AsianScientist (Sep. 14, 2015) – From 1 September 2015, local and global businesses and inventors may fast track their applications for patent protection in multiple markets via Singapore, as the nation begins operations as ASEAN’s first International Patent Search and Examination Authority under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).
Administered by the World Intellectual Property Organiszation (WIPO), the treaty enables innovators and businesses to seek patent protection in 148 countries through a single international patent application. Singapore is the fifth in Asia (after China, India, Japan and Korea) and joins a select group of 19 IP offices worldwide that have been appointed as International Authorities for the PCT.
Patent applicants to Vietnam, Mexico, Brunei, Japan and Laos will be the first to gain access to Singapore’s new service offerings as an International Searching Authority (ISA) and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) in the coming months.
Patent applicants could also enjoy rebates of up to 75 percent when making a PCT application through the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS). Singaporean businesses and inventors, in particular, will benefit from the ease and cost-effectiveness of filing locally to enter the PCT system. This arrangement is expected to immediately benefit some 1,000 PCT applications originating in Singapore yearly that were previously filed through other IP offices.
Mr. Ng Kok Wan, Executive Director of IPOS-International, said, “Singapore has made steady progress since our appointment as an International Authority in patent search and examination last year. Working with IP offices across the world and WIPO, we are able to offer businesses and inventors quicker and more affordable access to the global patent system.”
These arrangements were set out under bilateral agreements signed this week at Asia’s premier intellectual property event, IP Week @ SG 2015. Other cooperative efforts furthered at IP Week @ SG 2015 included three Memoranda of Understandings (MOUs) signed between IPOS’ training subsidiary, the IP Academy, and leading universities and IP organisations. The agreements aim to build Singapore’s IP infrastructure and capabilities to professionalize the IP workforce, which is estimated to have over 100,000 professionals in Singapore
The International IP Commercialisation Council and Renmin University of China separately committed to cooperate with the Academy in capacity building and training programs, executive education, knowledge-sharing and raising IP awareness.
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will be the focus of the Academy’s collaboration with The Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), as the two organisations partner to provide IP management skills training and development activities for local companies to develop and augment their IP capability.
Professor Loh Han Tong, Vice-Provost, SIT said, “This MOU is a milestone arrangement for SIT. With Singapore aspiring to be a global IP Hub in Asia, SIT is pleased to play a critical role in building the IP capabilities of SMEs. In turn, these companies can work with SIT to provide students with industry projects. SIT’s Enterprise and Innovation Hub will be a one-stop center for students to manage industry projects and collaborations.”
Source: Intellectual Property Office of Singapore; Photo: Shutterstock.
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