Proposed Changes to Singapore Patent Regime and Their Implications to European SMEs

patent-without backgroundToday’s blog post is taking a closer look at the proposed changes to  Singapore Patent Regime and explains their implications to European SMEs wishing to patent their inventions in Singapore.

Singapore is currently in the process of amending its patent regime as the government has submitted the proposed amendments for public consultation due to end on 15 August 2017.  Major amendments concern the examination guidelines on isolated products from nature; third party observations; patent re-examination option; the examination guidelines on the new patents grace period and amendments to Patents Rules concerning patentable subject matter and supplementary examination. The aim of these proposed amendments is improving Singapore’s patent regime and further increasing the confidence of stakeholders and investors in Singapore’s patent regime[1].

Patent examination guidelines on isolated products from nature

In order to have a more balanced patent regime, the Singapore Government is proposing to clarify the distinction between ‘inventions’ and ‘discoveries’ as applied to the issue of isolated products found in nature. According to the new proposal isolated or purified materials or microorganisms that can be found in nature would represent a discovery and would not be an invention – thus these materials or microorganisms would not be eligible for patent. At the same time, if a new use of the isolated or purified material or microorganism is found, then the new use can be claimed and it can also be patented.  Furthermore, the new proposal states that “in the case of an isolated material or microorganism which has been modified such that the modified material or microorganism can be clearly distinguished from the isolated or purified naturally occurring material or microorganisms, then not only can the modified material or microorganism be claimed but also any new use of the modified material or microorganism”.[2] In this case both the new material and new use can be patented. Continue reading “Proposed Changes to Singapore Patent Regime and Their Implications to European SMEs” »

Patent applications in China streamlined for UK businesses

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A new patent office partnership between the UK and China may make life easier for UK SMEs wishing to transfer their innovations to China.

On July 1 2014 the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) launched a new pilot Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) programme to allow those who have been granted a patent at one office to request fast-track processing of an equivalent application at the other.

Continue reading “Patent applications in China streamlined for UK businesses” »

Road trip down the Patent Prosecution Highway

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Hilly RoadThe Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) may not be the road most travelled, but by taking a test-drive on it, our very own Helpdesk “Stig” reveals the secret speed of Patent Prosecution that is starting to become more and more popular world-wide.

The PPH scheme, through the sharing of information between patent offices, makes eligible an application whose claims have already been determined to be patentable in a first country, to then undergo an accelerated examination in a second. This is extremely relevant as it can drastically reduce the time taken to gain patent determinability in said second country and so is pertinent to all those SMEs impatient to take advantage of favourable overseas environments, but who also recognise the importance of protecting their IPR. Continue reading “Road trip down the Patent Prosecution Highway” »