Jurisdiction - Singapore
Reports and Analysis
Singapore – Proposed Changes To IP Laws.

17 November, 2014


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


To implement Singapore’s obligations under the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) has recently launched a public consultation on 7 October 2014 on proposed changes to Singapore’s Intellectual Property Laws. 

They comprise legislative changes to the Copyright Act, Trade Marks Act, Registered Designs Act and Geographic Indications Act, and pertain to the:

a) enhanced border enforcement measures against IP infringement; and

b) right to seek royalties for producers of sound recordings.

The details of the proposed legislative amendments are available on the IPOSwebsite, which can be accessed at the following link: http://www.ipos.gov.sg/AboutIP/IPLegislation/PublicConsultations.aspx.

Proposed Changes To Copyright, Trade Marks, Registered Designs And Geographic Indications Acts


Enhancing Border Enforcement Measures

Legislative amendments have been proposed to enable rights holders to request Customs to detain exports of suspected IP-infringing goods.

This marks an expansion of the avenues of recourse available to rights holders to tackle cross-border IP infringement.

In addition, the proposed legislative amendments seek to streamline procedures relating to the process for the detention of IP-infringing goods by Singapore Customs authorities such that a common procedure will be used, regardless of whether the goods to be detained are goods being imported into Singapore, or goods-in-transit with a local consignee.

The foregoing proposed legislative amendments to the Trade Marks Act and the Copyright Act will also extend the enhanced border enforcement measures to the Registered Design and Geographic Indications Acts.

Right To Seek Royalties For Producers Of Sound Recordings

Traditionally, there has been a disparity in the protection between the rights of producers of sound recordings (who are the copyright holders of such sound recordings) and the rights of composers or lyricists. Unlike composers or lyricists, producers of commercially published sound recordings (e.g., songs and music albums) do not have a right to receive any royalties when their sound recordings are broadcast, played or performed in public spaces or business premises that are accessible by the public.

Under the proposed changes to the Copyright Act, a new right will be created for producers of commercial sound recordings to collect royalties from any entity who broadcasts, plays or performs their sound recording to the public.

Concluding Remarks

Singapore has been and remains one of the busiest ports in the world. Its strategic geographic location at the gateway to East Asia has seen it transform into a world-leading transshipment hub.


Given the large volumes of goods transshipped within Singapore, the legislative changes to the border enforcement measures are undoubtedly imbued with economic and legal significance, and we would expect that the recent proposal to enhance border enforcement measures would be a welcome development forrights owners. Rights owners seeking to take advantage of the enhanced border enforcement measures would do well to consider the scope of the proposed amendments to determine whether – and, if so, how – they would likely impact their existing brand protection programmes.

On the other hand, the proposal to establish a new right for sound recording producers to seek royalties will directly impact the operational costs of companies which utilise sound recordings. As such, any company which uses sound recordings, albeit as part of their advertising and marketing strategy or part of their product or service offerings, should be mindful of the proposed legislative amendments and the impact of these amendments on their business.


Baker McKenzie


For further information, please contact:


Andy Leck, Principal, Baker & McKenzie.Wong & Leow

[email protected]


Celeste Ang, Associate Principal, Baker & McKenzie.Wong & Leow

[email protected]


Angeline Lee, Associate Principal, Baker & McKenzie.Wong & Leow

[email protected]


Yew Kuin Cheah, Baker & McKenzie.Wong & Leow

[email protected]


Baker & McKenzie.Wong & Leow Intellectual Property Practice Profile in Singapore


Homegrown Intellectual Property Law Firms in Singapore 


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