19 June 2020
The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (“IPOS”) has recently issued guidelines on re-registration of Singapore patents in Lao PDR.
By way of background, on 27 November 2019, IPOS signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Department of Intellectual Property of the Ministry of Science and Technology of Lao PDR (“DIP”) featuring the following two broad areas of collaboration:
- To grant quality patents in Lao PDR, DIP will draw on IPOS’ patent search and examination expertise and services.
- To accelerate enterprise access into both markets, DIP will allow Singapore granted patents to be re-registered in Lao PDR.
As a follow up to the above-mentioned development, IPOS has issued guidelines on re-registration of Singapore patents with DIP. This means that moving forward, Singapore granted patents can be re-registered in Lao PDR, providing ease of access to both markets. Briefly, a Singapore patent can be re-registered in Lao PDR subject to the following conditions:
- The Singapore patent must be in force at the time of lodgement of re-registration request; and
- The Singapore patent must meet the Lao PDR requirements for patentability.
IPOS has in recent years launched several accelerated programmes to speed up the patenting process. In Singapore, it is now possible to obtain grant of a patent within 12 months from filing. For patent applications proceeding under the fast track programme, the patenting process can be as fast as six months from the date of filing.
IPOS has been actively building bridges to help accelerate innovation growth with the intellectual property offices of the nine participating ASEAN Member States of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Lao PDR, Cambodia and Viet Nam. With the following filing strategies, Singapore can serve as a gateway towards accelerating the grant of patents in the ASEAN region:
- ASEAN Patent Examination Cooperation (“ASPEC”); and
- Patent re-registration in Cambodia and Lao PDR.
In summary, with the possibility of obtaining grant of a Singapore patent within 12 months from filing, patent applicants may wish to consider filing a Singapore patent application to accelerate patenting process in the ASEAN region via ASPEC or patent re-registration, where applicable.