The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) has launched a new fast-track programme (named “SG Patent Fast Track”) to accelerate the patent application-to-grant process in Singapore. The programme is available to patent applications in all technology fields, and replaces the technology-specific FinTech Fast Track and Accelerated Initiative for Artificial Intelligence programmes launched in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
The 2-year pilot programme begins on 4 May 2020 and is expected to end on 29 April 2022. Under this programme, applicants can expect to obtain grant of a patent in as quickly as 6 months, as opposed to at least two years for typical patent applications. No additional fee is required to participate in this programme.
The SG Patent Fast Track programme can offer applicants a much earlier opinion on the patentability of the invention. Applicants can also leverage on positive examination results in Singapore to accelerate examination of a corresponding foreign application (e.g. through the Patent Prosecution Highway (“PPH”) and the ASEAN Patent Examination Co-operation (“ASPEC”) programmes).
To qualify for this programme, a patent application has to be first filed in Singapore (i.e. with no priority claim) and include no more than 20 claims. A request for search and examination also has to be filed on the filing date of the application, and be accompanied with a document identifying the reasons for acceleration and the technology field to which the invention relates.
However, the SG Patent Fast Track programme is currently available to only 5 applications per month, on a first come, first served basis. Further, IPOS currently imposes a limit of 10 requests per year for each entity (individual and corporate).
More information can be found here.