E-briefing: Closure of Supplementary Examination Route

E-briefing: Closure of Supplementary Examination Route
17 Jul 2019

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (“IPOS”) shall be closing the Supplementary Examination Route (“SE”) following 1 January 2020 to ensure that all Singapore-granted patents satisfy local patentability requirements. Currently, the SE enables applications to be sped up as the IPOS does not separately examine the novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability of the subject matter of the proposed patent that are processed under this procedure. Instead, the IPOS relies on the International Preliminary Report on Patentability (“IPRP”) or the prior grant of a foreign patent application to determine that these requirements are satisfied. In particular, the SRP will not be available for the following patent applications:

  1. National patent applications filed on or after 1 January 2020;
  2. International patent applications entering the national phase in Singapore with a date of filing on or after 1 January 2020; and
  3. Divisional patent applications having an initiation date on or after 1 January 2020.

Thus, all patent applicants must act quickly to secure a filing date on or before 31 December 2019 if they wish to maintain the option to choose the SE route.

Although the SE will no longer be available  after 1 January 2020, applicants can still rely on the positive examination outcomes of their application in foreign patent offices to speed up the local examination of their patent through several  bilateral or multilateral arrangement IPOS has with selected foreign patent offices. The current bilateral or multilateral agreements in place includes:

  1. the ASEAN Patent Examination Cooperation Programme,
  2. the Patent Prosecution Highway (“PPH”) pilot programmes between the IPOS and:
  • The European Patent Office;
  • The State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China; and
  • the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property of the United Mexican States; and
  1. The Global PPH programme with 22 participating countries including Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Korea, the United States of America and the United Kingdom.

For more information contact:

Brian Law

Partner, Regional Head of IP

[email protected]

Esther Wee

IP Counsel, Registered Foreign Lawyer

[email protected]


For more information, please contact our Business Development Manager, Ricky Soetikno at [email protected]