Whilst it is not mandatory to apply for patent protection in Singapore first before seeking patent protection overseas, under Section 34 of the Patents Act, 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. Contravention of Section 34 is a criminal offence and any person convicted of such an offence is liable to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both.
Persons wanting such authorisation should apply to the Registrar of Patents via IP2SG. A brief summary of the invention and the drawings, if any, must accompany the application for written authority.
Upon receipt of the application, the Registry would respond in less than 5 working days. If you require urgent consideration of your application, you are encouraged to inform us at telephone no. (65) 6339 8616, quoting the efile reference number of the application.
If you have unwittingly contravened Section 34, please write in to the Registry with details of the patent application in question, a brief summary of the invention and any mitigating factors (contact information). As a guide, the notification should include:
1. Application number, date of filing and country of filing;
2. Details of the applicants, inventors and any other person involved in the filing (e.g. agent), in particular their name, address and country of residency at the time of filing;
3. Circumstance for contravention; and
4. Measures that had been put in place to mitigate future occurrences.
The Registrar may, after considering the facts of the case, compound the offence upon payment of a sum of money not exceeding $2,000, and no further proceedings will be taken against you.
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