Top 5 Misconceptions Start-ups Have about Patents in Singapore

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For Start-ups expanding in South-East Asia, IP protection should be considered one of its core priorities. Today’s blog post has been kindly drafted for us by Ms. Chan Wai Yeng who is a patent specialist at Taylor Vinters Via LLC. Ms. Chan Wai Yeng will explore five common misconceptions regarding patenting – something which will be useful for any European Start-up looking to expand their business in South-East Asia, and Singapore in particular.

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Intellectual property protection is an important consideration for most start-ups. The exclusive monopoly that comes with patents can help start-ups carve a niche in a crowded marketplace. Patents have always been important to some industries like Big Pharma where they develop expensive drugs in lengthy R&D processes. They have become increasingly important and relevant to new business models and technologies in the technology sector.

While the concept of a patent is fairly simple to understand, there are several misconceptions about patents which I’d love to clarify. It is important to clarify these misconceptions before embarking on the intensive patenting process.

Myth 1: A patent applicant has rights to enforce his pending patent

It is a common mistake amongst first time patentees to think that once their patent application has been filed, they will immediately gain the rights to sue third parties for infringement of their patent. Rights to bring about a suit for infringement are in fact only available to the patent owner after his patent has been granted. The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore indicates that patents filed in Singapore can take between 2 to 4 years to grant. Thus patentees should be aware that during the period when the patent is still pending, they are not able to take action against third parties that commercially exploits their invention.

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Patent 101: Things you need to know before patenting in Singapore

shutterstock_166598477Thinking about filing a patent in Singapore? Then this blog post for you, as today we give you a comprehensive overview of Singapore’s patent regime. Today’s blog post has been kindly drafted for us by Ms. Chan Wai Yeng who is a patent specialist at Taylor Vinters Via LLC. She was assisted by AsiaLawNetwork.com content strategist Ling Yuan Rong. Ms. Chan Wai Yeng explains the process of filing a patent in Singapore and discusses the considerations that everyone should to take into account before filing a patent application.

This article has been first published by Asia Law Network and you can find the link to the original article below at the end of the article.  

Eureka!

You have just created a great new product, UX, or developed an improved manufacturing process with significant reduction in production time. You know your invention has tremendous commercial value, and you are keen to share your idea with a potential business partner. But hold on for a minute. Before you disclose your invention to anyone, you may want to take steps to secure the ownership and protection of your brainchild by patenting your invention.

What is a Patent?

A patent is a right granted to the owner of an invention to enable him to exclude others from using, copying or making the invention without his consent in the country in which he has obtained patent protection.

The rationale behind patents is to encourage innovation by preventing competitors from copying an innovator’s novel idea. Incentives like this are essential because research and development can be very expensive and if an innovator is unable to at least recoup the cost of developing his innovation (and profit from it to some degree), the innovator is unlikely to embark in the effort. Patents also promotes diffusion of ideas and information which may have positive effects in the long run. Continue reading “Patent 101: Things you need to know before patenting in Singapore” »

Using Customs to Fight Counterfeiting in Singapore: A Case Study

shutterstock_118547785The Customs can often work as the first line of defense, when companies are dealing with counterfeiters. However, not many SMEs are aware of the different cooperation opportunities with the customs. Thus, today’s blog post focuses on how the SMEs can use the customs in order to protect their IP in Singapore, one of the busiest ports in the  world. In order to give practical advice , the blog-post discusses a case-study on customs cooperation in Singapore. 

Singapore’s port is one of the world’s busiest ports and therefore a major transit point for imports and exports between Europe and Asia. EU exporters in a number of sectors have set up distribution centers in Singapore’s harbor from where they serve the wider region. As Singapore’s port is a major transport hub, it is also at high risk of shipments of counterfeits. To promote vigilance and bolster the safety and security of trade, the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (ESFTA) contains provisions to strengthen cooperation in the field of Customs. In particular, the ESFTA will facilitate the granting of assistance based on reasonable suspicion of an operation being in breach of customs legislation and will promote greater exchange of information between authorities.

European SMEs can liaise with Customs to fight against counterfeiting of their products. The Singapore Customs is a governmental agency of the Ministry of Finance and their objective is the implementation of customs and trade enforcement measures including the checking and detainment of suspected infringing goods crossing the border. The Singapore Customs has the authority to detain imports, exports and re-exports of IPR- infringing goods. Continue reading “Using Customs to Fight Counterfeiting in Singapore: A Case Study” »

IPR Protection in Indonesia for Contemporary Design Industry

shutterstock_385731427Since Indonesia’s design market and especially furniture design market offers interesting opportunities for European SMEs, 40 selected companies recently took part of the EU Gateway Business Avenues mission, where they met with local companies in Indonesia in early March 2017 to find business opportunities. As IP protection is the key to successful new business endeavors abroad, then in today’s blog post, we have chosen to discuss IP protection issues in the contemporary design industry in Indonesia. You will learn what you need to do in order to ensure that your product design is protected in Indonesia. 

Market Opportunities for European SMEs in Indonesia

Indonesia’s contemporary design industry holds great potential for European SMEs, supported by government’s initiatives of further developing the industry. Furniture sector is currently the backbone of Indonesia’s design industry as, boosted by high export demands, industrial production in Indonesia’s furniture industry has recorded high increase rate and profits gains over the past few years, a trend which will continue in 2017 and beyond, as Indonesia aims at becoming the dominant player in ASEAN’s furniture market[1].

Indonesia’s contemporary design market offers interesting business opportunities for European SMEs especially those engaged in the furniture and interior design sector, as the country can offer a competitive manufacturing base with relatively low labor costs and a wide availability of skilled carpenters and wood carvers. Furthermore, the country has vast resources of natural materials like teak, rattan or bamboo, attracting the attention of foreign investors.

The domestic market of Indonesia seems equally promising for imported European design products, especially products relating to interior design and home improvement as there is increasing demand for interior design services due to the booming domestic property sector, such as hotels, condotels, and restaurants. Moreover, the continued expansion of an affluent middle class in the country is driving the demand up for boutique producers of high-end contemporary furniture as well as niche sectors (i.e. leather furniture, European classic style pieces)[2]. Continue reading “IPR Protection in Indonesia for Contemporary Design Industry” »

IPR Protection in Singapore for Contemporary Design Industry

Singapore designSince Singaporean design market offers interesting opportunities for European SMEs, 40 selected companies recently took part of the EU Gateway Business Avenues mission to Singapore, where they met with local companies in the context of the International Furniture Trade Fair that took place at the Singapore Expo just last week. As IP protection is the key to successful new business endeavors abroad, then in today’s blog post, we have chosen to discuss IP protection issues in the contemporary design industry in Singapore. You will learn what you need to do in order to ensure that your product design is protected in Singapore. 

Market Opportunities for European SMEs in Singapore

Underpinned by the efforts of the Singapore’s government to promote a shift to a high-tech creative economy in the industrial design and lifestyle sectors, Singapore is rapidly becoming a contemporary design hub, operating as a gateway to the whole Asian region. Being present in Singapore’s market, would also give European SMEs an easy access to the rest of Asia.

The domestic market of Singapore is also very promising for European SMEs in design sector. Changes in lifestyle across business and consumer segments have increased the demand for high quality products and new design solutions, which offers many business opportunities to European designers. Furthermore, increasing awareness and appetite for eco-friendly solutions amongst Singaporean increasingly affluent middle class offers lucrative business opportunities for European SMEs specialized in eco-design and new design solutions.

Promising business opportunities for European SMEs are also expected in the long run, as the demand for higher quality retail consumption is expected to grow steadily in Singapore. Forecasts show that over one-third of Singapore households will earn more than €135,000 by 2018[1]. Continue reading “IPR Protection in Singapore for Contemporary Design Industry” »