Before applying for a patent, use this checklist to check if your invention is eligible for registration:

Did you disclose your invention to anyone?

Disclosing your invention may compromise the novelty and affect your patent application.

If your invention needs to be disclosed to a third party before a patent application has been made, it is a good idea to draw up a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Disclosure to the invention can be made after a date of filing has been obtained for the application.

Is your invention patentable?

For an invention to be patentable, it must, in general, satisfy three key criteria:

  1. New – The invention should not be publicly known in any way, anywhere in the world. Owners of inventions should be careful to keep the invention secret until a patent application has been successfully made. If the idea has already been talked about, commercially exploited, advertised or demonstrated, then the novelty of the invention may be compromised.
  2. Inventive step – The invention must be an improvement over any existing product or process that is already available. The improvement must not be obvious to someone with technical skills or knowledge in the field of the invention.
  3. Industrial applicationThe invention must be useful and have some form of practical application. It should be capable of being made or used in some form of industry.

A method of treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy or diagnosis practised on the human or animal body is not patentable.

An invention that is generally expected to encourage offensive, immoral or anti-social behaviour will not be published or patentable.

Did you check whether there are existing inventions similar to yours?

Before you apply for a patent, it is a good idea to run a search on existing patents to see if your invention already exists. You can also avoid scenarios where there might be possible infringement of other patents filed or granted.

You may tap on online databases such as IP2SG to search or engage professional services.

Are you entitled to register for the patent?

You are entitled to register the patent if you are any of the following:

  1. you are an employer and the invention was made by your employee in his normal course of duties;
  2. if you are a person who has entered into an agreement with the inventor before the making the invention, such that you are entitled to the invention; or
  3. the inventor.

When applying for patent in Singapore, use this pre-filing checklist:

There are two routes of applying for a patent in Singapore – directly with IPOS via domestic route, or through PCT National Phase Entry route.

Patent protection is territorial in nature. This means that if you wish to protect your patent in another country outside of Singapore, you must also file for patent registration in that country.

To obtain patent protection overseas, you can either:
  1. File individual applications in the countries concerned; or
  2. Use the Patent Co-operation Treaty (PCT), which facilitates the filing of International Applications.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are a Singapore resident, you are required to obtain written authorisation from IPOS before filing an application for a patent outside of Singapore. Read more on seeking National Security Clearances here.

Registry of Patents

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The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, Registry of Patents has been ISO certified for the management of national and international patent application processes and their payment processes.

Related information:

Patent Forms & Fees Patent Circulars & Practice Directions Patent resources Unsolicited IP Services