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Amendments were made to the Singapore Patents Act and Rules in the final quarter of 2017. The major change from that round of amendments relating to the removal of the option to request supplementary examination will only come into force on 1 January 2020. That is, the option to enable a Singapore patent application to attain a notice of allowance based on the allowance/grant or favourable examination findings of a corresponding application in selected jurisdictions.
Accordingly, from 1 January 2020 onwards, the option to request supplementary examination will no longer be available for the following Singapore patent applications:
For divisional and complete/convention applications, you may wish to review existing Singaporean portfolios to determine whether early filings are desirable to retain the option of supplementary examination.
PPH - an alternative to supplementary examination going forward
For applicants still wanting the opportunity to leverage off another jurisdiction, they can request examination via a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH).
FPA – the same safe hands for all your needs in Singapore
FPA has been helping our clients with their patent applications in Singapore for many years, and has a keen understanding of the continual changes which have been taking place in Singapore patent law. Through FPA’s Singapore office, FPA is well placed to provide guidance in relation to the issues that you may face in relation to the change. For example, there remain cost-effective ways to streamline patent prosecution in Singapore that FPA is continually refining to save time and costs for clients. FPA would welcome the opportunity to assist in an assessment of your Singapore patent portfolio, and to identify both issues and opportunities for you in the course of our assessment.
To find out if we can help you further, please contact the authors of this article or your desired FPA attorney.