Population: 5,399,200 (est. 2013)

Languages: English (official), Chinese, Malay, Tamil

Area: 697 km²

Currency: Singapore Dollar (SGD)

Legal System: English common law

Comprehensive Range of Patent and Design Services in Singapore

Our Singapore office has established itself as regional IP hub, providing expert representation in all aspects of patents and designs throughout Southeast Asia and across the Indian subcontinent.

Founded by leading IP practitioners from Australia and Asia over 10 years ago, Spruson & Ferguson Asia is one of the only firms in Southeast Asia operating exclusively in the area of IP.

Our team of over 120 includes many highly qualified professionals from a range of technical backgrounds and includes a host of PhD, Master and postgraduates, with extensive and in-depth industry experience.

Many of our professionals are qualified patent attorneys, including Singapore, Malaysian, European, German and Australian patent attorneys. Our Singapore patent attorneys are qualified to act directly before the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore and have considerable experience with the preparation and prosecution of patent and design applications before the Office.

We have a strong history of successfully managing IP portfolios in a wide range of technologies and industries. We manage regional IP portfolios for a substantial number of clients, from start-up companies and universities through to large multi-national corporations.

Together with our panel of trusted, qualified local agents, we are a one-stop, multi-networked firm providing centralised management for IP services throughout Asia.

Our day-to-day interaction with our regional offices allows us to provide high quality and seamlessly integrated IP registration services throughout Asia-Pacific.

Patent Practice Summary

Filing Statistics

Key Issues

  • All litigation and prosecution in English
  • Ranked second in the world and top in Asia for having the best IP protection globally Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2013/2014


  • An enforceable jurisdiction that heavily relies on technical expert testimony
  • Rapid conclusion of litigation proceedings – decisions typically issue within 12 months of initiation
  • Potential for alternative dispute resolution in IP matters via arbitration
  • Infringement remedies – damages based on costs or an account of profits, injunctions, and delivery up of goods
  • Innocent infringer defence
  • Potential relief against groundless threats


  • National phase entry deadline for PCT applications in Singapore: 30 months
  • Patentable subject matter – all subject matter patentable except Methods of treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy or of diagnosis or inventions that may encourage offensive, immoral or anti-social behaviour
  • Adopted a new Patents Act that has a “positive examination” system from 14th February 2014:
    • Grant now obtained by requesting local search and examination or by supplementary examination
    • Examination procedure now includes a review process by an alternate examiner should the objections remain after the first phase of examination
    • Removal of “fast track” and “slow track” system and removal of post-grant search and examination
    • Generous extension of time provisions, including late entry of national phase by another 18 months as of right
    • Amendments now only allowed before requesting examination and when responding to an adverse written opinion
  • Applies a strict approach to “added matter” that is in general alignment with the approach of the United Kingdom and European Patent Offices
  • Double patenting is a ground of revocation
  • Voluntary Divisional applications possible

Other issues

  • No pre or post-grant opposition
  • Patent Term Extensions – possible
  • Parallel importation – available except for pharmaceuticals under certain conditions
  • Foreign filing license – required as a breach may constitute a criminal offence
  • Pharmaceutical Data Exclusivity Laws – data and market exclusivity (5 years)
  • Patent-drug linkage
  • PPH with China, USA, Korea & Japan
  • Participant of the ASEAN Patent Examination Co-operation (ASPEC)

Filing Requirements in Singapore





  • Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
  • Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure
  • Hague Agreement Concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Designs
  • Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property
  • Patent Co-operation Treaty
  • WIPO Copyright Treaty
  • WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty

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