Overview of Intellectual Property Law

Last updated on May 21, 2010

The Intellectual Property Law in Singapore consists of different categories that cater to different forms of intellectual property.

  1. Copyright – caters to artistic creations such as writing, music etc. No registration is required.
  2. Design – caters to designs produced on an industrial scale like furniture. Registration is required. In the event that a design falls under both design and copyright, the design must be registered to be protected.
  3. Patents – to protect inventions such as products and processes. Registration is required.
  4. Confidential Information/Trade Secrets – the law on confidential information prevents a person from divulging confidential information or trade secrets.
  5. Trademarks – protects, distinctive signs, logos, brand names etc. Registration may or may not be required, depending on the details of the situation.
  6. Plant Varieties Protection – prevents a plant variety from being propagated without authorisation. Registration is required with the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS).
  7. Geographical Indications Protection – geographical indicators tell consumers where a product comes from. Misuse is illegal. For example, you can be sued by an association for Bordeaux wine sellers if you sell wine labeled “from Bordeaux” when it is actually not. Registration is not required.
  8. Protection of Layout – Designs of Integrated Circuits – Designs of electronic circuits are protected. No registration is required.