The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) announced a fee revision for patents and trade marks with effect from April 1 2017. Regarding patents, the application fees for searches or supplementary search reports, local search and examination reports, and international search and examination reports, are reduced by 14%, 25% and 37%, respectively. There is also a 30% fee reduction in the application to register trade marks that utilise the IPOS pre-approved list of goods and services. Thus, businesses and entrepreneurs will see a substantial fee reduction for patent and trade mark applications.
In addition, a new excess claim fee structure is introduced that is payable when requesting combined search and examination (S&E), examination (E) and grant. Previously, excess claim fees were only payable at time of grant. With the revised fees, $40 is charged per claim in excess of 20 claims when requesting S&E or E and is payable together with a grant fee for claims in excess of the number of claims previously paid (i.e. only the excess unpaid claims will be charged on grant). The changes to the claim fee structure will streamline the patent application process at IPOS and encourage applicants to file claims sets that are concise with the aim of saving costs and time required for the patent application process.
The fee revision also includes an increase in patent renewal fees from the eighth year onwards and an increase in trade mark renewal fees. While this renewal fee revision increases the overall lifecycle costs for patents and trade marks in Singapore, Singapore continues to remain competitive with lower overall lifecycle costs as compared to other countries such as Korea, Japan, China, the USA and Australia.
According to IPOS, the increase in renewal fees will discourage IP hoarding by encouraging IP owners to utilise their valuable IP while releasing non-performing IP to the public domain. To further facilitate this initiative, the fees for surrendering or cancelling IP are removed. Additionally, applicants who license their patents will enjoy a 50% discount off their renewal fees. Thus businesses are encouraged to manage their IP portfolio strategically.
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