The Singapore Ministry of Law (MinLaw) has submitted the Patents (Amendment) Bill for a first reading in the Singapore Parliament. The proposed changes will enhance Singapore’s patent regime by increasing the quality of patents and making it more user-friendly, the ministry said.
Two key amendments are being introduced. First, all
patent applications are to be
by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) to
ensure that inventions meet
Singapore’s patentability standards, increasing the quality of patents
and raising confidence in the Singapore patent system. Secondly, inventors will
be given greater flexibility in disclosing their inventions before
seeking patent protection.
of foreign route
Patent applications must be examined by the patent office to ensure
that the invention satisfies patentability requirements before a patent
Currently, patent applicants can submit an examination report
issued by a foreign patent office for the invention being considered to expedite their application.
then conduct a simplified examination which does not
patentability requirements. This practice of using the "foreign route” can result in patents granted that may not fully satisfy Singapore’s patentability standards.
With the closure of the foreign route, currently planned for 1 January
2020, all patent applications must be fully examined by IPOS.
ensures that all granted patents fully satisfy Singapore’s patentability
Broadening the grace period provision
An inventor must generally keep his invention
Currently, public disclosures are only disregarded under very narrow
for example, when the disclosure was in breach of
confidence. Public disclosures outside these narrow circumstances
will lead to the invention being ineligible for patent protection.
The proposed amendments will allow any public disclosure
originating from the inventor
to be disregarded, if it
months before the patent application. Hence,
during this period,
whether inadvertently or out of
still obtain a patent later.
This is in line with
modern business realities where such practices could be necessary.
are strongly encouraged
to continue to avoid
disclosing their inventions before applying for a patent.
As not all
jurisdictions have a similarly broad
prior to applying for a patent
could jeopardise patent
in other jurisdictions.
on the proposed amendments was
conducted by IPOS from
and received feedback from
the Law Society,
patent agent associations
Singapore Inventors’ Development Association (SIDA).