Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) has announced that businesses and entrepreneurs will enjoy substantial cost savings when they file for patent and trade mark protection through lowered application fees starting from 1 April.
It noted that this is part of IPOS’ efforts to support Singapore innovators and make IP protection more affordable for them, in keeping with its vision to help drive innovation in Singapore.
IPOS stated that it reviews the fees regularly to keep them competitive with other countries, and encourage domestic innovation.
Therefore, from 1 April 2017, fees will be reduced for anyone requesting for patent search & examination reports. In addition, brand owners applying for trade marks using a pre-approved list of goods and services will enjoy a substantial 30% discount.
To discourage IP hoarding, which can stifle innovation, IPOS noted that fees for renewing patents and trade marks will see an upward adjustment – the first in about a decade for trade marks. At the same time, patent owners who are willing to offer their patents for licensing will continue to enjoy a 50 percent discount in patent renewal fees.
According to IPOS, this will encourage IP owners to actively use their patents, or consider releasing them to the public domain, so as to fuel further innovations.
IP owners who release their patents will enjoy a waiver of the administrative costs for doing so. Overall, the fees adjustment will result in a net cost reduction for businesses and brand owners, when the various stages in the life cycle of protecting an invention or a trade mark are considered.
According to IPOS, 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.
Patent Attorney of Davies Collison Cave, Mr Desmond Tan, said, “Given the current uncertain economic and political outlook, the fees review is timely. My clients who want to build a competitive edge through IP in today’s highly globalised innovation economy will be encouraged to know that IPOS has taken steps to address their cost concerns and help them in the midst of a challenging business environment.”
Chief Executive of IPOS, Mr Daren Tang, said, “Singapore’s innovation scene is becoming more vibrant, with more companies and start-ups seeking to create business value through IP. The fee revisions make it easier and cheaper for them to protect their brands and technology.”
“We hope that more of our creative enterprises and inventors will be encouraged by these changes to have a strong foundation for taking their ideas to the world,” he added.