Patent applications take time to grant for reasons like the steps involved and their technical complexity.
To shorten this time frame, several patent offices offer patent acceleration programmes to shorten time frames to grant and issuance of the first examination report. The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) approach is her SG IP Fast Programme; see here.
In relation to patents, the first form of the SG IP Fast Programme was a FinTech Fast Track (“FTFT”) for Fintech inventions and an Accelerated Initiative for Artificial Intelligence (“AI2”) for artificial intelligence inventions, launched in 2018 and 2019 respectively. The latest SG IP Fast Programme now covers all inventions. Originally slated to end on 30 April 2022, IPOS has extended it for two years to 30 April 2024. Straightforward patent applications can be granted in as fast as six months. Non-straightforward patent applications can be granted in as fast as nine months.
The monthly cap for patent applications will increase from the current five requests to ten requests, with a cap of two requests per entity (individual or corporate). An applicant qualifies most likely on a first-come-first-served basis. The application must be first filed in Singapore with no priority claim and contain no more than 20 claims. The application must also be filed with a request for search and examination on the same day, with a document setting out that this Fast Track is requested.
With grant being pledged to occur within six or nine months, this also means that IPOS will establish their first examination report within the 12 months priority time frame an applicant has to decide whether to file further corresponding patent applications. This first examination report likely assists in making this decision. Advantageously, IPOS does not impose any additional fees to go onto the SG IP Fast Programme.
Please feel free to contact us for more information on this programme.
For further information, please contact:
Alban Kang, Partner, Bird & Bird