At this stage, patent examiners will search for similar earlier inventions in the same field as your patent application. Such similar earlier inventions are known as “prior art”.
Next, they will examine and compare the prior art to your patent application and determine if the prior art destroys the novelty of your patent application. The patent examiner will also determine if the other patentability criteria (such as inventive step and industrial application) are met.
You can choose any of the 3 search and examination routes in the table below, depending on the availability of a foreign search and/or examination results and cost.
|Which route should I take?
|Search within 13 months + Examination within 36 months
|Combined search and examination within 36 months
|Examination within 36 months
|Examination Forms & Fees^
(S$ 1,735) +
|Combined search and examination
- Opportunity to decide whether to proceed with examination depending on the search results
- Enjoy time and cost savings as compared to Option 1
- Less expensive if a foreign search result is available
- More expensive than Option 2 if proceeding with examination
- There may be other prior arts that have not been uncovered in earlier search
*If you have a foreign search and examination results from partnering offices, you can make use of work-sharing arrangements such as Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) and ASEAN Patent Examination Cooperation (ASPEC) Programme to obtain a patent in Singapore faster and more efficiently.
^ Fee discount and excess claim fees may apply for the different options. Click here to find out more.
After the search and examination process, an examination report will be issued to you. The examination report will detail the patent examiners’ opinion on the registrability of your patent application.
If there are no unresolved objections:
You will be issued a Notice of Eligibility to Proceed to Grant.
If there are one or more unresolved objections:
You are required to respond within 2 months (for simple amendment via invitation to amend) or 5 months (for written opinion). A response to the invitation to amend or written opinion can be:
- Written submissions on the patent examiner's opinion;
- An amendment of the patent specification;
- Rejection of the invitation to amend (with or without explanation); or
- All of the above
Subsequent written opinion may be issued until all outstanding issues surrounding the patent application are resolved.
If the outstanding issues cannot be resolved within 18 months from the date of the first written opinion, you will receive a Notice of Intention to Refuse from the Registry of Patents.