Patent Process in Singapore

Patent Attorney in Asia

Technology-driven companies in Asia protect their innovations by filing patents in Singapore. Among innovative countries within Asia, South Korea, China, Singapore, and Indonesia are leading from the front. The government bodies within Asia, like Singapore’s GovTech Agency, are constantly working towards innovative products and services that are capable of obtaining patent protection. As an example, mobile app lets users pay, extend and refund parking sessions with their phones, has rapidly replaced paper parking coupons across the city-state of Singapore.

Patent attorneys assist clients in drafting of patent applications that are filed internationally via the Patent Cooperation Treaty mechanism. There are various advantages associated with PCT patent filing, wherein the patent applicants are able to postpone the major costs associated with international patent filings by almost 24 months. Additionally, the PCT patent procedure allows the applicants to develop a strong patent strategy for worldwide patent protection across various countries.

A patent gives an individual a right to stop others from making, using, or selling the patent invention. So even an individual to get a patent, he might not be able to make a product that he patented. An individual can extend his patent to the borders of the country and stop other people from bringing products they would infringe on his patent. Patents are all about innovation. A utility patent protects the way something works while a design patent protects the way something looks. Utility patents protect the functional features of an invention while the design patent protects the non-functional appearance of an invention. Plant patents are related to a kind of plant which is capable of reproduction.

A patent gives an individual a right to stop others from making, using, or selling the patent invention. So even an individual to get a patent, he might not be able to make a product that he patented. An individual can extend his patent to the borders of the country and stop other people from bringing products they would infringe on his patent. Patents are all about innovation. A utility patent protects the way something works while a design patent protects the way something looks. Utility patents protect the functional features of an invention while the design patent protects the non-functional appearance of an invention. Plant patents are related to a kind of plant which is capable of reproduction.

In the Singaporean context, a patent is a monopoly right given by the government to the owner of innovation that assists him from preventing others from using, copying, or making the invention without his consent in the country in which he has acquired patent protection. A company acquires the ownership of the invention by exchanging the full disclosure of the invention to the government. The patent is granted for 20 years and annual renewable fee payable from the end of the 4th year from the date of filing.

In the Singaporean context, a patent can be a new method of doing things, the composition of a new product, or a technical improvement on how certain objects work. A patentable invention can be a product or process that gives a new technical solution for solving a problem.

For filing a patent, the inventor should keep in mind some important criteria. The invention should not publicly be known in any way, anywhere in the world. Owners of inventions should keep the invention secret until a patent application has been successfully made. If the idea has already been talked about, commercially exploited, advertised, or demonstrated, then the novelty of the invention may be comprised. An individual should safeguard himself when he speaks to investors by requesting them to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Once a Date of Filing is obtained for the patent application, the invention can claim a “Patent Pending” status, and the applicant can proceed to disclose the invention, as indicated in the patent application to interested parties. As part of the application process, the patent application publishes after 18 months if the statutory requirements are met. Once the patent application is published, details of the invention will be made available for public inspection.

The invention must be something that represents an improvement over any existing product or process already available. The improvement must not be obvious to somebody with technical skills or knowledge in the invention’s particular field. If an invention is new yet obvious to a person skilled in the art, the invention does not fulfil the inventive step requirement. The invention must be useful and should involve some form of practical application. It should be capable of being used in some form of industry.

There are two main criteria that are not a patentable invention even if they satisfy the key criteria for patents. First an invention of any method for the treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy, or of diagnosis. Second, any invention that could encourage offensive, immoral, or anti-social behaviour.

Once an individual registers a patent, apart from using the patents to prevent others from exploiting his invention, he can employ it to raise funds for his business, license it to third parties for commercial returns.

An individual is eligible to register the patent if he is the inventor, employer in which invention made by his employee in his normal course of duties or he is the person who has entered into an agreement with the inventor before making the invention, such that he is entitled to the invention. An individual should file an application for patent protection that can be done through the domestic or international phase by using an international application.

Before filing a patent, an individual who is the inventor has the right to apply for a patent in his name but if the invention had been done at the time when he is employed in a reputed company then the right to apply for the patent belongs to his employer. 

It is not necessary that all ideas can be patented. Patents granted for inventions in two main categories. The first category is a product that may include a chemical compound, a safety helmet, and a vaccine, and the second category is a process that is a method of doing something and it may include a method of mobile payment processing and method of silicon water inspection. 

There should be conduction of a prior art search that assist to detect existing similar developments, and it indicates whether his invention fulfils the new requirements.   

An individual should weigh some factors before patenting an application in Singapore. An applicant should know that patenting an application in Singapore is very expensive because total official fees for patenting application is around S$2,100.

Singapore patent applications take a long time for nearly about 2-4 years for granting a patent. Meanwhile, the applicant has no patent rights to prevent unauthorized infringement.

Before patenting an application in Singapore, an applicant should consider market size, market direction, and the threat of competition. Patents are filed only in those countries where there is a big market size and can manufacture the patented product can be manufactured to deter competition. Also, one should keep in mind that even after the inventor has developed a patentable invention, there will be a possibility that patent applications may be rejected by the Singapore patent office for lacking an inventive step.


Patent Filing in China

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Patent applications in China are drafted and filed by Patent Agents in China, providing effective solutions for patent filings in China by setting up and running patent law offices in China. Patent attorneys in China assist clients in registration and enforcement of patents via an efficient global network.

Patent Law in China

Patent law encourages scientific research, new technology as well as industrial progress for public good. The exclusive privileges to own, use or sell the method or the product patented is granted for a limited period of time, which stimulates new inventions of commercial utility. The cost of the grant of the domination is the disclosure of the invention at the Patent Office, which after the expiry of the fixed period of the monopoly, passes into the public domain.

Comparison of the Indian Patent Law with the Patent Laws in the Asia Pacific Regions

patent agent lawyer law firm in China

Patent Law in India vs. Patent Law in China

Governing Laws

China and India amended their patent laws to fulfil the obligation of TRIPS agreement. India in 2005 and China in 2008 made their Patent Acts TRIPS compliant. The current governing laws for Patents in India is Patents Act, 1970; as amended in 1999, 2002 and 2005 read with the Patents Rules, 2003; as amended in 2005, 2006, 2012 and 2014 whereas the governing law for Patents in China is Patent Law of the PRC, 1984; as amended in 1992, 2000 and 2008 read with Implementing Regulations of the Patent Law of the PRC, 2001; as amended in 2002 and 2010.

Patentable Subject Matter in China

Criteria of Patentability in China

Subject matter eligible for patent grant and conditions of patentability in China are inventions in the form of new technical solution or improvement to a product/process which is granted by the Chinese Patent Law Regulator, i.e., the National People’s Congress, whereas in India new product or process involving an inventive step and capable of novelty and industrial application can be patented which is granted by the Indian Patent Law Regulators, i.e., The Patent Office or the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB).

Patent Filing in China

All the countries provide option of e-filing and filing of patent application in print copy at the appropriate patent office or its branches. To facilitate patent filing, China has established representative offices of SIPO at all state capitals and district headquarters, where a Chinese citizen can file his/ her patent application.

In India, while filing for patent, the applicant may file a provisional application, i.e. the summary of the invention and is filed to protect the invention at its early stage. The complete application has to be filed within a period of 12 months from the date of filing of the provisional application or else the application will be considered to be abandoned. But in China, there is no option to file for a provisional application. The applicant is bound to file the complete application at once.

Patent Prosecution in China

The most important steps during patent prosecution viz. patent filing, publication, examination, opposition and patent grant/rejection are pursued across the world. In India, the patent prosecution consists of only a single phase comprising of several steps. However, in China patent prosecution is divided into two distinct stages viz. formalities/preliminary examination stage and substantive examination stage, wherein a patent application can enter in the substantive examination stage only when it first passes the formalities/preliminary examination stage.

Patent laws in China provide various procedures to speed up the patent examination, whereas, no such options are currently available in India. India is also currently not a member of Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH), to which China is a member of. The Draft Patent (Amendment) Rules, 2015 has projected to add the provision for expedited patent examination in India.

In China, in the case of patent refusal the applicant can still recommence prosecution with the patent office through continued examination/ re-examination, and evade losing the priority date of the application, whereas in India such option is not provided.

Duty to Disclose Information Regarding Foreign Applications

Foreign Applications in China

In China, the applicants are required to disclose information regarding equivalent foreign patent applications. However, regulations in India in this context seem to be much more severe and hard to comply with. SIPO requires only the copies of priority search/ examination reports to be submitted. Whereas, in India as per the Section 8, the applicant is required to submit “detailed particulars” related to equivalent foreign application at the Indian Patent Office, irrespective of whether such information is material to patentability or not. In China failure to comply with this provision is not a ground of patent revocation after the patent grant. Whereas, in India for patent revocation under Section 64 of the Patents Act, 1970 the same can be considered as a valid ground. High Court of India has provided an important clarification that any unintentional omission of the information by the applicant shall not be treated as violation of this provision.

Patent Opposition in China

Pre-grant Opposition in China

China follows Ex-parte (by or for one party) pre-issuance submissions at the pre-grant stage, whereas, India has approved an Inter-partes (between the parties) pre-grant opposition procedure. No fee, estoppel provision and threshold to establish the proceeding are applicable at pre-grant stage in both the countries.

Post-grant Opposition in China

At post-grant stage both countries, China and India, follows Inter partes (between the parties) post-grant opposition.

Compulsory Licensing in China

Both China and India have adopted compulsory license provisions based on the justifications specified under Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement. China has prescribed thorough guidelines on compulsory license. No analogous guidelines are available currently in India.

Reporting of Working of Patents in India

Patent law in India mandates each patentee and licensee of the patent to submit each year, information about the coverage to which the patented invention has been worked on a commercial scale in India. This information is to be put forward in accordance with Form-27. Many faults however, have been observed in the format of the Form-27. Patentee who fails to abide with this requirement is legally responsible for penalty. Requirement for reporting of working of patents is not prescribed in China.

Specialized Intellectual Property / Patent Courts in China

Specific courts for Intellectual Property/Patent have been set up in China for patent litigation matters relating to patent enforcement and patent infringement. Whereas, in India at present there are no such types of courts that are established for specifically adjudicating matter related with Intellectual Property rights. Newly created Commercial Courts in India will handle Intellectual Property disputes worth less than 1,00,00,000/.

We have personally managed and delivered comprehensive execution of patent projects in Asian markets, including:

(a) Reviewing invention disclosures meant for patent filings and prepared patent eligibility reports determining if invention is patentable (New; Inventive; Useful; and practical application)

(b) Drafting and managing domestic and international patent registrations

(c) Conducting product clearance studies and preparing Freedom to Operate Opinion with FTO reports

(d) Patent Investigation and Patent Searching services 

(e) Patent Claim Mapping to determine patent infringement by comparing infringing products with patent claims

(f) Assisted corporations and universities to manage all aspects of patent portfolio of various business units

(g) Working with clients to formulate internal policies and practices for invention harvesting

(h) Drafting and worldwide prosecution of patent applications

(i) Patent opposition and oral proceedings

(j) Evaluating and mitigating patent risks

(k) Monitoring technology development and competitors’ activities

(l) Advised inventors worldwide to draft, file and prosecute patent applications by providing comprehensive advice on issues of patent infringement, patentability, prior art searches, and patent licensing related transactions

We provide comprehensive Patent and Trademark legal services via our global network to create valuable patent portfolios and resolve complex patent disputes by providing patent litigation support services.

Our team of advanced patent attorneys assists clients with patent searches, drafting patent applications, and patent (intellectual property) agreements, including licensing and non-disclosure agreements.

Advocate Rahul Dev is a Patent Attorney & International Business Lawyer practicing Technology, Intellectual Property & Corporate Laws. He is reachable at rd (at) patentbusinesslawyer (dot) com & @rdpatentlawyer on Twitter.

Quoted in and contributed to 50+ national & international publications (Bloomberg, FirstPost, SwissInfo, Outlook Money, Yahoo News, Times of India, Economic Times, Business Standard, Quartz, Global Legal Post, International Bar Association, LawAsia, BioSpectrum Asia, Digital News Asia, e27, Leaders Speak, Entrepreneur India, VCCircle, AutoTech).

Regularly invited to speak at international & national platforms (conferences, TV channels, seminars, corporate trainings, government workshops) on technology, patents, business strategy, legal developments, leadership & management.

Working closely with patent attorneys along with international law firms with significant experience with lawyers in Asia Pacific providing services to clients in US and Europe. Flagship services include international patent and trademark filingspatent services in India and global patent consulting services.

Global Blockchain Lawyers ( is a digital platform to discuss legal issues, latest technology and legal developments, and applicable laws in the dynamic field of Digital Currency, Blockchain, Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and raising capital through the sale of tokens or coins (ICO or Initial Coin Offerings).

Blockchain ecosystem in India is evolving at a rapid pace and a proactive legal approach is required by blockchain lawyers in India to understand the complex nature of applicable laws and regulations.

Tech Corp Group – About Us

Lawyers in Asia, Patent Attorney in Asia, Patent Filing in Asia, Patent in Asia, Patent Lawyer in Asia, Patent Search, Technology Business Consultants

Tech Corp Group
Decoding Patents, Technology and Intellectual Property (IP) in Asia – Japan, Korea, China, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Brunei

Tech Corp Group is an international solutions provider of Patent, Technology & Intellectual Property (IP) Research Services in Asia. Originally started operations in India and Singapore, our strong and connected network of patent attorneys has expanded towards multiple locations in Asia Pacific (APAC).
We work with clients worldwide and our practice areas include patent, technology and intellectual property consulting for technology companies and innovation based businesses. For legal needs of our clients, we assist them by connecting with attorneys, lawyers and law firms in desired jurisdictions.

Originally incorporated as an international business and management consulting company headquartered in Singapore, we have expanded across borders by assisting our clients through international law firm of Tech Corp Legal LLP (headquartered in New Delhi, India) in providing legal and technical advisory related to New Product Development, Patent Portfolio Creation & Management, Global Patent Strategy, Patent Filing & Prosecution Support, Patent Searches & Drafting Patent Applications, Business Documents (Contracts, Agreements Etc.) Review & Drafting, Market Entry Strategy, Offshore Companies Incorporation, Corporate Restructuring, Mergers, Acquisitions And Joint Ventures. We assist clients through team of experienced entrepreneurs having in-depth expertise and broad experience in solving problems faced by businesses in today’s competitive world.