The Intellectual Property of Singapore (IPOS) has announced that the SG Patent Fast Track programme will be expanded to encompass trade mark and registered design applications and renamed “SG IP Fast Track” from 1st September 2020. The SG Patent Fast Track programme began on 4th May 2020 to accelerate patent applications in all technology fields and reduce the time to grant from a typical two years to a mere six months. More information on the patent side of the fast track programme can be found here.
The expanded fast track programme allows applicants for patent applications on the SG IP Fast Track programme to request for acceleration of an unlimited number1 of related trade mark and registered design applications. Under this programme, trade mark applications can be registered as quickly as three months for straightforward applications, or six months for complex ones, whilst registered design applications can be registered as quickly as one month.
This practical development allows innovative businesses to secure an entire package of IP rights around their products in a mere matter of months, and gives businesses a competitive advantage by shortening the time from conception to launch. As this expanded acceleration programme will be free of charge until further notice, there are no downsides to participating in it.
To qualify for the programme, the trade mark and registered design applications only need to be “related” to the patent application in the sense that they are to be used in relation to the invention in the patent application, or related products and services. However, there are several limitations to this:
- The applicant must not request for any extension of time during the course of examination, and any deficiencies or office actions must be resolved within one month of issue for trade marks and within 2 weeks of issue for registered designs;
- For trade marks, only standard marks will qualify and “non-standard” marks such as series marks, certification or collective marks, 3D shape marks and other non-conventional marks cannot be accelerated;
- The specification of goods and services must be fully adopted from IPOS’s pre-approved classification database and any novel or customized descriptions of goods and services will have to be examined under the normal processes.
The related trade mark and registered design applications should be filed, either together or separately, within one month of being notified that the related patent application has been placed on the SG IP FAST Track programme. There is no prescribed form for making the request for acceleration, but it should include the application numbers of the trade mark or registered design applications, and be accompanied by a copy of the Patent Preliminary Examination Report indicating the patent application number and that the patent application is on the SG IP Fast Track programme.
For more detailed information on the procedures as well as other conditions for participating in this programme, please visit this link.
1 The cap of a total of five applications per month (accepted by IPOS on a first come, first served basis), and ten requests per year for each individual or corporate entity remains for patent applications.
This article was written by Amy Chan, Principal, Coral Toh, Director of Trade Marks Asia, and Dominic Foo Ronghan, Trade Marks – Prosecution Administrator.