Many patent applicants want protection not only in their country of origin, but also in other countries around the world.
It is possible to file separate applications in the countries of interest, possibly claiming priority from one or more earlier applications.
Alternatively, it is possible to make use of the Patent Cooperation Treaty.
The Singapore Patents Act has been amended by the Patents (Amendment) Act 2012. The amendments are expected to come into force on 14 February 2014.
We received an email from the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore yesterday, telling us that the Patents (Amendment) Act 2012 will have a commencement date of 14 February 2014.
Update: we have posted a new blog post discussing the issues surrounding supplementary examination.
The Singapore Patents Act as amended introduces a supplementary examination procedure. If an applicant wishes to rely on the prosecution to grant of a foreign corresponding application, there is now a requirement for supplementary examination to be requested.
The purpose of the supplementary examination is to establish whether there is claim correspondence between the Singapore application and the foreign corresponding application. Supplementary examination also ensures that the corresponding claims in the foreign application have been examined for novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability.
Recently, we received an email enquiry from a foreign company along these lines:
“We are business from [foreign country] and have recently started business in Singapore.
We are using unique displays in our shops to display our goods. The displays have been designed by us, and we have placed them at our outlets in Singapore.
Before somebody copies our displays, we would like to apply for patent in Singapore.”