You’re excited to get your new invention off the ground. You’re ready to introduce it to the people who will benefit from it and you know it has the potential to make you some real money, too.
Before you go shouting your great idea from the rooftops, there are some important things you need to know about obtaining patents in Singapore.
Here are 10 questions you need to have the answers to.
1. When should you file?
You’ll want to begin the process of filing your patent in Singapore as soon as possible.
They adhere to the “First to File” rule which means that the first person or business to file a patent gets to claim the intellectual property as theirs.
2. Can you explain your product in detail?
Part of the patent application process involves providing a comprehensive written description of what you’ve created and how it works. (Of course, as the inventor of this great idea, you probably know it inside out, but just in case – you’ll need to explain!)
3. Are you prepared for the rigors of the process?
Unfortunately, obtaining a patent in Singapore isn’t as easy as just telling a patent office about your invention, signing a piece of paper, and walking away with a patent in hand.
Before you get too far into the process, you need to know what to expect. It can take a long time, it’s often confusing, and it may end up costing you more money than you were planning on spending.
If you know the product you’ve created is worth the rigorous process of obtaining a patent in Singapore, you’re ready for the next steps.
4. What are the three requirements for patents in Singapore?
Before you’re awarded a patent, the patent office will need to ensure their three requirements have been met.
- Your idea or invention has to be new. If it has been in the public domain at all before you filed the patent application, it is ineligible. (Wondering what constitutes being shared in the public domain? If your invention was featured in an article, advertised, sold, or demonstrated in public, it will not receive a patent.)
- It must be innovative. This means that your idea needs to be better than a product or process that’s already out.
- It needs to have a practical application. Keep in mind, your invention or idea will probably pass this requirement as it’s both applied loosely and the nature of an invention is to improve upon some product or process.
5. What inventions are not eligible for patents in Singapore?
There are two categories of patents that are not allowable according to Singapore patent law.
First, any idea or invention that promotes anti-social behavior, immorality, or is offensive won’t be granted a patent.
The second category prohibits inventions having to do with surgical or therapeutic treatment for humans or animals, or anything used to diagnose a human or an animal.
6. Do I have to do a patent search?
Yes. This process will turn up any prior inventions that could make yours not “new.”
7. Can you undertake this process on your own?
Technically, yes. But you shouldn’t and here’s why.
A person who isn’t a professional may not be able to understand the results of the search, or they may not be able to conduct as thorough a search as is necessary.
It’s important that you seek the help of a reputable IP firm to ensure you’re following all the rules so your patent can get approval as quickly as possible.
8. How long does it take to get patents in Singapore?
The process can take anywhere from two to four years.
9. How much does a patent cost?
The fee for filing a patent in Singapore is $160.
There are a variety of additional related fees that you can find here.
Keep in mind that you will also have to pay the professionals who help you with the process.
10. What should I consider before filing for a patent in Singapore?
Now that you have a better idea of what’s involved to obtain patents in Singapore, there are a few serious things to think about before you jump into the process.
- Once all the fees and expenses have been totaled, it can be an expensive process.
- Two to four years is a long time to wait and you won’t be able to protect your idea while you wait.
- Make sure the result you could get is worth the cost and the amount of effort involved.
- Your patent could be rejected. If your patent application is not approved for some reason, you will lose the money you have invested up to that point. (The main reason patents get rejected is because they lack the innovation factor.)
- Holding a patent can give you a competitive advantage in the marketplace, especially when it comes to negotiation, marketing, and fund-raising.
Get expert help to file your patent in Singapore
The 10 questions we’ve addressed have given you a lot to think about. And it’s important for you to take the time to weigh the pros and cons before you get too deep into the process and lose valuable money and time.
Seek the services of a reputable firm like Pintas to help you through the patent process in Singapore.