A video interview by Channel News Asia with Daniel Poh on Singapore's new patent filing portal and with Simon Seow from IPOS on ASPEC (ASEAN Patent Examination Cooperation) is available at www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/one-stop-portal-for-ip/1315258.html.

On 14 February 2014, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) retired its decade old E-patents electronic filing system and replaced it with a brand new e-filing system – IP2SG.

As the name implies, a long term plan is for the IP2SG to be used as the common platform for filing patent, trade mark and design applications but for a start, the system is being used for electronic patent filings. 

Six months on and about 4,400 new filings later, it seems timely to review its performance so far.

At a first glance, the IP2SG offers many new features which benefit users of the system. To name a few: 

  1. Instantaneous allocation of a patent application number for new filings – This feature puts it on par with advanced e-filing systems in other countries, such as the USPTO, and applicants of patent applications would be pleased with this feature.
  2. For some of the online forms, basic data is auto-populated from existing databases. For example, basic bibliographic information from the WIPO database is automatically migrated to the online form for PCT national phase entries, and this greatly reduces the amount of time needed to complete the forms; and
  3. Prompt electronic reminders for certain deadlines to agents of record/applicant which improve the service delivery from IPOS      

However, like any new IT system, there would be teething issues and the IP2SG is no different. As a suggestion, IPOS could look at improving the stability and reliability of the IP2SG system, and to name a few areas – reduction or aiming for zero downtime, fewer intermittent errors during the online filing process, and fewer issues relating to bulk payment of multiple fees at the payment cart.

Without a doubt, such issues are only temporary and IPOS are working hard towards improving the system. As IP2SG matures into a stable and reliable system, similar to E-patents, and with the many user friendly features, this would certainly go some way to help IPOS achieve its aim of being a hub for quality patent filings, which is an initiative of the IP Hub Master Plan adopted by the Singapore government.