Singapore now to be the International Search Authority

IPOS_logoUnder the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), the recent 54th WIPO Assemblies appointed, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) as an International Searching Authority (ISA) and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA). The appointment is to become effective from early 2015.

IPOS, working together with the Singapore Permanent Mission in Geneva, was successful in its bid to become the first IP Office appointed out of the Asean region. It’s also the fifth in Asia after China, India, Japan and South Korea.

Tan Yih San, IPOS CEO, recently stated that PCT is an international patent filing system, administered by the UN-affiliated WIPO. The PCT system helps businesses and inventors by offering patent protection in 148 countries through a single international patent application.

Mr Tan noted that as an international authority, Singapore will be able to support innovative companies based here to access the regional market more effectively. In addition, this increased IP-related work in the region will strengthen Singapore’s proposition as an IP hub in Asia.

“In advancing towards its vision to become an IP Hub of Asia, Singapore has rolled out many initiatives like, “In the area of patents, it has restored its patent law from a self-assessment to a positive grant system, built national patent search and examination capability, expanded its global patent system connectivity by inking Patent Prosecution Highway (PPHs) arrangements with more IP Offices (we will have PPHs with 21 IP offices by January 2015), and enhanced the Asean Patent Examination Cooperation programme for better interoperability among the patent systems of nine Asean countries.

Mr Tan added that currently Singaporean companies have the choice of the IP Offices in Australia, Austria, Europe, Japan or Korea to do the PCT search and examination work for them. With Singapore as an additional choice, companies will enjoy the convenience of proximity and accessibility to the IP Office for PCT filing, and search and examination procedures advice.

By Akshatha Karthik

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