Supplementary Examination will no longer be available to Singapore patent applications filed on or after 1 January 2020*.
*Singapore patent applications filed on or after 1 January 2020 refers to:
– Domestic applications having a date of filing on or after 1 Jan 2020,
– PCT applications entering national phase having a date of filing on or after 1 Jan 2020, and
– Divisional applications having an initiation date on or after 1 Jan 2020.
Presently, patent applicants may elect either between local Substantive Examination or Supplementary Examination of their Singapore applications. If Supplementary Examination is elected, the applicant relies on the grant or the allowance of a foreign corresponding application to satisfy a number of patentability requirements of the Singapore application.
Supplementary Examination has been a popular choice for applicants since no official fee is payable. In addition, applicants could expect to receive a Supplementary Examination report relatively quickly since patent examiners are required to consider a limited amount of matters during Supplementary Examination. In particular, the patent examiner is not able to raise new prior art citations if they become aware of them.
Applicants who wish to take advantage of the Supplementary Examination Route should consider taking proactive measures to file their domestic Singapore patent applications and divisional applications before 1 January 2020.
Separately, applicants of pending applications with Supplementary Examination deadlines that are due well after 1 January 2020 should also note that if the grant or the allowance of a foreign corresponding application does not become available by the prescribed deadline, the option of abandoning the original application and filing a divisional application to extend the deadline for Supplementary Examination will not be possible since divisional applications filed on or after 1 January 2020 must undergo local Substantive Examination.
Patent applications filed before 1 January 2020 may continue to use the supplementary examination route.