In April 2017, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) announced in its Newsletter that the Department of Intellectual Property of Thailand (DIP) has classified the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) as another competent International Searching Authority (ISA) and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) for international patent applications filed by nationals and residents of Thailand with the DIP or the International Bureau of the WIPO as the receiving office. This means that there are now seven (7) ISA and IPEA Patent Offices for international patent applications filed by nationals and residents of Thailand, namely the Australian Patent Office (APO), the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO), the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS).

IPOS is the first Patent Office in the ASEAN region qualified to act as an ISA and IPEA for international patent applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). The unique strength of IPOS as an ISA and IPEA is the ability of its patent examiners to conduct searches in both Chinese and English. Approximately 25% of IPOS examiners have the ability to conduct searches in Chinese, which makes it uniquely qualified to serve this need. Patent applicants, who are nationals and residents of Thailand, will benefit from IPOS having been selected to conduct international searches and examination of their international patent applications filed under the PCT.

The DIP announcement regarding IPOS as an ISA and IPEA is expected by June 2017. That announcement will cover international search fees for IPOS as an ISA for international applications filed by nationals and residents of Thailand with the DIP as the receiving Office as well as other updated fees relating to international patent applications filed with the DIP.