Patents in Singapore

Last updated on June 28, 2010

Inventions are protected under the Patents Act in Singapore. Registration for a patent can be obtained from the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS). To qualify for registration, an invention has to be new, involve an inventive step, be capable of industrial application, and not encourage immoral, offensive or anti-social behaviour.

Rights Granted after a Successful Registration of Patents

After patenting the product, the person who had submitted a successful registration then becomes the rightful owner of that particular product/method. Therefore, he will have the following rights:

The product/method basically becomes a personal property of the person who has been granted the patent. He will have the rights to sell, sub-sell, make use of the processes involved in the manufacturing of the product, profit from it, etc. In the event that he discovers someone else infringing his patent (i.e. using his patent without his express permission), he will have the exclusive rights to stop it by claiming the following remedies provided for under section 67(1) of the Patents Act:

(a) Injunction To restrain the infringer from any apprehended act of infringement
(b) Order to deliver or destroy This is an order for the infringer to hand over all the resulting infringing materials as well as the materials which were used in creating the infringed product. The infringing materials will be destroyed to prevent further profiteering.
(c) Damages Monetary compensation as a result of the loss
(d) Account of profits If the infringer had made use of the patent in order to profit from it, the rightful owner may be entitled to the profits. An account of profits is different from receiving damages. Both of these remedies involve the receipt of monetary remuneration, only damages is a remedy of right. A remedy of right means that the court would very likely order the infringer to compensate the rightful owner for misusing a patent which did not belong to him and causing loss to the latter. However, an account of profits is an equitable remedy – the court has discretion whether or not the rightful owner deserves to be awarded the money earned by the infringer.
(e) Declaration A declaration that the patent is valid and that the infringer had abused the rightful owner’s patent. This serves as a ‘shout-out’ to the general public with regards to who the actual patent-holder is.