Jurisdiction - Singapore
Singapore – Major Changes to Patent System Proposed.

29 December, 2011



On 2 December 2011, the Singapore Patent Office published a Second Public Consultation on proposed changes to be introduced that would revamp the present patent grant system.
The fundamental change is that the Singapore Patent System will move towards a positive grant system. The current system allows patents to be granted even if there are objections raised in the patent examination report. The Singapore Patent Office is looking to grant patents which have positive examination reports. This would mean that a Singapore patent application which has outstanding patentability objections would not be able to proceed to grant.
The majority of the proposed changes stem from this paradigm shift to the positive grant system. Among which, applicants can request for the issuance of grant certificate only upon receipt of the Notice of Eligibility. In general, this Notice is given only when the examination report is positive. A new procedure called “supplementary examination” will also be introduced. Supplementary examination will be applicable to applications where the applicant has chosen to rely on the results of a “foreign route application”. The fast and slow track timelines for search and examination and grant, will also be replaced with a single timeline. There are also plans to abolish post grant search and examination and examine all post grant amendments.
The Singapore Patent Office plans to implement the amendments to the Singapore Patents Act and Rules in October 2012.

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