Patent protection is territorial in nature. To obtain patent protection overseas, you can
i) either file individual applications in the countries concerned;
ii) or go through the Patent Co-operation Treaty (PCT), which facilitates the filing of International Applications.
IMPORTANT NOTE: For national security purposes, any person residing in Singapore is required to obtain written authorisation from the Registrar of Patents before he files or causes to be filed outside Singapore an application for a patent for an invention. Please click here for more information.
Patent Co-operation Treaty (PCT)
The PCT, administered by the International Bureau (IB) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) based in Geneva, Switzerland, is an international treaty to facilitate the applicant in seeking patent protection for his invention in several countries simultaneously by filing an international application with a single office, in one language and a single set of forms and fees. It may be initiated by a resident or national of a PCT contracting country wanting to seek protection in other PCT Contracting States. To apply, an applicant would file an international application with the patent office in his home country or the IB. The filing of a PCT request constitutes the automatic designation of all Contracting States that are bound by the PCT on the international filing date.
You can access the list of PCT contracting countries, PCT Applicant’s Guide and all the relevant forms here.
The PCT International Application Process
An applicant, who is a resident or national of Singapore, may file an international application under the PCT directly with the Registry of Patents in Singapore. We accept international applications in a type-written format or a printed-cum-digital format by using the PCT-SAFE software provided by WIPO. PCT-SAFE also provides a feature for the preparation of documents for electronic filing of PCT applications.
Please note that the Registry of Patents in Singapore is not ready to accept PCT applications filed electronically.
Filing an International Application in Singapore as a PCT Receiving Office
Here is a table of the PCT international application process:
Applicant files PCT Application with competent PCT Receiving Office
International Filing Date accorded
International Search Report (ISR) & an International Preliminary Report on Patentability Chapter I (IPRP (I)) issued
Publication of International Application with ISR
Applicant files a demand with a competent International Preliminary Examination Authority (IPEA)
International Preliminary Report on Patentability Chapter II (IPRP (II)) issued
Applicant enters national phase e.g. in Singapore
International Application Entering National Phase in Singapore
For applications with Filing Date on or after 1 July 2004, up till 13 February 2014.
(Please mouseover for more information)
*Deadline from Date of Filing or declared priority date. By default, the application will be on the fast track. To move to slow track, Patents Form 45A(2004) (no fee) must be filed within 39 months from Date of Filing or declared priority date.
For more information, please refer to the patents infopack under the patents resources page.
1. Applicant requests for Entry into National Phase in SG
Singapore has acceded to both Chapter I and Chapter II of the PCT. An applicant, in his international application with respect to Singapore, has a choice whether to enter the national phase in Singapore under Chapter I or Chapter II.
Patents Form 37 is used for payment of the fee (S$200) for entering the national phase. While optional, applicants are strongly encouraged to use this form. .
If the international application was not filed or published in English at the PCT, a translation of the international application into English must be enclosed.
2. IPOS conducts national phase entry checks
In general, upon receiving the request for national phase entry IPOS will check that
• Singapore has been designated in the international application.
• The fee for national phase entry is paid, and all required documents (including any necessary English translation of the international application) are filed within the prescribed period of 30 months
3. IPOS sends Acknowledgment Letter
If all national phase requirements have been complied with, IPOS will issue a Date of Filing Notification.
If the IPOS determines that any of the national phase requirements have not been complied with, a deficiency letter will be issued and the applicant will have 2 months to remedy the deficiencies, failing which the application will be treated as withdrawn.
5. Applicant requests for search & examination
After the application has received the Date of Fling Notification, the applicant may proceed to the search and examination process. The Registry of Patents in Singapore offers three approaches to the search and examination process namely:-
(a) “All-local approach”
In the all-local approach, an applicant may request to undergo a combined search-and-examination process.
(b) “All-foreign approach”
In the all-foreign approach, the applicant can rely on their International Preliminary Report on Patentability (IPRP) Chapter I or Chapter II.
Alternatively, the applicant furnishes the Registry of Patents the final search and examination results of a corresponding or corresponding international application.
Under this approach, the applicant does not need to file a further search and examination request with the Registry of Patents in respect of the same invention.
(c) “Combination approach”
In the combination approach, the applicant files an examination request with the Registry of Patents relying on the International Search Report, or the search results of a corresponding or corresponding international application.
Different approaches may be selected depending on the applicants' needs. Applicants should seek the advice of their patent agents on the option that is most suitable for them.
6. IPOS conducts search and examination/ examination & issue report
The search process is essentially a search conducted for all materials and information which are relevant to the subject of the invention. The results of the search are reflected in a search report.
The examination process involves the consideration by an Examiner as to whether the invention qualifies as new, involves an inventive step and is capable of industrial application among other requirements.
If during the examination, the Examiner is of the opinion that the application does not meet the legal requirements, he will issue a written opinion giving the applicant a 5 months non extendable period to respond. A response to the written opinion must be made on Patents Form 13A (no fee) and can be in the form of written submissions on the Examiner's opinion, an amendment of the specification or both. The results of the examination are reflected in an examination report.
7. Applicant requests for issuance of the Certificate of Grant of patent
After completion of the search and examination process, the applicant would have to assess if it is worthwhile to proceed to obtain a grant of a patent. If the applicant chooses to do so, he would then submit a request for the issuance of the Certificate of Grant (Patents Form 14(2004), $200.00 plus $20.00 per claim in excess of 25 claims) within 42 months (fast track) or 60 months (slow track) from Date of Filing or declared priority date.
8. IPOS issues Certificate of Grant
Upon grant, the term of the patent is 20 years from the Date of Filing, subject to the payment of annual renewal fees.
To maintain the patent, the applicant will need to pay an annual renewal fee, starting from the end of the 4th year from the Date of Filing, and every year thereafter, until the patent expires. The renewal is payable within 3 months before the anniversary of the Date of Filing.
In the event that grant was issued after 45 months from date of filing, all renewals due will only be payable within 3 months after the date of grant.
The applicant can renew the patent by submitting Patents Form 15 together with renewal fees. If the applicant have made an entry in the register for Licence of Right, he can renew your patent at half price, using Patents Form 53.
Renewal Fees (S$)
Patents Form 15
Patents Form 53
5th, 6th, 7th year
8th, 9th, 10th year
11th, 12th, 13th year
14th, 15th, 16th year
17th, 18th, 19th year
Each subsequent year
Your application can be submitted as follows:
1. Apply and pay the appropriate fee via the IPOS ePatents online facility here
2. Download your forms here and send or take your completed application to:
Registry of Patents Intellectual Property Office of Singapore
51 Bras Basah Road
#04-01 Manulife Centre
Registry's operating hours:
Monday to Friday: 8:30am to 5:30pm Saturday,
Sunday and Public Holiday: CLOSED
Cashier's operating hours:
Monday to Friday: 8:30am to 5:00pm
Customer Enquiry Hotline: (65) 6339 8616 Fax : (65) 6339 0252
Email : Click here
Payment can be made by NETS, cashcard, GIRO, cheque (crossed), money order or bank draft (in Singapore dollars) made out to Intellectual Property Office of Singapore. For submission by mail, the application form must be completed and duly signed together with all the required documents and a cheque, money order, bank draft or request for GIRO payment.