Depending on the complexity of the invention, it may take about 2 to 4 years for a patent application to be granted*.

*If there are no objections and you follow the specified time limits for actions, a patent can be granted within 12 months from the filing of the application.

Please click here for the detailed flowchart.

Step 1: Application

Your patent application must include:

  1. Application form
  2. Description of the invention:
    • at least one way of carrying out the invention claimed
    • drawings, if any (in black & white or grayscale)
  3. Claims, if ready
  4. Abstract of the invention
  5. Application fee of S$160/-

You may file your patent application online via IP2SG.

If the claims are not fully ready at the point of filing the patent application and you wish to secure an early filing date for your invention, you may consider filing a provisional application.

Step 2: Preliminary Examination

Once the filing requirements are met, the Registry of Patents will accord a Date of Filing.

If the filing requirements are not met:

You will be notified by the Registrar to provide what is lacking within 2 months. Your application will be treated as abandoned if you are unable to submit the necessary in time.

The Registrar will proceed to conduct a preliminary examination on your application, when the filing fee is paid and claims are submitted within the specified time periods*.

The preliminary examination ensures that

  • the priority claim is correct;
  • there are no missing drawings or part of description; and
  • the application complies with all formal requirements.

If the preliminary examination requirements are not complied with:

You will be notified by the Registrar to amend the application within 2 months. Failure to do so will result in your application being refused.

*Filing fee is to be paid within 1 month from filing the patent application.

*Claims are to be filed within 12 months from priority date or filing date, whichever is earlier.

Step 3: Publication

Details of your patent application will be published in the Patents Journal as soon as possible after 18 months*.

You may also request for early publication of the patent application. For example, in cases where you wish to have your patent granted in less than 18 months, a request for early publication will be necessary.

If you wish to keep your invention a secret, you should not proceed with the application. You may withdraw your application earlier than one month before expiry of the 18 months.

Once your patent application is granted, you may be able to take action for infringement of the patent and seek damages against an infringer that occur from the date of publication.

* From declared priority date or, where there is no declared priority date, the date of filing of the patent application


Step 4: Search and examination

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 either of the 4 search and examination routes, depending on the availability of a foreign search and/or examination results and cost.

Which route should I take? Option 1 Option 2* Option 3* Option 4
Timeframe Search within 13 months + Examination within 36 months Combined search and examination within 36 months Examination within 36 months Supplementary examination
within 54 months
Forms & fees^ Search
(S$ 1,650) +
Examination
(S$ 1,350)
Combined search and examination
(S$ 1,950)
Examination
(S$ 1,350)
Supplementary
Examination
(no fees)
Advantages
  • 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
  • Allows reliance on foreign search and examination results
Disadvantages
  • More expensive than Option 2 if proceeding with examination

-

  • There may be other prior arts that have not been uncovered in earlier search
  • Granted patent may be vulnerable to revocation if the foreign search and examination is not in accordance with Singapore requirements.

* If you have a foreign search and examination results from partnering offices, you can make use of working-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 or a supplementary 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 5 months (for examination) or 3 months (for supplementary examination). A response to the written opinion can be:

  • Written submissions on the patent examiner's opinion;
  • An amendment of the patent specification; or
  • Both of the above

Subsequent written opinion (except for supplementary examination) may be issued until all outstanding issues surrounding the patent application is 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.

Step 5: Grant

You must file a request for the issuance of the Certificate of Grant within 2 months after the Notice of Eligibility to Proceed to Grant.

If you have made any amendments or corrections to the original specification, you need to submit a set of consolidated specification together with the request for the issuance of the Certificate of Grant.

Once the request is filed and the conditions for grant are satisfied, the Registrar will issue the Certificate of Grant.

If you fail to file the request, the patent application shall be treated as abandoned and the Registrar will notify you accordingly by letter.

Once your patent is granted, it will be protected for 20 years from the Date of Filing. Thereafter, the patent is to be maintained yearly, starting from the 5th year.