operations as an International Patent Search and Examination Authority under the Patent Cooperation Treaty from September 1, 2015, becoming the first ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member to do so.
The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), which is administered by the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO), allows inventors and companies to apply for patent protection in 148 countries the world over through a single international patent application.
Singapore’s patent authority becomes the fifth Asian patent office, after those of India, China, Japan and Korea, to join the select group of 19 patent authorities across the world that are allowed to operate as an International Patent Search and Examination Authority under the Patent Cooperation Treaty.
The IPOS stated in a press release that patent applicants to Vietnam, Mexico, Brunei, Laos and Japan will be the first to receive access to IPOS’s services as an International Patent Search and Examiner Authority. This decision was a part of the bilateral agreements signed during the IP Week @ SG 2015.
Local and global businesses and inventors will benefit from this as they will be presented with a fast and cost-effective method for entering the PCT system. The IPOS claims a first office action turnaround time of 60 days for most cases as compared to 2-3 years of waiting time for similar responses from other IP offices. Patent applicants will also be able to obtain rebates of up to 75% when applying for a PCT application through the IPOS. Apart from a fast turnaround time, businesses and inventors can get access to expert patent examiners, 95% of whom are PhD holders and 25% are qualified to conduct searches in Chinese.
The patent authority said that its new status under to the Patent Cooperation Treaty will immediately benefit around 1,000 PCT applications that originate yearly in Singapore, but that have been filed through other patent authorities as the applications may now be filed through IPOS.
Mr Ng Kok Wan, Executive Director of IPOS-International, said in a statement:
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.
You can view the IPOS press release here.
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This post was contributed by Abhishek Tiwari. The Intellogist blog and Intellogist are provided for free by Landon IP, which is a CPA Global company. Landon IP is a major provider of professional services meeting the needs of the IP community, including patent searches; analytics and technology consulting; patent, legal, and technical translations; and information research and retrieval.