The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO) to establish a two-year Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot programme between the two intellectual property offices. The pilot program is scheduled to commence on 1 September 2013.

While the detailed information on the procedure and requirements of this PPH programme has yet to be finalized and published, we expect that the implementation of this pilot PPH programme between IPOS and SIPO will be similar to the current existing PPH programmes that IPOS has established with the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office), JPO (Japan Patent Office) and KIPO (Korean Intellectual Property Office).

The aim of PPH programmes is to accelerate the substantive examination process by sharing the search and examination results between the participating intellectual property offices, thereby minimizing the repetitive search and examination work carried out by each office for each patent application.

We expect that with this PPH, an applicant will be able to use the positive search and examination results of his Singapore patent application to expedite the prosecution and examination of his corresponding Chinese patent application. Likewise, he will also be able to use the positive examination results from his corresponding Chinese patent application to expedite the examination and prosecution of his Singapore patent application. Hence, this PPH programme will benefit applicants wishing to obtain patent protection for their invention in both Singapore and China by allowing for faster grant of the patent applications in both countries.

We will continue to monitor the developments regarding this PPH and will provide you with further updates when they are available. The official announcement regarding the above PPH between IPOS and SIPO can be found using the following link:

Singapore Announces Initiatives for Faster and More Cost-Effective Patent Applications