Upcoming Changes to Singapore’s IP Regime

Upcoming Changes to Singapore’s IP Regime
02 May 2022
I. Introduction
1. On 11 March 2022, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (the “IPOS”) announced by way of Circular No. 2/2022 that as part of their efforts to continually provide world-class IP services and strengthen Singapore’s position as a global IP hub, several changes to Singapore’s IP regime will be rolled out in the upcoming week. 
2. These changes include changes to various IP processes, updates to various official filing fees as well as the introduction of a new online IP filing system. This e-briefing sets out and summarises the foregoing, further information on which can be found at https://www.ipos.gov.sg/docs/default-source/resources-library/trade-mark....
II. Process Changes: 29 April 2022
1. Changes to various IP processes will be introduced to improve business-friendliness and operational efficiency in line with the IPOS’ mission to support innovators and businesses as they use IP to grow. These changes, which include removing the obligation to furnish certain documents in certain circumstances during the patent prosecution process as well as a new mechanism for partial acceptance of national trade mark applications following an objection by the Registrar, will come into effect on 29 April 2022.
2. In addition, the IPOS will also be introducing changes to certain forms to make transacting and filing easier. To this end, forms that are currently used for certain applications and transactions will be merged into existing Registry-specific, common or dispute resolution forms.
III. Fees Updates: 29 April 2022
1. Official filing fees will generally see an increase across the board with effect from 29 April 2022. 
2. We are in the midst of preparing our updated schedule of charges accordingly. Kindly inform us if you would like to receive a copy of our updated schedule of charges once available.
3. Patent application filing and examination fees will be increased by an average of about 5%, ranging from a S$10 increase for a request for the grant of a patent to a S$100 increase for requests for search and examination. Patent renewal fees will also be increased by an average of about 15%, ranging from a S$25 increase in respect of the 5th, 6th or 7th year of the patent to a S$180 increase in respect of each year after the 20th year of the patent.
Trade Marks
4. The IPOS will be increasing the official filing fees for applications to register a trade mark from S$341 to S380 (about 11%) on a per class basis. There will also be an increase in the official fees for applications for the renewal of a trade mark registration from S$380 to S$440 (about 15%) on a per class basis. 
Registered Designs
5. On the other hand, the official filing fees for applications for the registration of a design will be decreased from S$250 to S$200 (about 20%).
6. The official filing fees for plant varieties protection, geographical indications and hearings and mediation will also generally be increased. Further and notably, the IPOS will also be increasing the official filing fees for a request for the recordal of a change of name or address from S$0 to S$50.
IV. IPOS Digital Hub: 4 May 2022
1. Finally, the IPOS will be introducing a new online IP filing system, IPOS Digital Hub (“IDH”), to offer users an improved user interface, an enhanced IP search function, features for IP management and more support for IP dispute resolution processes, among others.
2. To this end, the IPOS has announced that the existing e-services platform, IP2SG, will be decommissioned on 29 April 2022 and replaced by IDH on 4 May 2022. To facilitate users’ smooth transition to IDH, any deadline that falls within 29 April 2022 and 8 May 2022 (both dates inclusive) will be automatically extended to the next working day of 9 May 2022. 
3. Alternative filing modes will also be available between 29 April 2022 and 3 May 2022.
V. Conclusion
1. Moving forward, IP owners would be well-advised to take into consideration the increased costs of IP management and protection alongside the fulfilment of their business objectives. Nevertheless, in light of the simplification and streamlining of various IP processes, IP owners can expect to manage and protect their IP with even less hassle now.
2. Should you require advice on navigating the various IP processes in Singapore, our IP team at Harry Elias Partnership would be pleased to assist you. Working closely with our network of associate firms, we are also well versed and have a breadth of experience handling IP matters across numerous jurisdictions.
For further information, contact:
Head of IP 
Harry Elias Partnership LLP
+65 6361 9350  
Legal Associate 
Harry Elias Partnership LLP
+65 6361 9862

For more information, please contact our Business Development Manager, Ricky Soetikno, at rickysoetikno@harryelias.com.