SingaporePopulation: 5,399,200 (est. 2013)
Capital Timezone: GMT + 8
Languages: English (official), Chinese, Malay, Tamil
Currency: Singapore Dollar (SGD)
Legal System: English common law

Key issues

• All litigation and prosecution in English
• Ranked second in the world and top in Asia for having the best IP protection in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2013/2014


• An enforceable jurisdiction that heavily relies on technical expert testimony
• Rapid conclusion of litigation proceedings – decisions typi¬cally issues within 12 months of initiation
• Potential for alternative dispute resolution in IP matters via arbitration
• Infringement remedies – damages based on costs or an account of profits, injunctions, and delivery up
• Innocent infringer defence
• Potential relief against groundless threats


• National phase entry deadline for PCT applications in Singapore: 30 months
• Patentable subject matter – all subject matter patentable except Methods of treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy or of diagnosis or inventions that may encourage offensive, immoral or anti-social behaviour
• Singapore adopted new Patents Act that has a “positive examination” system from 14th February 2014:
– Grant now obtained by requesting local search and examination or by supplementary examination
– Examination procedure now includes a review process by an alternate examiner should the objections remain after the first phase of examination
– Removal of “fast track” and “slow track” system and removal of post-grant search and examination
– Generous extension of time provisions, including late entry of national phase by another 18 months
– Amendments now only allowed before requesting examination and when responding to an adverse written opinion
• Applies a strict approach to “added matter” that is in alignment with the approach of the European Patent Office
• Double patenting is a ground of revocation
• Voluntary Divisional applications possible

Other issues

• No pre or post-grant opposition
• Patent Term Extensions – possible
• Parallel importation – available except for pharmaceuticals under certain conditions
• Foreign filing license – required as breach criminal offence
• Pharmaceutical Data Exclusivity Laws – data and market exclusivity (5 years)
• Patent-drug linkage
• PPH with China, USA, Korea & Japan
• Participant of the ASEAN Patent Examination Co-operation (ASPEC)

For more information contact us on or +61 7 3011 2200.