Jurisdiction - Singapore
Reports and Analysis
Singapore – Legislative Changes On The Horizon: Border Enforcement Protection For Registered Designs.

7 November, 2014


Legal News & Analysis – Asia Pacific – Singapore – Intellectual Property


The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) has recently (from 7 – 28 October 2014) conducted a public consultation on the proposed changes to the Trade Marks Act (“TMA“), the Copyright Act (“CA“) and the Registered Designs Act (“RDA“), with the key amendments focussed on enhancing border enforcement measures (“BEM“) against IP infringement. This initiative to bolster Singapore’s laws for intellectual property rights protection at Singapore’s borders is warmly welcomed by rights holders given Singapore’s prominent reputation as one of the world’s busiest transhipment hub and Singapore’s aspiration to be a global IP hub.

Amongst the various changes, the proposed changes are in particular, significant for owners of registered designs in Singapore because BEM will be made available to registered designs for the first time: At present, BEM provisions are only found in the TMA and CA.

If the proposed changes to the RDA are implemented, owners of registered designs in Singapore will benefit from an increased scope of protection as summarised below:


  • The proposed exportation out of Singapore for the purpose of trade of infringing articles amounts to an infringement of the relevant registered design right.
  • The owner of a registered design will be allowed to file requests to the Customs to interdict both imports and proposed exports of suspected infringing articles.
  • The Customs officer has the power to require a person to give information or to produce documents on any subject which is relevant for the purposes of border enforcement under the RDA.
  • As part of the process post Customs detention of the suspected infringing articles, the owner of a registered design may request the Customs to release the name and address of the consignor, the importer, the exporter and the consignee as applicable, all in relation to the detained suspected infringing articles.

With the upcoming changes to the RDA, companies would do well if they start reviewing their design registration policies and consider including Singapore as one of the key countries for design registration, as part of their global rights enforcement strategy to further protect their companies’ assets and provide the additional competitive edge.

In this regard, it would be useful to note that an application for a registered design in Singapore, currently undergoes (only) formalities examination. Once registered, the design is protected for an initial period of 5 years from the date of application and thereafter, renewable every 5 years up to a maximum of 15 years.


ATMD Bird & Bird


For further information, please contact:


Lorraine Tay, Partner, ATMD Bird & Bird
Joyce Ang, Partner, ATMD Bird & Bird


ATMD Bird & Bird Intellectual Property Practice Profile in Singapore


Homegrown Intellectual Property Law Firms in Singapore 



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