The Hearings and Mediation Group (HMG) helps to find resolution for disputes concerning the registration of trade marks, patents, registered designs and plant varieties protection. The following diagram shows the possible routes that an intellectual property dispute (IP dispute) may take. Click here to see an enlarged diagram or to print.
Choosing your dispute resolution mode
It is important at the outset of an IP dispute to know how you wish to handle the dispute. Your preferences and objectives will influence the dispute resolution mode. For example, if confidentiality is very important to you, you may choose a dispute resolution mode that is more private (such as mediation or arbitration) so that details of the dispute will not be made public. If you wish to retain more control over the conduct and outcome of the dispute, you may likewise select an alternative dispute resolution mode (such as negotiation and mediation) instead of going to the courts or coming to IPOS (where relevant). If you wish to have a say in the selection of someone who has the specialized experience or expertise to decide your IP dispute, you may choose arbitration. The following diagram shows the possible considerations you may have in deciding which dispute resolution mode to adopt . Click here to see an enlarged diagram or to print.
The role of mediation
HMG ensures that parties, where possible, explore mediation as an alternative to adjudication. This can often aid an amicable settlement of the dispute. We have introduced a mediation element to all trade mark opposition, invalidation and revocation proceedings. For more information on the procedure incorporating mediation, please click here.
How to raise an objection
If you wish to understand the procedure relating to the hearing of disputes before HMG and to find out how to object to the registration of any IP right, please refer to:
Rules 29-40, 57-60 and 72-76 of the Trade Mark Rules
Rules 13-18 of the Trade Marks (International Registration) Rules
Click here for more information on opposition to national trade mark applications.
Click here for more information on opposition to international trade mark applications in Singapore.
Click here for more information on applications for revocation or declaration of invalidity for registered trade marks in Singapore.
Rule 80 of the Patent Rules
Click here for more information on applications for revocation for registered patents.
Rules 40-51 and 56A -58 of the Registered Design Rules
Plant Varieties Protection:
Rules 19-33, 61-66 and 77 of the Plant Varieties Protection Rules
HMG also deals with all interlocutory matters arising from the disputes such as applications for extensions of time, applications to amend pleadings and applications to file further evidence.
Adjudication and Grounds of Decision
Written Grounds of Decision will be delivered when the dispute is adjudicated after a full hearing.
You can also access the Grounds of Decision via LawNet if you are a LawNet subscriber.
We have published a series of circulars relating to proceedings before us. They can be found here.
If you wish to know more about the procedure relating to the hearing of a trade mark dispute, please refer to our FAQs or call Mr Chan Teng Boon at 6331 6578 (DID).