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.
Filing with ePCT
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has announced that PCT-EASY would cease to be a recognized mode for filing international applications under the PCT from 1 July 2015.
From 1 January 2015, applicants can file their international applications with the Singapore receiving office as an electronic application through ePCT - a new e-filing server service that is hosted by the International Bureau. New ePCT users have to create an ePCT account and upload an electronic identification to the account. For more information on how to register and get started on ePCT, please refer to WIPO's FAQs, Getting Started Page and User Guide.
Applicants will now have the following options available for filing international applications with the Singapore receiving office:
Please note that electronic filing of international applications via ePCT is not available at IPOS computer terminals.
The Singapore receiving office will remove PCT-EASY as a means for filing international applications as of 1 June 2015, 5pm.
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
For more information on national phase entry, please refer to here.
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