Singapore cuts filing fees for IP protection

Innovators, businesses and entrepreneurs will soon benefit from substantial cost savings when they file for patent and trademark protection with the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS).

From 1 April 2017, application fees will be cut for the filing of patent and trade mark protection with the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS). In addition, brand owners applying for trademarks using a pre-approved list of goods and services will get a 30% discount.

This comes as part of IPOS’ efforts to make intellectual property (IP) protection more affordable and help drive innovation in Singapore.

To encourage IP owners to actively use their patents, or consider releasing them to the public domain to fuel further innovations, the IPOS has also made adjustments to fees for patent and trademark renewal. The charges for patent renewal from the eighth to tenth year of the patent will go up 37 per cent while the trade mark registration renewal fee will increase by 52 per cent. However, patent owners who are willing to offer their patents for licensing will continue to enjoy a 50 per cent discount in patent renewal fees.

IP owners who release their patents will enjoy a waiver of the administrative costs for doing so.

With the fees adjustment, Singapore remains as one of the most attractive countries for IP filing, with competitive rates compared to other major jurisdictions such as Korea, Japan, China, the USA and Australia.

Trademark Considerations

While businesses and brand owners benefit from the overall net cost reduction, there are still some important considerations to take before filing a trade mark application.

Firstly, it is necessary to determine the specific types of goods and/or services for which trademark protection is to be obtained by assessing the general nature of the business. The goods and/or services must be in accordance with the International Classification of Goods and Services (commonly known as the ICGS) under the Nice Agreement to which Singapore is a signatory. The specification(s) of goods/services require careful drafting by a professional so that it is appropriate to the business activity and should also take into consideration any potential expansion plans of the business.

Business owners may also wish to consider conducting a trade mark clearance search to ascertain if there are any similar and/or identical trade marks existing on the trade marks register. This will minimise wasted costs and allow them to reconsider their application and amend/recreate the trade mark prior to filing.

“With the rise of breakthrough technologies that are disrupting markets and industries today, it is becoming vital for companies to look into a coherent IP strategy to protect their innovations. We will continue to guide and support our clients in developing an effective IP portfolio as they capture new audiences with their competitive edge,” said Ms Jacqueline Low, COO, Hawksford Singapore.