Possible upcoming amendments to Singapore Patents Act and Patents Rules – what you need to know


The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (“IPOS”) conducted a public consultation which ended on 12 August 2021, to seek feedback on a proposed Intellectual Property (“IP”) (Amendment) Bill 2021 (the “Bill”) and corresponding amendments to respective IP subsidiary legislation. Legislative drafting and vetting processes are currently ongoing before a finalised Bill is introduced in the Parliament.

The key amendments proposed to the Patents Act and Patents Rules are as follows.

Alternative form of Office Action

During examination, if the Examiner is of the view that a relatively minor objection may be resolved by amending the application without a Written Opinion, a Notice to the applicant inviting amendment to the application will be issued in lieu of a Written Opinion.

The non-extendable deadline to respond to the Notice is two months. The Examiner may only issue a Written Opinion after the response deadline expires or after the applicant responds to the Notice, whichever is earlier.

Publication of English translation of a non-English PCT application that has entered national phase

Applicants will no longer be required to file a form and pay the relevant fee to publish the English translation. Subject to the 18-month publication period or any request for early publication, the Registrar will automatically publish the English translation if it has been filed at the Registry.

Sequence listing

It is proposed that the Patents Act and Patents Rules be amended to specify that when a patent specification discloses sequence(s), the furnishing of sequence listing(s) shall be mandatory.

In the event that the sequence listing has not been provided, the Registrar may invite the applicant to furnish the sequence listing for the purposes of search but the sequence listing does not form part of the application.

Keep a lookout for our updates when the amendments to the Patents Act and Patents Rules have been finalised.

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